Last updated: April 02. 2013 3:55PM - 622 Views

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CLARKS SUMMIT- Clarks Summit borough council voted to appoint an interim emergency management director to replace Council member Herman Johnson, who retired April 1.

George Yarns, deputy EMA director, has assumed the director role as of April 1 until a new EMA director is appointed. Council voted to appoint Yarns to the position at its March 25 work session. The vote was unanimous with Johnson abstaining.

Yarns probably would not be able to serve as a permanent director, however, because he works for the county.

“He is already involved with Lackawanna County as a Deputy EMA Coordinator, Council member David Jenkins said of Yarns. “If something should arise, he is obligated to go with the county.”

The council will initiate a search for candidates to fill the job, which requires a great deal of training, according to Johnson.

“If we were to have a storm tomorrow, and the mayor declared an emergency, and you had to get the EMA and the borough manager to put together paperwork to receive monies from the federal government, that individual has to know what he is doing,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he didn’t have any suggestions for his successor, but approved of elevating Yarns for the interim role.

In other business, the members of the borough’s Shade Tree Commission updated council on the status of their project to plant trees across the borough, including in front of many businesses and the upcoming CVS project on the corners of State Street and Winola Road. The commission also hopes to persuade the Abington Heights School District to plant more trees on its property.

“We want to forest some of it (Abington Heights) so that they don’t have to cut the grass,” said Donna Zagrapan, president of the commission.

Zagrapan touted the benefits of planting trees, including a reduction in soil erosion, less grass to cut, shade, aesthetics and others.

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