Poll says 84 percent support Pike bond issue

By TOM KANE

MILFORD, PA —“We were astonished when we saw the results of a poll of about 400 frequent voters in the county that stated that 84 percent of those polled approved of the bond issue,” said Peter Pinchot.

An earlier poll found that 52 percent approved.

Pinchot, a resident of Milford and an environmental activist, presented an update to the Pike County Planning Commission on July 25 about efforts to prepare for the open-space bond issue that will be presented to voters on election day on November 8.

Pinchot and a group called the Alliance to Keep Pike Green worked with the county commissioners last spring to provide information before they made the decision to place the bond issue on the ballot. In May, the commissioners agreed to have the bond issue—called the Scenic Rural Character Preservation Bond—appear on the ballot.

The alliance is now attempting to educate residents on the implications of a bond issue and how it will help the county and the municipalities in planning for the coming growth, he said.

Pinchot described to commission members—a group of county residents who meet monthly to guide the activities of the planning department—how the plan for the bond issue and subsequent activities of the county planning could parallel what was done in Monroe County to the south.

“Monroe acted only after one-third of its space was already in development,” Pinchot said. Monroe conducted an inventory of its open spaces and clustered the spaces together where possible in a kind of regional plan. The Monroe bond issue paid to purchase open space and to obtain additional planning staff.

“We in Pike County are in a better position at this juncture than they were. We still have time to prepare well for the growth that we see coming,” Pinchot said.

Pike County is ahead of the curve only because the commissioners have been aware and have taken action, he said.

“We need to act now to preserve our farms, our camps, our hunting clubs and other open spaces,” he said. “Pike County is the new frontier for those coming from New York City and northern New Jersey.

“Our comprehensive plan has been completed and some new features have been added such as the designation of growth areas where growth can be encouraged,” Pinchot said.

Eight-five percent of Pike County is undeveloped and vulnerable to over development, he said.

“We are meeting with as many groups as we can to explain the bond, the issues that it will address and the need for people to get out and vote,” Pinchot said.

The commissioners formed an ad-hoc committee to guide how the money from the bond would be spent is approved by voters in November.

TRR photo by Tom Kane
Pike County Commissioner RIchard Caridi meets with members of the Pike Planning Commission to discuss the Scenic Rural Character Preservation Bond on July 25. (Click for larger version)