We can see clearly now. For the moment, the rain is gone.


We are, however, left with the detritus of the storm and a perennial problem: Who is going to pay for the repairs and cleanup?


WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND?

Who’s to blame?

We can see clearly now. For the moment, the rain is gone.

We are, however, left with the detritus of the storm and a perennial problem: Who is going to pay for the repairs and cleanup?

Grove Street in Honesdale washed out just south of Texas #4 fire hall Wednesday afternoon, the unfortunate result of Wayne county’s most recent monsoon.

It’s bad enough that a 12 foot square, five foot deep hole had to be torn out to remove a blown sluice pipe that took a large section of the road with it when it blew, and now there’s a six foot pile of stone waiting to set a new sluice in, but who’s going to pay for the pipe?

Grove Street is a mess, and it’s a problem that goes round and round between the Borough of Honesdale and PennDOT.

At the time of this writing, nearly two full days later, Borough officials and PennDOT officials are still trying to hash out who will pay for the work.

James May, PennDOT’s press officer for the region, says even though the issue is the “top priority” right now, his office and the Borough are still trying to figure out who bears  responsibility for the repair. A solution — and re-opening of the road — is “weeks, not months or days” away, he says.

Meanwhile, those accustomed to using Grove St. to get into town — not to mention those living on the far side of the pit — will be forced to detour out to Rt. 191.

It may not be the world’s longest detour, but it is a pain. And it’s a pain that will not go away until the notoriously bad stormwater problems are fixed — not in piecemeal, crisis management fashion, but completely revamped.

Why does it always seem to be the case that when roadwork is to be done, numerous people spend an inordinate amount of time standing around looking into the hole?

Eventually, someone has to jump in and get to work.

Taxes, taxes everywhere, but when those who pay those taxes need services rendered from the payees, regardless of whether responsibility lies at the municipal, county, state or national level; we — the people who pay the taxes — seem too often to take a backseat to beaurocratic inertia.

Guys getting paid to stand around looking in the hole.

We — the taxpayers — pay them to stand there.

Doesn’t that make us the boss, collectively?

Instead of standing around ourselves waiting for those guys to get to work, it’s our responsibility to crack the whip.

It applies to a broken road as much as it does to the broken beaurocracy that can’t get it fixed: Blame is a cop-out for those whom have not been doing their jobs.

In a democracy, that’s all of us.

A gaping hole and a closed road is as good a place as any to begin taking responsibility for our surroundings.

If you are affected by the closing of Grove St. or one of the dozens of other road problems in the county, call those responsible for fixing it and give them a piece of your mind.

PennDOT’s District 4 engineering office can be reached at (570) 963-4061, and the Honesdale Borough office can be reached at (570) 253-1830. If you are outside of Honesdale, call your township supervisors and ask them who is responsible for your problem; they’ll appreciate increased public support in trying to get our roads fixed.