FEMA funds could be in soon for Shamokin
by justin strawser
SHAMOKIN - During a brief Shamokin City Council meeting Wednesday, the city council announced federal money might be distributed to victims of the Flood of 2011 by the end of the year, and a citizen said he doesn't want to see the city go into business with a man promising to revitalize the city and Coal Township.
The council voted unanimously to adopt the Northumberland County Hazard Mitigation Plan as required by the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000.
This impacts $203,120 from the Hazardous Mitigation Grant Program through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in relation to the removal of six homes on South Rock Street and a seventh on North Third Street that were damaged by last year's flood.
City clerk Steve Bartos said it finishes the city's responsibility under the grant program, and the money could be released to the city by the end of the year.
Councilmen William Milbrand and Michael Snyder made and seconded the motion to adopt the resolution, and it passed 4-0. Mayor George Rozinskie was absent from the meeting.
Bartos added that FEMA also wants them to pass an agreement between the county and the city stating that no minerals would be mined once the houses are taken down, and such a resolution is expected to be passed at the next public meeting.
Say no to Binsack
James Moore, of Coal Township, approached the board on behalf of a dozen people in the audience to ask the council not to do any business with Scott Binsack, who distributed copies of a "prospectus" earlier this month to council that includes a bid to raise $13,510,000 for the revitalization of Shamokin and Coal Township.
Times Shamrock writer David Falchek reported last week that Binsack pleaded no contest in July 2010 to seven bad check charges stemming from his work in Lackawanna County as head of Mansions and Estates LLC, and had two stints in jail, several criminal convictions, civil court judgments against his businesses and a bankruptcy.
Experts told Falcheck that Binsack's attempt to raise $13 million from investors may not be legal and the state Securities Commission has begun to review Binsack's attempt to generate money through entities operating as Hometown Revitalization Group LLC and S&S Capital LLC.
Binsack is a consultant hired by Steven Crone, owner of the company S&S Capital LLC who attempting to carry out a revitalization plan for the city and township.
"I wanted to know if council has any plans to prevent Mr. Binsack from doing harm to our community," Moore said Wednesday.
Councilman William Strausser said nothing can be done to stop Binsack if he wasn't doing anything illegal.
Bartos said the council will review Binsack's plan as they would any other business in the city, but no action had been taken for or against it.
Snyder agreed, saying there hadn't been enough time to take action or discuss the proposal.
Moore also informed the council of issues concerning a Facebook page called "Something's Smokin in Shamokin," which was started by Binsack and Crone.
The men claim they are cutting and editing "Americas hottest new reality TV show exposing the true corruption and life in Shamokin and Coal Township."
Meanwhile, people opposing Binsack and Crone created a Facebook page called "The Coal Region Community against Something's Smokin in Shamokin."
Both pages have received nearly 2,000 "likes," or votes of support from individual Facebook subscribers, since Saturday.
Bartos suggested Moore start a petition against Binsack's efforts and present it to council at a future meeting.
In other business
Council authorized the city financial officers to transfer funds from debt service to the Susquehanna Bank to pay off the annual 2012 Tax Anticipation note, not to exceed $125,000.