Dunmore Senior Center relocates during renovations

By Steve Svetovich

Alison Boga, executive director of the Dunmore Senior Center, said the Dunmore Activity Hub will be relocated to the Dunmore Presbyterian Church, 137 Chestnut St., Dunmore, while renovations are completed over the next two months.

The Dunmore Actvity Hub will relocate from its 1414 Monroe Ave., Dunmore location to the Dunmore Presbyterian Church starting Monday, February 6 until churchsome time in March while the renovations are completed.

Seniors can google “Dunmore Activity Hub” and go to the website for the latest information.

Boga said the Dunmore Activity Hub is currently in need of volunteers for clerical, kitchen duty and lunch. If interested, please stop by or call 570-207-2662.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the programming provided,” said Boga. “If there is a particular speaker or activity that anyone would like to see offered at the Center please let us know.”

Gift certificates are available at the Dunmore Activity Hub in denominations of $15 or $30 for Yoga, Tai Chi, Ballroom Dancing, or Oil Painting.

A special upcoming event for the Dunmore Activity Hub will be a visit to the Everhart Museum March 16.

The artists of the Activity Hub will tour the Everhart Museum and in particular will view “Some Enchanted Land: The a Paintings of John Willard Raught.”

Born in Dunmore, Raught was an instrumental figure who put the region’s landscape on canvas in the early 1900s.

The artist hiked the sprawling hills of Northeast Pennsylvania and sketched and drew the landscape. He brought those sketches back to his studio in Moscow to create paintings.

The oil painting and sketching artists will see familiar images such as Lake Carey, Campbell’s Ledge, Moosic Lake and the Susquehanna River.

Another upcoming special event for the Dunmore Activity Hub will be a visit to the Lacawac Santuary April 26. The cost for this visit is only $5.

The Lacawac Sanctuary is 550 acres in on the shore of Lake Wallenpaupack in the Northern Poconos. Lacawac Sanctuary is a mix between an environmental education center, nature center and biological field station.

It provides visitors with an opportunity for outdoor education and exposure to a blend of diverse habitats, including wetlands, open fields, forests and lakes. The group will tour the historic Watres Lodge and participate in a moderate hike through the grounds.

Refreshments will be served. Transportation is not provided, but a carpool can be provided from the Dunmore Activity Hub for the 30-minute drive, said Boga.

An upcoming event this month will be a Healthy Cooking Class run by Harvest Catering, Dunmore. Organic ingredients will be prepared in new and delicious ways, said Boga. The date for this special event is still to be announced at press time.

The Center’s policy for closing is as follows: If the Dunmore School District is closed, the Center will be closed. If the Dunmore School District is delayed, the Center will be open. Those who are unsure, may call the Center after 10 a.m.

If there is no answer, leave a message. If you do not receive a call back by 10:30 a.m. then the Center is closed. The phone number is 570-207-2662.


Greater Scranton YMCA renovation projects




Maintaining a safe, clean and up-to-date facility is a priority at the Greater Scranton YMCA. Over the past several months, the Greater Scranton YMCA has embarked on major facility renovation projects to better serve its members and community.

Due to flooding in the gymnasiums from the storm that hit the Greater Scranton region on July 25, 2016, the Greater Scranton YMCA had to completely replace its gym floors. The Y also replaced the roof above the gymnasiums to ensure for no additional flooding for years to come. In September, 2016, the Y replaced the filtration system in Pool A, one of two pools housed in the facility. Additionally, the Y replaced its power cycling bikes and refurbished its weight room and hammer strength equipment.

“Although we lost our gym floor to flooding in late July, it has given us the opportunity to install a state of the art system,” said Trish Fisher, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Scranton YMCA. “We have also update several areas of the facility, many you cannot see, that will provide us to better service our community. Renovations will continue over the next few years, as the board puts together a master plan for the facility. I would personally like to thank each and every one of our members for their patience and commitment to the Greater Scranton YMCA”.For more information on membership and programs offered at the Greater Scranton YMCA, visit www.greaterscrantonymca.org or call (570) 342-8115.

Upstate Velo recently presented the Greater Scranton YMCA with a $500 donation representing proceeds from the organization’s “Pedal for Paula Memorial Bike Ride” held in memory of Paula Jones. Upstate Velo’s mission is to support cycling for all ages and interests, advocate for the rights of cyclists and promote greater public awareness of the life-long benefits of cycling.

Shown from left: Joseph Sabatini, treasurer, Upstate Velo; Meghan Carnevale, Mission Advancement & Marketing Director, Greater Scranton & Wilkes-Barre Family YMCAs; Trish Fisher, CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA, and Ken Balmer, President, Upstate Velo.

Money Matters: Choosing the Right Project for Your Home Renovation


By Nathaniel Sillin

Before the housing market collapse of 2007, all renovation projects – no matter how expensive – seemed like winners. Today, home renovation is a whole new ballgame and why you should carefully research any potential fix-up project you’re planning for your home.

For the past 14 years, Remodeling magazine’s annual Remodeling 2016 Cost vs. Value Report has tracked cost recoupment on renovation projects nationwide and by region, as local tastes are important. Based on trends from transactions tracked in 2015, several guidelines emerged:

  • Aim to cover your costs. Pre-housing crash, people were investing heavily in their homes and seeing returns greater than 100 percent on their spending. In 2016, the cost and return at resale for the projects listed in the report averaged 64.4 percent for a home sold within a year of the upgrades. Making a profit on a renovation isn’t guaranteed, so aim instead to tackle projects that will allow you to recover your costs at the highest possible level.
  • Smaller projects focusing on essentials can provide better returns. A decade ago, it was an upscale outdoor deck or a gourmet kitchen. These days, new doors, which can cost under $500 to replace and install, are one of the most popular projects. A high quality fiberglass entry door replacement can recoup an average 82.3 percent of costs; a garage door replacement can return over 90 percent.
  • Upgrade rooms and spaces, but keep it modest. A minor kitchen remodel including upgraded cabinet fronts, new hardware and the addition of one or two energy-efficient appliances averaged a return of more than 83 percent of original cost compared to the 65 percent for the gut jobs.

After assessing the national and regional averages, you’ll need to evaluate your personal situation, local home market and the type of homes that are selling in your neighborhood. Let’s start with the questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What kinds of improvements make sense for my neighborhood? Generally, exterior renovations that complement nearby homes have greater value, so consider how your new exterior might fit in with other houses on the street. As far as interior renovations, keep your spending in line with your future sale price. For example, a $100,000 kitchen in a home that might not sell for more than $300,000 would probably be a wasted investment – but a kitchen update worth $10,000 or less might help your house move quicker once it’s listed for sale.
  • How long will I stay post-renovation? Remember, the latest Remodeling magazine numbers cover only one year of cost recovery on projects. People renovate for a variety of needs, either to make the home more livable or to make it more salable. The longer you stay, the more you’ll get out of the investment – but if you have to sell soon, think carefully about what you’ll need to spend to attract a buyer.
  • Will this send my property taxes through the roof? Renovation projects that create larger homes can risk higher property taxes. You should think through potential property tax impact not only for yourself but also for your future buyer. Consider checking with your local residential taxing body to determine “before and after” property tax rates for renovated properties in your vicinity. Sometimes this information might be available on their websites. If you know a real estate broker with significant knowledge of your immediate neighborhood, you might consider speaking with them about this issue.

Consider consulting experts to help you answer the basic questions you’ll have as you make this decision. Start with trusted financial professionals who can offer a second opinion on what you’re planning to do, how much you want to spend, and what particular tax issues may arise when it’s time to sell. If you need to borrow to renovate, that means it’s time to make sure your credit reports are accurate and you are pre-qualified or pre-approved for your loan based on what is required.

In short, do your homework before you renovate your home.

Bottom line: In 2016, home renovation is far from a home run. Know how long you’re planning to stay in the home before you start and make sure the project you choose makes sense for your local marketplace or you won’t get your money back.