Bond issue will have long reach

By TOM KANE

MILFORD, PA — If Pike County voters approve the $10 million bond issue that will appear on the November 8 ballot, they will be funding a lot more than open space preservation.

The bond, called the Scenic Rural Character Preservation Bond, will also fund a number of environmental-related projects. Money from the bond will finance protection of drinking water; protection of wild life habitats; preservation of scenic ridges and critical open spaces; protection of water quality of rivers, streams and lakes; the improvement of parks and recreation areas and the improvement of county planning.

The Pike County Commissioners approved the motion to put the bond issue on the ballot at their meeting on September 7. In considering the question, the commissioners had formed a special ad-hoc committee of private citizens to assist them as to the best way to construct a plan to spend the bond money.

“The ad-hoc committee will decide how much money should be assigned to each of the items listed on the ballot,” said Harry Forbes, commissioners chair. “This group has been meeting over several months to discuss these issues. We will take their suggestions very seriously.”

“We will be making recommendations to the commissioners on how much money will be set aside for acquisitions and easements of open space and how much for planning, both for the county’s planning department and the planning efforts by townships,” said Tom Peifer, vice chairman of the ad-hoc committee. “Planning will include implementation of the county’s comprehensive plan, improvement of mapping, the holding of educational programs for municipal officials and assistance to the township grant-writing efforts.”

“The bond issue’s aim to purchase open space would be welcome so we can cut down on development or slow down the pace of change,” said Lackawaxen supervisor Rich Krochta. “I’m a rural person and like to preserve what we have as much as we can. I also like the fact that the bond issue money could help us control storm water run-off, which is becoming a major problem along the Lackawaxen River.”

The committee will make its recommendations to the commissioners at their meeting on Wednesday, September 21 at 9:00 a.m. at the county government building in Milford.

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