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August 29, 2014
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Shohola explores new directions toward business


SHOHOLA, PA — Much of the Shohola supervisors meeting of March 13 was devoted to topics related to potential growth in the Shohola business districts. Of particular interest is the portion of Route 6 that runs through Shohola Township and is designated as commercial. This is, in fact, one of the very few areas of Shohola that does permit commercial businesses, since such a large area of the township is devoted to state game lands. The supervisors are working towards bringing businesses and jobs to this area in a variety of ways.

One of the leaders of this agenda is Michael Sullivan, who represents the Pike County Economic Development Authority (EDA). He is working with the Pike County Commissioners to bring new businesses to the area and encouraging existing ones to relocate through the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act (LERTA). This ordinance is a method of bringing businesses to the area through significant tax abatements for a period of five years. This applies to both new businesses and existing ones hoping to expand or improve. He is particularly interested in new businesses that will not rely excessively on utilization of water and sewer services. Sullivan is currently in talks with a business that shows interest in relocating to a plot of land on Route 6 that is approximately equidistant from both the Milford I-84 exchange and the next exchange off Rt. 739. These talks are in preliminary stages, but Sullivan is very optimistic about the prospects of businesses and jobs moving to this area and is moving energetically toward this goal. He can be reached at mike@edapike.pa.org for further information.

A different but related topic came up shortly thereafter, when Supervisors Chair George Fluhr noted that the area of Route 6 that runs through the township has been invited to become an official state scenic highway. However, the supervisors have serious concerns regarding the restrictions that fall under this designation. Of primary concern is that the township would essentially be handing over the zoning of this portion of Route 6 to the state, allowing them to restrict commercial growth of this area should they deem this appropriate. Since this could create obstacles to establishing businesses along the route and expanding commercial growth, the board declined the invitation. Several other townships along Route 6 have made the same decision based on similar criteria.

This past winter brought many complaints regarding the condition of the local roads during the heavy snowfalls. The township has noted to residents that some of the most frequently cited roads, such as Twin Lakes and Route 434, are state roads and not under township jurisdiction. Complaints regarding the state of these roads should be addressed directly to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, as they are the responsible party. The road department did recently compose and send a strongly worded letter regarding the unfair limited allocation of resources to clear the rural state roads while spending inordinate amounts on I-84.