Leatherstocking promises restoration work


Representatives from Leatherstocking assured Montrose residents that the company is not done with yard restoration work in the borough.

At the Montrose Borough Council meeting held Monday, June 15, borough residents brought forth their complaints and concerns with Leatherstocking.

Audrey Updyke told council and the gas company damaged a tree on her Cedar Street property.

“The branches lost the green to them,” she said, noting concerns about the potential for injury and liability.

She also noted damages to a sidewalk, with stones taken out and never replaced.

Don Hibbard also spoke about a tree issue. He said the roots were cut during the line installation and the tree is “dying” and leaning toward the street.

“All I ask is that you drop the tree in my yard, I’ll take care of the mess,” Hibbard said.

Leatherstocking rep Mario Martello took the information and said he you get back to the homeowner, as well as the others who spoke about issues.

Martello assured council, as well as the borough property owners, that the company would address the complaints.

“We’ll take care of it. I guarantee it,” Marcello told Carl Rinyu who said a stone had been left on his sidewalk, as well as a pile of stone in his yard.

Cherry Street resident and property owner George Bledsoe expressed his appreciation to Leatherstocking for taking care of borough resident complaints, but suggested some items should be taken care of when they are seen, not necessarily when the company receives a complaint.

On one of the properties Bledsoe owns on the street, he told Martello that the contractor refused to put the stone back that had been removed from a drive when the line was installed.

After work was done at another property, the yard had still not been seeded.

Martello said that the contractor they had been using for some of the restoration work is no longer being utilized by the company. “We threw him off,” Martello said, noting the complaints.

Councilman Todd Chamberlain spoke about mesh fivers in the straw mats placed on lawns after work was done; he also said his neighbor had not yet had topsoil or any reseeding at his residence.

Debbie Reimel said some of the contractors had been inconsiderate; parking trucks in driveways and blocking access to homes during the work.

Martello said, “All the concerns will be taken back to the contractor. If it continues, we want to hear from you. We want to do right by you. We attempt to take care of every complaint. We don’t turn our backs. Your complaints are very valid.”

But with 280 natural gas services installed in Montrose in the past year, the company has received only 10 to 20 complaints.

Jeff Norris presented Leatherstocking with a letter noting his grass and lawn restoration work that needs to be completed adding, “I appreciate you showing up here tonight.”

Judy Kelly said that on her Church Street property she had PennDOT working in the front and Leatherstocking working in the back. She told the company that she was happy they had a presence of a staffed office in the community.

She also said the contractor had been supposed to return to her property to re-seed the lawn.

Martello said a payment to the former contractor had been withheld until the restoration work was completed.

Kelly said she had re-seeded the lawn herself, saying many residence were “out of patience” mostly with the PennDOT Route 706 project, and not just Leatherstocking.

Lauren Senick asked that the company communicate better with residents so that homeowners know when work is scheduled to be done on their homes. “We should know when it’s being done.”

She also asked for increase training for crews and contractors so they would be more “customer friendly.”

“We were wrong,” Martello told Senick regarding an incident at her residence. “You can take an apology from me.”

Councilman Randy Schuster said, “It shouldn’t have come to this.” He said it took 2-1/2 months to have a concrete sidewalk replaced at his home, and also had trucks and equipment parked in his driveway during installation in the area.

“Going forward, I hope people don’t have to wait that long,” he said.

Leatherstocking CEO Michael German said he believed one of the main problems had been communication. He said that with a permanent person in the office the borough should see a substantial improvement in service.

Stock holder Bill Mirabito said he took the borough residents’ concerns “very seriously” and the company would “hold the contractors’ feet to the fire.”

Martello said of the five complaints recording in a notebook passed during the meeting, “Five here – that’s five too many.”

Leatherstocking Gas Company can be reached at their Montrose office, located at Tannery Place, 498 South Main St., Suite C, Montrose; or call 570-278-5863 or 570-278-1304 and ask for Vickie Calby, operations clerk.

Be the first to comment on "Leatherstocking promises restoration work"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.