Council votes on occupancy procedure

— The Honesdale Borough council made it clear Monday night they want all of the work done in and around the CVS project before the business can open.

That includes the intersection of 4th and Main as well as the right turnout leading from the property.

Mary Ann Wervey of Zaremba Group in Cleveland, Ohio, which represents CVS, was at the regular monthly meeting of the borough to give an update on the project.

The CVS project sparked a lot of controversy late last year and early this year, most of it centered around the right turning lane on Main Street at the intersection of 4th Street.

In the end, the council voted 4-3 to allow a "developers agreement" to be put into place, meaning CVS officials had the green light to proceed with the project.

Wervey said they closed on the property on Feb. 27 and then submitted the supplemental information to PennDOT.

Concerning the reconfiguration of the intersection, she said they have been dealing with PennDOT on that issue including requested revisions from the state.

The last requests came on Aug. 5 and she said they responded to those on Aug. 7.

Wervey also said they have closed on the small piece of property owned by the Meagher realty group at the intersection. She said the formal paperwork for the traffic mylars was sent to Philadelphia last Friday and she "hopes" they will be returned within the next two weeks.

Another issue, the right-only exit near the bridge on Route 6, is the next matter they will deal with. She said that can't be formally considered by PennDOT until the issue of the turning radius is resolved. However, she did say PennDOT officials have agreed to look at the proposal in order to speed up the process.

Wervey said they are hoping to get all of the approvals from PennDOT "by the end of August."

Once that happens, she said, they can then do the work.

Wervey said the goal is to turn the building over to CVS by Oct. 7.

She then said they needed the traffic signal maintenance agreement from the borough.

"I haven't received comments from the attorney since December," said borough solicitor Rich Henry. "There are issues about who is responsible for what."

Borough engineer Mary Bogart echoed Henry's statement, saying she hasn't see anything since December, either.

"We need to resume where we were last," said Henry.

Councilman Harry DeVrieze asked her when they expected the roadwork to be completed. Wervey said they "hope" by the end of September.

Councilman Bob Jennings then said there was a meeting on July 19 and the consultants representing Zaremba were not present.

"The engineer was supposed to be there but never showed," said Jennings. "We need to get this addressed."

"It's in the works," said Wervey.

At that point in the meeting, DeVrieze made a formal motion aimed at making sure the project is fully completed before the business can open.

It reads in full: "I move to withhold the issuance of any and all Honesdale Borough use and or occupancy permits relative to the CVS subdivision, land development and construction project until the applicant has fully and completely complied with any and all aspects of the Development Agreement between Honesdale Borough and Pennsylvania CVS Pharmacy, LLC, including, but not limited to, Honesdale Borough Traffic Engineer and PennDOT approval of the supplemental plans of and for the turning radius at the intersection of Main and Fourth Streets, and the Right-Turn-Only exit to Route 6 East, and to require Borough Council concurrence and approval of any permit applications submitted and or requested by the Developer."

The motion was seconded by councilwoman Juanita Pisano.

DeVrieze said he wanted to ensure "the job's not finished until PennDOT says it's done."

He said he doesn't want "any temporary permits of any kind until it's done. This reassures the borough the work will be done."

"I'm still confused," said councilman Scott Smith.

Smith said without the motion, PennDOT still has to sign off on the completion of the project.

"The borough needs to make sure this is done," said DeVrieze.

"This is not protecting us," said Smith.

"It prevents them from getting a temporary permit," said DeVrieze.

"Even if I have a problem, I will come back to you," said Wervey. "We'll do our best to make the revisions requested."

"We want to make sure the work is done before you open," said DeVrieze.

When the vote was taken, it passed 4-2.

Smith and council president F.J. Monaghan voted against the motion. Voting for it were Pisano, DeVrieze, Jennings and Jim Brennan.

New councilman

Also during the meeting, the council appointed Sam Mikulak to replace Mike Slish on the council. The term will be only until the end of this year.

Local resident Laura Conklin also submitted a letter of interest in the position.

Mikulak said he was "born and raised" in Honesdale and is "ready to engage in moving our community forward."

Mikulak won a 6-0 vote and was immediately sworn in by Mayor Ed Langendoerfer.

"Welcome aboard," said Monaghan.