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W-B Council backs outside seating at eatery

WILKES-BARRE – City council agreed Thursday night to recommend to the state Liquor Control Board that outside seating be permitted at Cork Bar & Restaurant.

In a letter to council, Butch Frati, city director of operations, said he agreed with all of the owner’s requests and that all seating will be situated on the restaurant property on Madison Street. No right-of-way requests are needed, he said.

In other business, Councilwoman Kathy Kane issued proclamations to junior council members and high school seniors Ron Woznock, Erica Weihbrecht, Kayci Konopki and Nicole Povilitus, for their service this school year.

“They are still getting thank-yous for all the work they did with their paper drive,” Kane said. “It was a wonderful project that delivered paper products to 30 different places. I’m going to miss them.”

Jim Maloney of Wilkes-Barre, a member of the Scranton Diocese Association of Catholic Teachers, thanked council and the mayor for allowing the organization to hold a June 14 rally on Public Square in support of the group’s rights as teachers in a union.

“We expect a big crowd, and other teachers from associations in Philly and Allentown,” Maloney said. “We’re trying to get even more support so the bishop (Joseph Martino) takes another look at it.”

Maloney said a press conference will be held at 3 p.m. today at Holy Redeemer High School in another effort of support.

Resident Dave Saxton made another plea for council to consider the formation of a peak oil task force, which is in effect in cities such as Bellingham, Wash. Such groups involve policymakers, experts, stakeholders and citizens who gather information and prepare recommendations that would suggest ways the city can curb the use of oil and natural gas.

“This community needs a task force on energy,” Saxton said. “Things are going to get hard. Energy prices are an issue of great concern.”

Kane said council agrees and will look into the matter.

Mayor Tom Leighton told council the city is in the process of hiring college and high school students for summer work, which includes cutting grass.

Also, the city entered into a $34,611.94 contract with Borton Lawson Engineering for the Barney and Regent streets bridge projects. The Regent Street bridge will be funded 80 percent with federal money, 15 percent with state and 5 percent with local monies, while the Barney Street bridge will be funded 80 percent by federal and 20 percent by local monies.

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