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WHITE TOWNSHIP: Group advocates trail near East Pike

by HEATHER ROTH hroth@indianagazette.net on May 09, 2013 11:00 AM

An informal advocacy group dedicated to encouraging alternate forms of transportation around the area is looking into a bicycle/pedestrian connector trail from East Pike Elementary School along Route 286 to the East Pike/Philadelphia Street intersection, and the White Township supervisors agreed Wednesday that the idea is a good one.

Township Manager Milt Lady explained that the group hopes to run a path from the elementary school to the path at the back of the White Township Recreation Complex, then out the back corner of the complex along Route 286 to the intersection at East Pike.

That would require a highway occupancy permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and since the township would presumably be required to hold the permit and maintain the trail, the group approached the township to gauge interest before proceeding, he said.

The supervisors agreed that they were interested, though they were hesitant to make any promises without an actual plan in place.

“It’s a very nice idea, it would be nice if they could pull it off,” Gail McCauley said. But she stressed that the paths would need to be built to township standards before the township would take them over for maintenance.

George Lenz said he thought it was something the township has “a responsibility to do,” and Lady said a walking or biking trail could increase traffic to the recreation complex.

“There’s a lot of unanswered questions,” he acknowledged, stressing that the group was simply looking for an informal opinion on the general idea.

McCauley, Lenz and Eugene Gemmell all agreed that they supported the general idea; Jerry Boucher was more ambivalent but said he guessed he also supported the idea.

In other business, the supervisors:

• Accepted the low bid of $39,610.07 from Russell Standard Corp., of Mars, for seal coating, and the low bid of $259,319.90 from Grannas Brothers, of Hollidaysburg, for paving.

• Heard from Lady that Indiana Borough is not interested in participating in an effort to use county and state jail inmates to dredge area streams, but that the township is continuing to pursue that effort with state Sen. Don White’s office. Lady said he was told borough officials do not think their streams need dredging. McCauley said that in July, when summer storms cause flooding, she wants to run up a flag that says “it’s not our fault” in response to the borough’s decision.

Lady also said that two filming crews are coming to the township this summer, and that they will provide certificates of insurance to the township. He said they are crews for Oprah Winfrey Productions’ series “Believe,” and the Bio Channel’s “Ghost Inside My Child.” Lady did not know where the filming would take place, other than that it will be at two different residences in the township.

• Heard from Chris Anderson that the Department of Environmental Protection is looking into concerns raised by Kevin and Laura Kubica and Tom Ott, of Westwood Court in Heritage Oaks, about the burning practices of neighboring Renosky Lures, on Christy Park Drive.

“I feel it’s being addressed at this point,” Anderson said.

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