Rice Takes Ownership Of Former Fire Co. Property

Marcia Thomas was reappointed chair of the Rice Township Board of Supervisors at the annual reorganization meeting conducted on January 4, 2016. Bob Pipech will serve as vice-chair, as well as the township road master, and newly elected supervisor Rick Arnold took his seat on the board.

During the board’s regular meeting following the reorganization, township Solicitor Jack Dean reported the township has taken ownership of the former Rice Township Volunteer Fire Company property. The property, which is comprised of two lots at 40 Willowby St., had been in receivership since after the fire company was de-certified as township’s fire department in 2013.

Dean explained the township wanted ownership of the property but the state Attorney General’s Office wanted to sell the property, however, it had to go back to a non-profit entity. The land was returned to the township after filing a motion to take possession of the property. Luzerne County Judge Joseph Augello signed an order returning it to Rice Township. The building and land now belong to the township.

Thomas remarked, “Those who put a second mortgage on their homes are happy and those who aren’t here would be gratified,” adding the property is a “real resource for the township.”

Pipech stated township workers will be cleaning up the property which could be used for storage.

In other business, the board ratified a payment in the amount of $9,539.01 to the Wright Township Volunteer Fire Company for the fourth quarter payment of 2015.

The board also appointed Grevera & Associates, Certified public Accountant for 2015, at a cost not to exceed $2,950.

A motion to amend the Rice Township Zoning Ordinance of July 10, 2007 to include regulations regarding Political Signs was approved.

The township will submit a new Salt Contract Participation Agreement to DGS COSTARS for the August 2016-July 2017 season. The township requested 500 tons for the 2015-2016 season.

The police department requested that residents remove all portable basketball hoops and refrain from parking on township roads or rights-of-way during storms for safe snow removal.