If you can help, please do !!!!

Late Tuesday afternoon, Knox and Kane Rail Corridor owner, Mr. Joe Kovalchick, extended an offer to MJ2KB to sell the Knox and Kane Rail Corridor (approximately 4 miles), including the rails, from Mount Jewett to the Kinzua Bridge, provided we can have a cashier’s check for $430,000 in his hand by December 31, 2015. If the check is not presented to Mr. Kovalchick this Thursday by MJ2KB to purchase the section of the corridor from Mount Jewett to the Kinzua Bridge including the last few miles of these historic rails, then the entire corridor from Clarion to the Kinzua Bridge will be sold to Headwaters Charitable Trust later that day (we had most recently been told that the sale of the Corridor would not close until late first quarter or early second quarter 2016, so we thought we had more time). Ms. Janie French, the executive director of Headwaters Charitable Trust has made it absolutely clear that should they buy the corridor, the rails will be torn up. She claims this is an unsafe recreational activity (for example, rails are slippery when wet [but no one should be walking on the rails and in fact a barrier could be built between the rails and the passive trail] or someone could crush their hand between the wheel of the rail car and the tracks [but why would anyone put their hand there?]). Light rail transport is one of the fastest growing recreation activities in the country and for what we want to do it also has an excellent safety record.

MJ2KB now has 10 investors for a total of $52,101 as of noon today. $52K in 5 days is incredible especially given how economically depressed this area is, and the fact that Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and a weekend were part of those days. We have a longs ways to go and only have a couple more days. While we would love donations, we are also looking for investors who are willing to give us bridge loans, and we are willing to sign promissory notes for repayment. Any donation of $1000 or more can be considered a loan at the donor’s discretion.

The proposed sale hit the local papers today, with the Bradford Era, the Kane Republican, the Saint Marys Daily Press, and the Ridgeway Record all running articles on the front page. We believe it will be on the some regional TV stations tonight and the radio tomorrow.

Imagine what rail bikes combined with speeder runs, a rail bus and/or doodlebugs on the short line from Mount Jewett to the Kinzua Bridge would do for the Mount Jewett/Hamlin Township/McKean County and surrounding area!

What can you do? Donate. Find investors. To find out how, call: Karen Sees at 814.778.5484; Carolyn Stroup at 814.598.4847; Tim Garity at 814.598.4339

The Pa. Budget

For numerous reasons during the last election, a democrat using his own money defeated the political machine in our State and made his way into the Governors office. Promising higher taxes on everyone, including big oil and other industries the Republicans get their election funding from, it is no surprise that after a month or so of getting no where on the budget, rhetoric is starting to fly.

Two of the biggest items in the Repub's budget was getting rid of the State run liquor stores(at a loss to taxpayers) and reforming the pension system in the State(except for theirs of course). These two items couldn't even be done when they had the Governors office, so, as usual, it was just for show. They knew it had no chance of making it through. With those two items gone from their gameplan and other 'gimmicks' they were trying to use to balance the fairly large deficit that they passed on to the State, we are now causing programs at the lower levels to start to worry about funding for their programs. Of, representatives like Martin Causer will continue to get paid while folks needing the simple things to sustain are being cut off.

When will we all say enough to this 'lobby' that's infested the State House and Senate, cut taxes for the few and reduce programs that helps the citizens. All I hear is that the Repub's don't want to raise taxes on the people of Pa., but yet they had no trouble passing a 27 cent a gallon gas tax nearly four years ago and have you had to renew your auto registration? Notice quite a jump?

Get over yourselfs Repubs and get on board the Governors tax on shale instead of that sliding scale that let's them off the hook every year that you voted in a few years back. Do something for the people and not the rich. We need a budget passed soon and I know who to look at when the blame game starts to stick.

Hamlin Township Junk Yard Ordinance

For anyone that hasn't read the ordinance and maybe the supervisors haven't either, I'm including it here for future reference. How many places in the township does this ordinance apply to? Without leaving Route 6 I count four...

ORDINANCE NO. 21
REGULATING JUNK DEALERS, THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF JUNK YARDS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO AUTOMOBILE JUNK OR GRAVE YARDS, THE STORAGE AND DISPOSAL OF SCRAP, REFUSE, AND JUNKED ARTICLES, PROVIDED FOR THE ISSUANCE OF LICENSES FOR JUNK DEALERS AND FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF JUNK YARDS UNDER PRESCRIBED CONDITIONS, PRESCRIBING REMEDIES FOR THE ABATEMENT OF NUISANCES AND UNLICENSED JUNK YARDS AND SCRAP YARDS AND PRESCRIBING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATORS

BE IT ENACTED AND ORDAINED by the Supervisors of the Township of Hamlin, in the County of McKean, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and it is hereby enacted and ordained by the authority of the same;

Section 1. Short Title. This ordinance shall be known and may be cited as "Hamlin Township Junk Yard Ordinance".

Section 2. Definitions. Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words and phrases shall be construed throughout the ordinance to have the meaning herein indicated:

A. Person. Shall include any individual, partnership, association firm or corporation.

B. Township. Shall mean Hamlin Township, McKean County, Pennsylvania.

C. Board. Shall mean the Board of Supervisors of Hamlin township.

D. Junk Yard. Shall mean any place where any junk as hereinafter defined, is stored, disposed of, or accumulated.

E. Junk. Shall mean any discarded material or article and shall include, but not limited to, scrap, metal, junked motor vehicles, machinery, equipment, paper, glass, containers and structures.

F. Junk dealer. Shall mean any person, as herein defined, who buys, salvages or stores junk, or who owns, leases, maintains or operates a junk yard within the township.

G. Junked Motor Vehicle. Shall mean all types of automobiles, trucks, tractors and self-propelled machinery of all types, except useful farm machinery, for which no motor vehicle registration plate or yearly renewable tab is displayed for the current registration year as issued by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Section 3. License. No person shall be a junk dealer or maintain a junk yard without first having obtained a license from the Board, for which license a fee as hereinafter set forth shall be paid to the Township for the use of the Township. The license shall be issued for a twelve (12) month period beginning on the date of issuance. Each license must be renewed annually on or before the anniversary date of original issuance.

Section 4. Application for License. The license provided for in this ordinance shall be issued by the Board after written application shall have been made therefor by the person desiring to be licensed. Such license shall state the name of the person to whom such license is issued and the premises on which such business is to be conducted or such junk yard is to be maintained. Such license shall be posted conspicuously upon the premises licensed there under. The written application for license herein above mentioned shall be accompanied by a form, every question of which must be answered, which form will be supplied by the board. The applicant shall also submit therewith a plot of the premises used or to be used in connection with such license.

Section 5. Issuance of License. Upon receipt of an application by the Board, the Board shall examine the license and inspect the premises to be licensed and shall issue a license only if it finds that the applicant and premises comply with this ordinance and all other applicable ordinances and state and federal laws. In the event the Board shall issue a license, it may impose upon the license and the person applying therefor such terms and conditions in addition to the regulations herein contained and adopted pursuant to this ordinance as may be deemed necessary to carry out the spirit and intent of this ordinance.

Section 6. License Fee. The license fee shall be paid immediately upon the issuance or renewal of a license. The amount of the license fee is $50.00 annually.

Section 7. License Limitation. No person licensed under this ordinance shall, by virtue of one license, keep more than one place of business for the purpose of buying, selling and dealing in junk, or maintain more that one junk yard. No person shall engage in business as a junk dealer in any place other than the place designated upon his license or maintain a junk yard in any place other than the place of designated upon the license.

Section 8. Transfer of License. No license issued under this ordinance by the Board shall be transferable.

Section 9. Regulations. Every person licensed under this ordinance shall constantly maintain the licensed premises in accordance with any special provisions imposed by the Board and in the manner prescribed by this ordinance and subsequent regulations adopted by the Board:

A. Such premises shall at all times be maintained so as not to cause public or private nuisance or a menace to the health of the community or of residents nearby or a place for the breeding or harboring of rodents or vermin.

B. No garbage or organic waste shall be stored on such premises.

C. The manner of storage and arrangement of junk and the drainage facilities of the premises shall be such as to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water upon the premises and to facilitate access for fire-fighting purposes.

D. All junk kept, stored or arranged on the licensed premises shall at all times be kept, stored and arranged within the junk yard as described in the application for the license here under and as limited under paragraph (C) above

E. The premises to be licensed shall be set back a minimum distance of fifty (50) feet from the edge of the traveled portion of all streets or roads or highways and a minimum distance of twenty-five (25) feet from all other property lines. The area between the said set back line and the edge of the traveled portion of all streets and roads/highways and all other property lines shall be at all time, kept clear and vacant.

F. When the Board shall deem it necessary and desirable, the premises to be licensed shall at the set back lines be enclosed by a fence of type and style to be determined by the Board of by evergreen screen plantings or both. The board may set forth the fence and planting requirements at the time of the issuance of a license or at the time of renewal or transfer of a license.

Section 10. Violations. Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this ordinance shall upon conviction there of, by a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay not more than One Thousand ($1,000) Dollars, plus the costs of prosecution, provided that each day's violation of any of these provisions of this ordinance shall constitute a separate offense.

Section 11. Abatement of Nuisances. In addition to the remedies provided in Section 10 above, any continued violations of this ordinance which shall constitute a nuisance in fact or which shall in the opinion of the Board constitute a nuisance may be abated by proceeding against the violator in a court of equity for relief.

Section 12. Sever-ability. If any section of this ordinance shall be found to be invalid the remaining sections are hereby deemed severable and shall not be affected thereby.

Section 13. Existing Junk Yards. Junk dealers and junk yards operating and existing in the Township on the date of enactment of this ordinance shall be required to comply with its provisions and to obtain a license within six (6) months of said date.

Approved, adopted and enacted into an ordinance this 7th day of August, A.D. 1989, to become effective immediately. Signatures on the original document are Kilmer, Keesler and Nunn

Township Meeting on the 13th of July

I have to admit that I've not attended a Township meeting for over a year but I took my two complaints to the supervisors personally this last Monday. To my surprise the meeting was ran in a professional manner and the public was actually engaged in a meaningful conversation with the supervisors. Again, very pleased with the professionalism.

I brought two complaints like I mentioned, both of them for violations of laws/ordinances that we have in place to protect everyone. One is the Junkyard ordinance and the other is the Storm Water Management ordinance. Both violations have/are occurring across Route 6 from my home.

Supervisor Myer's was very upfront that he had no idea how to handle enforcement. Not sure if this is good or bad, but I respect the honesty.The procedure is very straight forward. 1st, a letter is sent giving the accused 30 days to respond and if that letter is ignored, proceed with filing a single piece of paper with the District Magistrate and let them handle it. The supervisors will have then fulfilled their obligation to the Township.

I also put myself on the agenda for next months meeting so that I can have a meaningful conversation about the violations and how we get them straightened out. Another step in the process.

More Vetos

Governor Wolf is sticking to his guns and knocking down more crappy legislation coming from Harrisburg's Republicans.

He has now vetoed the school funding bill, the liquor store sell off and the fiscal code. Of the three, I feel the veto on the fiscal code is the biggest.

More on that later or you can google it to see what the republicans were trying to slide into it!

Pennsylavania Republican Budget Vetoed

It took me a couple of days to digest what the Republicans in Harrisburg call a 'balanced, fair budget'. I have to agree with a total veto from our Democratic governor of this 'smoke and mirrors' balancing act.

It contains many one time 'fixes' that does nothing to fix the deficit created over the last four years of Republican control. They want to sell our liquor stores and turn public pensions into 401k's left to the wims of the stock market. Neither one of these will fix the deficit.

The also say that they are increasing the school financing, but looking at their numbers they are spouting and the actual figures, someone isn't telling us the truth.

Not one independent or democrat had an opportunity to look at, let alone participate in putting the budget together. Our Governor should continue to veto a budget that does nothing to fill the deficit left by the Corbett administration and up to now is only creating a larger hole in the States finances