Meeting in Plains to discuss pull-out from W-B Area

June 9th, 2015 4:46 pm

First Posted: 6/12/2014

PLAINS TWP. — Thursday night’s regular monthly Board of Commissioners meeting featured a preview of discussions to be held at a public meeting later his summer regarding the possibility of Plains’ secession from the Wilkes-Barre Area School District.

Township resident James O’Meara had become aware of the matter after seeing posts on Plains’ Facebook page.

Township officials were quick to point out that this is not necessarily being pursued but rather discussed in response to what are, in some cases, long-held misgivings by township residents about the township’s involvement with the district.

Commissioner Brigid O’Connor, a retired educator, characterized the very discussion as being “extremely preliminary.”

Although the exact date has not yet been established, the board will host a public discussion on the matter towards the end of July.

In response to O’Meara’s request that approximate financial figures be made available prior to the meeting, O’Connor pointed out the township would likely have to consult state education officials regarding the legal possibility of such a move.

The Wilkes-Barre Area School District’s newest and largest facility is the Plains Solomon Elementary School and Junior High School on Abbott Street in Plains. Each of the locations identified as possible locations of new schools to potentially replace the deteriorating Coughlin or Meyers high schools are also all located in Plains.

Commissioner Rob Sax added school board officials will all be welcome at the meeting once it is scheduled.

In other matters, township officials plan to meet with representatives from the Pennsylvania American Water Co. to discuss ownership of a wooded area of land surrounding a stream and a dam in the area of Jumper and Westminster roads.

The area has long been a popular party spot, often for underage drinkers, but residents have noticed that crime has increased in recent years. Several in attendance at Thursday’s meeting have reported increased amounts of beer bottles, soiled diapers and even hypodermic needles.

The township plans to increase police patrols and verify ownership to effect some lasting solution to the issue.

The next regular council meeting will be on July 10 at 7:30 p.m.