Numerous cancelled meetings and changes due to the pandemic have not stopped the Dupont Lions from helping the community. Lions continued their yearly project of cleaning rubbish on state Route 315/Chestnut Street. The club filled more than 40 bags with debris. The Lions also hold a food drive each month, providing necessary staples to more than 150 families. The club also regularly provides financial support to the Dupont Fire Company and the Dupont Police Department. Dupont Lions recently collected books for children and teenagers who are patients at the Penn State Children’s Hospital in Hershey. The club collected more than 50 books in memory of Sam Grimm.

The Dupont Lions Club will hold its first meeting of the new year at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11, at the Dupont Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The monthly food distribution sponsored by the Dupont Lions will be held at noon Thursday, Jan. 28, at Sacred Heart of Jesus parish hall.

New senior housing

Luzerne County Housing Authority has broken ground for a new low income senior housing structure at the former site of the vacant Ben Franklin School. Demolition has begun on the old school with construction of the new complex estimated to be completed by December 2021. The new $10.79 million building is planned to provide 36 housing units for low-income residents whose income is at or below 60% of the area’s median income. Building design consists of 36 one-bedroom units. Four of the apartments will be designed to be fully accessible handicapped units and one apartment will be designed for hearing/sight impaired. All apartments are designed to meet PHFA’s visitability requirements, providing access to all units for the purpose of allowing persons with disabilities the ability to visit friends and neighbors. The common amenities, which are located on the first floor, include a community area, a kitchen, an elevator accessing all floors, on-site management and supportive services office, and community facilities for personal laundry.

Luzerne County Housing Authority will provide management and maintenance staff with technical support from JLD Compliance Advisory, LLC of Hummelstown. Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton will provide supportive services to assist residents in meeting their everyday needs to remain independent.

Dupont Borough Council and Council President Stanley Knick were actively involved in the plan to develop affordable housing for the elderly when the borough acquired the school back in 2015.

Prospective residents 62 or older can apply online beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 1, at www.luzctyha.org. Please call or email Patrick Stoodley at 570-287-9661, ext. 2240 or patricks@luzctyha.org with any questions.

Additionally, since the application is available online only, if anyone needs help submitting an application, borough employees will enter the application for residents who do not have access to a computer. Stop by or call the borough building during normal business hours for assistance.

Refuse bags

Dupont 2021 refuse bags are now available for purchase. Bills have been mailed and residents can pick up their bags, window sticker and calendar at the municipal office during regular business hours.

The 2021 fees are $140 for residential family, $110 for seniors and $175 for commercial properties. Payments are due by Sunday, Jan. 31.

With the continued COVID-19 concerns, senior citizens can mail payment with a note requesting delivery. Please include a phone number so the borough can call to advise you of the porch delivery. For those wishing to have the bill mailed, please call Patty McDonald, borough secretary, at 570-655-6216. There will be Saturday and Sunday business hours in January from 9 a.m. to noon.

Tree collection

The Dupont Public Works Department will collect Christmas trees on Tuesdays throughout January.

Snow reminders

Residents are reminded the borough’s snow ordinance requires that sidewalks must be cleared of snow. Do not put snow onto roadways. Respect plow drivers and be safe when removing snow.

During a snow fall, road maintenance takes priority over trash and recycling collection and there is a chance both trash and recycling will move to another day for pickup. Please be patient.

Construction projects

Two projects were recently bid and pending award to the borough. One is the manhole replacement project along Main Street and other areas in town. The second is the Walnut Street culvert replacement project near the park and school. Residents will be notified of any road closures. Leeward Construction has begun gas line installation on Holden and Everhart streets. Also, work will start around Jan. 11 to replace the Walnut Street culvert near the park. Completion date is expected by May 11. Walnut Street between Elm and Walnut streets will see closures during the project. Please visit the borough website for updated details on closures and detours.

Elm Street Sportsmen’s Club cancellationDue to COVID concerns, Elm Street Sportsmen’s Club has cancelled its meeting scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 10.

Celebrations

December was full of celebrations for the Babonis family. Eleanor and Bernie Babonis not only celebrated Christmas, but both have birthdays and their anniversary to revel in the last month of the year.

The merriment began with Eleanor’s birthday on Dec. 2, followed by Bernie’s birthday the day after Christmas. They ended the month with their 64th wedding anniversary.

Congratulations Eleanor and Bernie.

They are the proud parents of two children, Mary Theresa Babonis, a teacher, and Brian Gerard Babonis, a physician assistant at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Condolences

Dupont lost another community minded gentleman, when Fredrick Christopher Lokuta lost his yearlong battle with cancer the day after Christmas. One can best describe his life as always helping others. Before his retirement he had spent 30 years caring for people with intellectual frailties at the White Haven Center, and finishing his career as Deputy Secretary of the State Department of Public Welfare Office of Developmental Programs. He continued serving the community as a member of the Dupont Lions. Thank you Freddie. You will be missed.

Annmarie Paddock writes about Dupont every week. To list an item, email dupont.news@comcast.net or call 570-407-0231 by Monday.

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