Pike will make green effort

By DAVID HULSE

MILFORD, PA — As anticipated, the Pike County Commissioners made it official last week with a formal announcement that they would approve placing a county open space bond on the November ballot.

The amount of the bond and the particulars of what it will fund have yet to be determined.

The commissioners meeting room was filled with environmental advocates on June 1, as Keep Pike Green spokesman Peter Pinchot recognized the fruits of two years of grassroots efforts. He said the bond would represent a small tax increase for conservation and planning that cannot wait. Only 15 percent of the county is developed today, but “it will be nothing like that in 25 years…. We must do it now … while we have the opportunity to preserve the wildlife and water quality,” he said of the planning effort.

He said the bond money will make all the difference. “In ’92, we had a good [comprehensive] plan but no money to implement it.”

Commissioner Richard Caridi said the county decision was based on three criteria, a Keep Pike Green survey, survey work done for the county’s comprehensive plan and the recent county vote supporting the state’s Growing Greener bond issue, all of which showed strong public support for additional environmental planning.

Caridi said the approval should “in no way be perceived as anti-growth or anti-development. The money won’t buy land; it will buy professional expertise. The municipalities are suffering an inundation of growth. They’re part-time people and don’t have the resources. We’re trying to coordinate for 13 municipalities.”

County Planning Commission Chair Cindy Wildermuth said growth is driving all the county’s issues today and called the decision “a bold step forward.”

Bob Kiesendahl, representing the Woodloch properties said green space is one of Woodloch’s vital assets. “We’re fully supportive as developers,” he said.

TRR photo by David Hulse
Peter Pinchot (Click for larger version)