2013-07-18 / Front Page

Possible Update For Pike2Bike Master Plan

Commissioners approve county seal design
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Fulton County’s seal design recreated by artist Chris Hill. Fulton County’s seal design recreated by artist Chris Hill. Fulton County commissioners Rodney McCray, Craig Cutchall and Irvin Dasher learned this week about the need to update the existing master plan outlining proposed changes to the abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike spanning Fulton and neighboring Bedford County.

Created in 2006, the document requires a second look at issues involving the Rays Hill and Sideling Hill tunnels as well as the expenses surrounding labor and materials, stated county planning and mapping director Mary K. Seville in sitting down with the commissioners Tuesday morning.

According to Seville, the master plan could be worked on in conjunction with the an economic impact analysis. A request for proposals has already been issued for the creation of an economic study and all RFPs are to be submitted by the conclusion of the work week and opened the following Monday.

Seville went on to say additional Marcellus shale money could be used to help fund the master plan update that could cost between $50,000 and $60,000. Funding could also be sought through mini-grants offered by the Southern Alleghenies. The mini-grants up to $25,000, Seville noted, require a 50/50 match from the applicants and can be awarded to counties and municipalities in the Southern Alleghenies six-county region.

The planning and mapping director also reminded the commissioners that a joint authority could be formed to make future decisions regarding the abandoned turnpike, now known as the Pike2Bike. Officials have estimated in the past that a modernized trail for bicyclists, hikers and even horseback riders could attract around 250,000 visitors annually.

Early last month, public meetings were held in Breezewood and McConnellsburg to share information on the proposed Pike2Bike project as well as to receive public comment. Around 75 people were on hand for the Bedford County meeting, while approximately two dozen came to the meeting in Mc- Connellsburg to hear about the recreational trail currently owned by the Southern Alleghenies Conservancy.

Residents who were unable to attend the meetings are urged to send their written comments to Fulton County Planning Commission, 219 North Second Street, Suite 103, McConnellsburg, PA 17233 by mid-August. Electronic copies of the current Pike2Bike Master Plan can be obtained by contacting the Bedford County Planning Commission at dschwartz@bedfordcountypa.org.

In other matters addressed by the commissioners on July 16, a unanimous nod of approval was given to a county seal design. Commissioner Dasher stated he began researching the matter by looking at the seals of other counties. Dasher sketched the original design, which was then finalized with fine details and fonts by local artist Chris Hill. The design includes a 12-tooth spoke to portray industry within the county along with a copper milk can for agriculture, the rolling mountains and a tomahawk and muskets for our colonial heritage.

Purchase of service agreements were penned with Pinnacle Health Children’s Resource Center and The Children’s Aid Society for services to be provided to Services for Children and the Juvenile Probation Office.

A notice of intent to award was signed by the commissioners with R.L. Abatement of Hopewell that is contracted to perform asbestos abatement in Annex 1.

The commissioners spoke with PennDOT District 9 Executive Tom Prestash via conference call pertaining to the blinking lights on Lincoln Highway that are maintained by the county. The discussion, it was noted, was a follow-up to a letter sent to PennDOT in May asking the organization to take over maintenance due to the lights being on a state roadway. Prestash reported as a result of state law, PennDOT cannot take over maintenance as suggested. He agreed to investigate whether both lights are needed near the intersection of Lincoln Highway and Route 915.

Paula Steele of the Center of Community Action (CCA)presented the county with an invoice related to the local administration of the Emergency Solutions Grant by CCA. This is the first invoice turned into the county to date for the program, which helps residents with rent, utilities and homelessness. So far, Steele reported five families have received rent assistance, four families have been given help with security deposits and an additional two families received help with utilities.

Technology director Eldon Martin informed the commissioners of networking problems that have been ongoing due to aging network switches. Martin also presented a proposal to purchase three new switches.

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