Wayne County closes out year

By OWEN WALSH
Posted 1/6/21

HONESDALE, PA — It’s customary in Wayne County for the commissioners to make their last meeting of the year something of a celebration with their fellow county employees and elected …

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Wayne County closes out year

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HONESDALE, PA — It’s customary in Wayne County for the commissioners to make their last meeting of the year something of a celebration with their fellow county employees and elected officials. While everyone was likely happier than usual to see this year come to a close, the usually tight-knit bonhomie was traded for a sparse, socially distanced courtroom—the celebratory pouring of drinks traded for slightly face-mask-muffled words of gratitude and promises of better days to come.

Trails and waterways fundraising

Last week, River Reporter heralded Molly Rodgers from the Wayne Pike Trails & Waterways Alliance as a new “fixture” at Honesdale Borough Council meetings (see last week’s “Borough pledges $10K to river access”). The same day that edition’s paper came out, Rodgers’ fundraising tour of local government public meetings brought her to the Wayne County Courthouse before its commissioners.

Rodgers, along with Grant Genzlinger and other members of the alliance, is frequently popping up on agendas lately in pursuit of completing a trail along the Lackawaxen River connecting Honesdale and Hawley boroughs. The alliance is currently looking to get a hold of funds through the PA Fish and Boat Commission.

At the commissioner’s meeting on December 31, Rodgers asked them to accept two motions, one to request a $387,364 grant through Fish & Boat for phase one of a project at Industrial Point in Honesdale and another to request $235,580 for a boat launch in Palmyra Township.

Rodgers noted that the alliance is taking an “aggressive” approach with these substantial grant requests. Commissioner Joe Adams agreed with the approach, saying “You need to ask big to get big.”

Commissioners Joe Adams and Jocelyn Cramer said that they were excited to see the alliance’s effort finally come to fruition. “We’re getting so close I can envision it now,” Cramer said.

Salaries and thanks

Later, the commissioners took care of some end-of-the-year housekeeping, with the help of chief financial officer Vicky Botjer. Some department heads present to cast votes with the commissioners, the board went through and approved the salaries for all non-human services departments.

“We usually have a tradition of toasting to a new year and inviting everybody to join us to do so,” Adams said at the end of the meeting. “It’s 2020, unfortunately, and we’re all very happy to see it go by. We’re very much looking forward to a better 2021 for everybody’s health; for all the businesses; the health care people; and all our employees; and everybody who lives, works and vacations in Wayne County.”

Adams said in lieu of a New Year’s celebration, he’s hopeful they’ll be holding a Christmas in July party later in 2021.

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