Dalton Council plans to amend zoning ordinance to site wi-fi tower

By Ben Freda - For Abington Journal

DALTON — Borough Solicitor Frank Bolock announced at the July 12 council meeting that the Lackawanna County IT department is looking to upgrade broadband service primarily to the Dalton Public Library, a move that would also benefit the public in terms of improved wi-fi reception.

“It comes with a 100-foot tower that the county has been trying to site somewhere in the borough that’s appropriate for that,” he said.

Bolock said the IT department’s site of choice, located near the Dalton Little League Field, is not zoned appropriately for a tower of that dimension and suggested the ordinance be amended to create a zone for the tower.

“We haven’t reviewed our zoning ordinance in more than 10 years,” Bolock said. “So, there are a number of issues that should be addressed in our zoning ordinance.”

Bolock suggested having community planner Carson Helfrich, who helped draft the original zoning ordinance, provide input to the planning commission first and then to the council.

“I think the better way to go is to amend the ordinance and create the zone,” he said.

President Gus Vlassis replied that, if the council chooses to address zoning, it will need a zoning appeal committee.

“We need to find five good citizens who will volunteer to be on the zoning appeal committee and start putting something together,” he said.

In other business …

• Bolock announced Countryside Conservancy is doing a survey with La Plume Twp. for the initiative to expand the Trolley Trail by using a portion of land between Brookside Road and Cherry Street. He said borough engineer John Seamans is concerned about issues involving boundary lines between the borough of Dalton and La Plume Twp.

Council member Eric Johnson said he talked with Countryside Conservancy members Christine Dettore and Cheryl Ellsworth and that they have a copy of Dalton Borough’s subdivision map, which was created for a minor subdivision and was completed years ago to put in a waste disposal system on the Slocum property located on the opposite side of Route 6.

“It’s not a technical survey map,” said Johnson. “It’s a subdivision map but could potentially be a use to the borough. It does exist and was an approved subdivision for the borough in Lackawanna County.”

Johnson told the council members if they want an official survey, Seamans can draft a new map quickly. Vlassis asked for a copy.

• In his zoning report, Johnson mentioned shift rotations in the planning commission since he stepped down as chairman. He said Bill Guest has been appointed to serve as chairman, Albert Propst was retained as vice-chairman and Gregory Palaskas was voted as interim secretary until the end of 2018.

Johnson also asked for a motion to appoint Beverly Flanagan as planning commission member, adding she attended the last planning commission meeting.

“We (planning commission) spoke with her,” he said. “We gave her the ins and outs of what we do and why we do it. She is interested in joining. The commission unanimously recommended her to council for approval.”

The board voted to approve Flanagan as new planning commission member.

By Ben Freda

For Abington Journal

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.