WILLIAMSPORT, PA — About 2,400 pheasants placed under quarantine following detection of avian cholera at a Pennsylvania game farm will not be released for late-season hunting. According to a press release from the Pennsylvania Fish and Game Commission (PFGC), “arrangements are being made to humanely depopulate and dispose of the affected flock at the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Loyalsock Game Farm.” Read more
HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted this week in favor of two measures that would reduce the numbers of elected state officials. One bill would reduce the number of representatives from 203 to 153. The other bill would reduce the number of senators from 50 to 38.
The senate, however, has not acted on the legislation, and in order for such a size reduction to take hold, it must be passed by both houses and signed by the governor in two consecutive legislatures, and then voted on by residents. Read more
UPPER DELAWARE VALLEY — The economic impact of recreational fishing in the cold waters of the Upper Delaware River and its tributaries is estimated to be at least $199.9 million. Believing there is potential to increase this economic contribution by as much as $66.6 million, two partners, the Delaware County Economic Development (DCED) agency and the non-profit organization Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR), are conducting a survey of businesses, ranging from fishing guide services and tackle shops to food markets and convenience stores and other local businesses. Read more
Monticello Mayor Gordon Jenkins expressed disappointment that the Democratic Committee in the Town of Thompson crossed party lines to endorse Republican Jill Weyer without interviewing three candidates who are Democrats and who wished to run on the party’s ticket. They are Rochelle Massey, who is Jenkins girlfriend and who was appointed to a trustee seat last summer; Aubrey Gittleman; and Buddy Alan. Read more
Saying the parties were responding to an “outcry” from the public, Bill James, chairman of the Town of Thompson Democratic Committee, announced that his party and three others registered in the town—Republican, Independence and Conservative—were, for the first time ever, all backing the same candidates running for office in the Village of Monticello. Read more
DAMASCUS TOWNSHIP, PA — The Damascus Township supervisors approved a 2014 budget with no tax increase and also decided not to adopt a special tax for road and bridge improvements.
The balanced budget of $1,130,063 was approved unanimously December 23 with the millage rate set at 2.15, the same as 2013’s budget. A mill is a $1 tax for every $1,000 in assessed property value. Read more
The Green Tourism Conference at Villa Roma in April will be a first-of-its-kind opportunity to unite food service and lodging facilities, tourism agencies, “eco” product suppliers and recreational activity businesses from the Catskills to the Poconos around the common cause of promoting eco-tourism. Read more
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Photographers are encouraged to submit up to four color images for the Jeff Bank 2015 Calendar Photo Contest. Submissions will be accepted February 21 to April 18, 2014. Organized by the Catskill Art Society (CAS), the contest has the theme, “ Four Seasons of Nature and Landscapes in Sullivan County.”
Interested artists may submit up to four color photographs, preferably depicting each of the four seasons. Recognizable locations are preferred, but not mandatory. Read more
At its December meeting, the Tusten Town Board passed a resolution to ban the use of fracking brine on any town roads. The text of the resolution appears in the sidebar. All members of the board voted in favor of the resolution. Councilman Ned Lang was not in attendance.
The use of fracking brine on roads has been banned on county roads in Sullivan, and so far the Town of Tusten is the only town in the county to pass a ban. On June 21, 2012 the Sullivan County Legislature adopted Resolution 248-12, which is similar to Tusten’s resolution. Read more
Regional resort development is expected to provide jobs and additional visitors in the coming year, but increased promotion and activity in neighboring states will challenge the region, according to Carl Wilgus.
Wilgus, the executive director of the Pocono Mountain Vacation Bureau (PMVB) and Lake Wallenpaupack Visitor Center manager Keith Williams reported to the Wayne County Commissioners on December 19.
Overall, Wilgus described July 2012 through June of this year as a “record year” for the four-county region including Wayne, Pike, Carbon and Monroe counties. Read more
The Damascus supervisors voted unanimously on December 16 to approve conditional-use applications for a corporation looking to construct two broadband cellular towers in the township.
The next step for Cellco Partnership, doing business as Verizon Wireless, is to file land-use development applications with Damascus. If those are approved, building permits would be sought by the company. Read more
PITTSBURGH, PA — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has stuck down section of Act 13, the legislation that said in part that municipalities must allow gas drilling in all districts within their borders. The court determined that the legislation violates the Environmental Rights Amendment to the state constitution. Read more
At the Town of Delaware meeting on December 11, Tom Kappner, who’s worked on United Nations Development Program and is a town resident, presented his update on the Sullivan County Economic Plan. He was invited to be a member of the Economic Development Steering Committee by the county legislature, and is working with one of its groups, the Agricultural Development Group. Read more
When the Sullivan West School District stopped heating the Narrowsburg school in 2011, it brought an end to EagleFest, which had been bringing hundreds and then thousands of visitors and their dollars into Narrowsburg in the middle of the winter since 2002. Without the school as a focal point of activity, the festival disappeared. Read more