FORTY FORT – Angry residents packed Monday’s council meeting to voice a number of complaints, but most centered on traffic issues regarding Dunkin’ Donuts on Wyoming Avenue.
Most of the residents who complained about the business live on Yates Street. Dunkin’ Donuts is located on the corner of the avenue and Yates Street.
The residents demanded action from council and the police department to control motorists who are speeding and running stop signs in an alley behind the business.
Making that section of the alley, which runs between Wesley and Shoemaker streets, a one way, would help, they said.
Yates Street resident Carol McLaughlin said the gridlock in the parking lot of the business backs up traffic onto Yates and Wesley streets.
“They are coming from all directions,” she said.
Borough Engineer Dave Yefko recently conducted a traffic study of the area on a weekday between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. He said he witnessed motorists speeding and running stop signs.
“I tend to think making the alley a one-way is probably a good start,” he said.
Council said it would do further research into the matter.
Some residents asked council President Joe Chacke why Eric May was granted approval to build the Dunkin’ Donuts before an investigation was conducted into how the would impact the neighborhood.
Chacke said the planning commission and zoning hearing board granted approval, not council.
“Council had nothing to do with Dunkin’ Donuts,” he said.
Dottie Craig, former chairman of the Zoning Hearing Board, defended the board’s decision to approve the project.
She said the board was misinformed, because the application for the zoning permit listed the business as a “doughnut and ice cream shop,” not a bakery.
“Had the Forty Fort Zoning Board known Eric May’s intention to manufacture doughnuts and to distribute them to other shops, it would never have been approved,” Craig said.
In another matter, Carol McLaughlin’s husband, Jeff McLaughlin, asked Chacke if Patrick Judge, the borough’s representative for the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority, provided proof of residence.
“He hasn’t resided in the borough since 2002, when he moved to Lackawanna County,” he said.
Chacke said he wasn’t part of the process in appointing Judge, but that he would look into the matter.
Chacke added that Judge told council two to three years ago that the borough had $25,000 “just sitting there,” totaling $75,000 for a three-year period.
“The borough of Forty Fort has received excellent representation from him.”
Council also welcomed Ted Ritsick as the borough’s new junior councilperson.
Ritsick is a junior at Holy Redeemer High School and will serve on council for the entire school year.