DuBOIS — Too many clothes loaded in a dryer caused a fire Monday afternoon at Melillo Coin Laundry, located at 3 Commons Drive, according to Sandy Township Fire Department Chief Steve Dunlap.
“Someone overloaded the dryer and we’re not sure if they set it too long but it was overloaded,” Dunlap said.
Firefighters were called to the scene at 3:51 p.m. The fire was extinguished by the time firefighters got there and the rest of their time was spent expelling the smoke from the building.
Damage is limited to the dryer.
No injuries were reported. The DuBois Volunteer Fire Department assisted at the scene with the use of its arial truck. Firefighters were at the laundromat for about 30 minutes.
RIDGWAY — The Ridgway Borough Council made last minute changes to its budget for 2018 that will spare residents a proposed 1-mill tax increase, and voted instead to fund the borough’s budget with revenue from its trucked waste program. Facing a general fund deficit of nearly $270,000, council was previously poised to balance the budget by raising taxes and borrowing from that fund.
But a motion to adopt a tax ordinance was ultimately voted down 4-2. Councilman Steve Keener then motioned that the budget be balanced solely with trucked waste revenue, which was approved 4-2.
Councilmen Sam MacDonald and Frank Quattrone both voted in favor of a tax increase, while councilmen Ralph Dussia, Steve Keener, Ron Burkett and Dale Anderson opposed it. Councilman J.R. Geitner, who previously voted in favor of the increase, was not present at the meeting.
“With almost $4 million in reserves, I think I’m not in favor of raising taxes,” Dussia said.
The borough has several million dollars saved up from the trucked waste program its wastewater treatment facility operates, but council had previously been divided over how much of that money should be used to plug 2018’s budget shortfall. Some members of council said that balancing the budget solely with those funds would only forestall a more drastic tax increase in the future.
The proposed increase would have cost homeowners in the borough an extra $50-70 each year. At council’s regular meeting in November, Geitner, MacDonald and Quattrone all voted to adopt a budget with a tax increase that Anderson and Burkett opposed.
Keener and Dussia were absent from the November meeting, and voted against the tax ordinance Monday night.
All other funds in the borough’s $6,634,206 budget were balanced save for the recreation fund, which was facing a deficit of $39,300 that will be covered with trucked waste revenue.
WOODLAND — A Weedville man has been identified by Clearfield-based State Police as the man who was killed when a tractor-trailer and a car collided on state Route 970 in Bradford Township yesterday morning.
At approximately 5 a.m. Waylon Ream, 40, of Marshallville, Ohio was driving a 2010 Volvo tractor-trailer east on the exit 123 off-ramp and pulled onto Route 970 from a stop sign.
Thomas Wiliam Denny, 22, of Weedville, Elk County, was driving a 2015 Hyundai sedan and was traveling north on Route 970 when his vehicle collided with the right side of Ream’s trailer.
The Hyundai became lodged underneath the trailer and was pulled approximately 140 feet before coming to rest.
Denny was pronounced dead at the scene. Police initially withheld the identity of the victim pending notification of family.
DuBOIS — The new year will most likely bring a water rate increase to Sandy Township residents.
At Monday’s municipal authority meeting, Manager Dave Monella reminded the supervisors about a special meeting to be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 27, for the purpose of adopting the 2018 revised budget and vote on a water rate increase.
Due to a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission rate case that awarded the City of DuBois an increase on the water rates and also to satisfy the township’s loans with the USDA, Monella said the supervisors will be asked to approve a water rate increase of $3.67 per thousand gallons of water.
“This increase will eliminate the separate classes of customers from the current billing structure,” Monella said.
Current rates charged are $15.50 per 1,000 gallons for the first 1,000 gallons and $11.50 per 1,000 gallons for all usage over 1,000 gallons per month.
With the rate increase, all water charges starting with a zero read for the month will be set at $16 per 1,000 gallons, Monella said. This means that every customer will receive at least a $16 monthly bill for water usage.
“To make this easier to understand, currently a water customer using 4,000 gallons for the month pays $50,” Monella said. “With the changes and increase, that same customer will now pay an additional $14, bringing their monthly water bill to $64.”
“Once again, it’s not something that we look forward to doing but something that we have to do because of the demand on us,” said Supervisor Dave Sylvis. “All I can do is apologize for that and do our best to try and keep taxes the same. At least we don’t have any increases there.”
Supervisors’ Chairman Jim Jeffers agreed with Sylvis.
“A proposal has to be made. Beyond that, our hands are tied. We don’t have much of a choice on that,” said Jeffers.