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Issue 28 — Thursday, February 11, 2016
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Hemlock, Township Discuss Forming Municipal Authority

BLOOMING GROVE — Hemlock Farm residents and Blooming Grove Township residents packed a regular township meeting last week to express concerns about whether supervisors would authorize creating a municipal authority that might regulate such infrastructure as water, sewer, dam, and runoff in Hemlock Farms, according to Township Supervisor Nick Mazza.

Mazza said that representatives from the Hemlock Farms property owner’s association board, and their ad hoc committee that is studying the feasibility of forming an authority, concerned Hemlock residents, and concerned residents outside Hemlock attended a recent Blooming Grove Supervisors’ Workshop meeting about the authority issue.

Mazza said that the Hemlock representatives informed supervisors that Hemlock faces a need to replace a dam, a project that might cost up to $40 million. Besides the dam, Hemlock has severe stormwater runoff problems in parts of the community development, which might affect the dam and the groundwater table.

Runoff affects Hemlock property owners as well as properties adjacent to Hemlock. Supervisors noted that Hemlock representatives informed supervisors that dam and runoff problems in Hemlock and outside Hemlock could be in the jurisdiction of an authority. And, Hemlock representatives said that the benefit of a township-formed authority would allow Hemlock to apply for grants to offset the cost of dam repairs for which Hemlock could not otherwise qualify.

So far, the main questions concerning supervisors are the extent of liability to the township and cost to the township, if the township formed an authority. Mazza emphasized that Hemlock has not formally applied to supervisors for the township forming a township-wide authority.

In preliminary research, Blooming Grove supervisors have already found that the Hideout community development in Wayne County recently formed an authority. So, supervisors would be interested to find out about that process. Some Pike municipalities, such as Matamoras Borough and Milford Borough, also have an authority (for water, sewer, and related infrastructure). Lehman Township had a water and sewer authority for years, but folded it recently.

Mazza said that Blooming Grove supervisors need answers to other questions, such as who controls an authority that might be formed by supervisors, what would be the authority’s jurisdiction, what issues would an authority cover, and how long would an authority be chartered.

Mazza said, “We did not have a township solicitor. We have advertised for one. Once we appoint a solicitor, we want the solicitor to give us a legal opinion on our concerns... for a complete story, get this week's paper.

Official Paper More Than
Forty Years

MILFORD — Although it has been publishing much, much longer, the Pike County Dispatch has been the newspaper of record for the County of Pike for more than 40 years. That means the Dispatch is the place to go to find out about public meetings, estate notices, bids, public hearings, real estate sales and transactions, and Sheriff sales.

The Pike County Commissioners listed the Dispatch as an official newspaper for legal notices during their opening meeting of 2014, and once again, during their annual reorganization meetings on the first business day of the New Year, most of the other municipalities in Pike County followed suit. So far, Milford and Matamoras Boroughs, and Westfall, Dingman, Delaware, Shohola, Blooming Grove. Milford and Lehman Townships have made it their business to have the Dispatch as an official newspaper.

So make it your business to keep up with all the news in Pike to print, including official business and legal notices from your town.

To find out where to buy your copy of the county’s official newspaper or to subscribe for home mail delivery, click here.

The Voice Of Pike County
Since 1826

The Pike County Dispatch is not only Pike County's largest circulation weekly newspaper, it is also the oldest.

Founded as the Eagle of the North, it has been in continuous operation reporting news and covering local events since 1826. It is, and always has been, the mainstay in keeping the local citizenry informed. Today, subscribers are as far afield as California and Florida

The Dispatch has covered the historic events that have shaped Pike County for almost as long as that history has been in the making.

Over the years, hometown news has shared pages with national and world events, and world events were sometimes right here in Pike County, Pennsylvania.

Its pages carry news of joy and sorrow, homespun advice, births, deaths, marriages, spats, feuds, political controversy, scandals, murders, heists, social affairs, dedications--in short, all the news in Pike to print.

Look for the Pike County Dispatch at local news dealers, and read all about it!

Pike Courthouse Annex Finally Goes Out To Bid

MILFORD — A milestone in the arduous process to build an annex to the Historic Pike County Courthouse was reached this week as the county commissioners finally advertised for bids for the project that was first proposed almost four years ago. What has never been in question was that the current courthouse and its offices, administrative county offices and law enforcement accommodations needed serious changes. As the county seat of Pike County, and with the rapid growth in population in recent years, the current buildings were simply inadequate.

The proposal called for upgraded security and combining several departments in one location, but how this was to be done resulted in a prolonged controversy. Pike County first floated an $8 million bond to pay for the addition in March 2012. The original plans for the annex were revealed in January of 2013 with the annex located adjacent to the courthouse itself and extending out to Broad Street, but the budget had risen to $10 million by that time. But aesthetics and the proposed demolition of the historic white and green Kenworthey Building were major sticking points. Some business owners, such as The Hotel Fauchere, believed the design would negatively impact tourism by changing the entire feel of Broad Street.

Finally in September 2014, County Commissioner Matt Osterberg came up with a resolution to the stalemate over the placement of the annex and a plan was finally approved that protected the Kenworthey Building. Rather than building the original L-shaped annex that would engulf the Kenworthey and project out to the Broad Street sidewalk, the new design placed the annex behind the Kenworthey and through a parking lot along Gooseberry Alley owned by the Lutfy family. The county swapped the Kenworthey Building for the Lutfy property, and the plans also call for Peach Alley to be closed from Broad Street to Gooseberry Alley, because the annex will cut across Peach Alley.

Most of the design issues have been resolved via compromise, and the county is finally prepared to accept bids for the building of the courthouse annex and for the position of Clerk of the Works/Construction Manager for the Project. Advertising for the bidding was placed in this week’s Pike County Dispatch, and sealed bids must be received by Chief County Clerk located in the Pike County Commissioners’ offices prior to 9 a.m., March 23. The bids will then be unsealed and read in the commissioners’ meeting room starting 9 a.m., March 23. This meeting is open to the public.

The Information for Bidders, Drawings, Specifications and other Contract Documents may be reviewed and obtained at the offices of McGoey, Hauser and Edsall Consulting Engineers, D.P.C. at 111 Wheatfield Drive, Suite 1, Milford, becoming available on Feb. 15 February.

County Wants Second Inmate Drug Counselor

MILFORD — At their Feb. 3 meeting the Pike County Commissioners held a Public Hearing on the Modification of the 2014 Pike County County Development Block Grants (CDBG). Martin Blotter of Pike County Planning and Development introduced a plan to take $26,500 out of the allotted CDBG housing budget and move it toward paying for a half-time drug and alcohol counselor for the Pike County Correctional Facility. Currently, there is only one fully accredited drug and alcohol counselor working there. Current counselor Richard Shea can legally take a caseload of 25 inmates at any given time.

The plan has been based on the need for an extra, part-time, accredited counselor in order to allow more inmates to obtain the tools they need for post-release success in society. Voting on this hearing will be held at the next regular meeting on February 17 at 9 a.m.

The sudden death of prominent businessman and philanthropist Dick Snyder in November 2014 took the area by surprise. Snyder had been a moving force in the area and spent millions toward restoration of historic buildings, including the Hotel Fauchere, and established many charitable trusts and funds. Although it has been a long road in settling Snyder’s estate, it has been completed. Part of his wishes included a $2.3 million trust donated to The Greater Pike County Community Foundation.

While there are restrictions in place regarding how the money is to be released, the Foundation announced last week’s County Commissioners’ meeting that $25,000 is currently up for donation. Ten grants limited to $2,500 are available to any nonprofit agency. These agencies need not be located within Pike County.

However, the deadline for submission is this upcoming February 15. More information, including applications, is available at their website at for a complete story, get this week's paper.

Former House Hopeful Picks Up Her Pen Again

DINGMANS FERRY — Delaware Township resident Liz Forrest was named to the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters board in January. Forrest has a high-profile public persona. She ran on the Democratic ticket for the Pennsylvania House 189th District seat in 2012 and 2014 against Republican incumbent Rosemary Brown. With state Primaries looming in April, Forrest said, “Twice was enough. I won’t be running this year.”

Forrest said that she was disappointed that “the House Democratic caucus was unwilling to devote adequate resources to support all the races. That is probably why the Democrats lost eight seats in 2014.” Forrest said that voters can be fickle; it was hard to get registered votes to come out in an off year, and predicting trends in a Presidential election-year campaign can be difficult as the unfolding presidential primary races demonstrate.

She bemoaned the fact her election suffered from many “under votes,” votes that were not cast because people voted only for the top few races listed on the electronic ballot. Since the House races are among the last to be listed on a ballot, she did not get the advantage that her opponent had of voters bullet voting. She was also hampered by energy-sapping Lyme’s Disease symptoms that kicked in just as she was starting her primary campaigning.

Also, in 2014, the 189th, which encompassed townships in Pike and Monroe County was gerrymandered. A court ruling, triggered by a voter who claimed the districting was not fair, forced a redistricting. This took out Dingman Township, which could have been her strength. The gerrymandering swapped out Dingman Township in Pike County and replaced it with Barrett Township. That area, that could also have helped Forrest, was locked down for weeks during a critical campaign period, due to the Eric Frein manhunt. So she lost potential votes there.
Forrest opted to step away from campaigning. She sought other work.

But, burnt out by the grind and frustration of not getting full support for her campaigns, Forrest went back to the drawing board. She rediscovered her roots as a writer, consultant, and journalist. Forrest had already written two novels, each about the French Revolution and the Court of Versailles. Never at a loss for words, Forrest’s first novel, fit into a genre she described as women’s fiction, historical fiction, and historical romance.

The first draft was 970 pages. She cut the draft down to 450 words. The novels satisfied her, but did not sell enough to sustain her and did not satisfy her drive to grapple with issues in real life and in her community.

So, last year, Forrest assumed the mantle as a journalist and blog writer. She covered local meetings, such as the Delaware Valley School Board and wrote political advocacy articles for a blog site, mostly on the Pike District Attorney race. She is looking forward to hands-on work on issues raised in this year’s election from national to local... for a complete story, get this week's paper.

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