BG, PennDOT Agree On 24/7
EMS During Bridge Work
BLOOMING GROVE — Township supervisors announced that they negotiated an additional ambulance service to provide 24/7 emergency services for residents and businesses on both sides of Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Route 739 Bridge replacement project.
Supervisors Nick Mazza and Randy Schmalzle spoke about the need for additional services and the outcome of township negotiations at the regular township meeting held at the township building on Route 739 on Monday.
Mazza said that past few months, supervisors have been meeting with PennDOT and the primary fire and ambulance company representatives that are closest to Blooming Grove.
Blooming Grove supervisors recognized that residents and businesses north of the bridge deserve a nearby ambulance service during the bridge closure period.
During the duration of the bridge project, though PennDOT set up two detour routes, one for cars and light-duty trucks and one for heavy trucks, both routes create an unacceptably long delay for ambulances responding to emergencies.
Therefore, Schmalzle asked PennDOT if they would be willing to cover the cost for fielding an extra Hemlock Farms Fire Rescue Department ambulance and crew during the closure period.
Schmalzle said that PennDOT agreed to foot the bill. Pike County agreed to host the ambulance at the Training Center on Route 739.
Mazza said, “The ambulance would operate from the county facility. It would be a 24/7 operation. Blooming Grove Township holds the charter for the Hemlock Fire and Rescue and ambulance corps even though they are located in a private community.
“The bridge replacement is weather sensitive. If the weather holds up, PennDOT anticipates completion by the end of November. If not, it could run into December.
“PennDOT told us that they would put crews on for 20 hours a day for about two weeks in September to speed up the [bridge replacement] process. The extra ambulance is scheduled to start operating on Tuesday, Aug. 18... for complete story, get this week's issue.
Artist Donates Portrait Of Slain Trooper
DUNMORE — Ryan Ritterbeck, 34, of Scranton, donated an oil-on-canvas painting of Cop. Bryon K. Dickson, II, for the Blooming Grove barracks. Dickson was killed by a sniper’s bullet at the barracks one year ago.
Ritterbeck holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Marywood University. He studied in Florence, Italy, concentrating in Renaissance Art of the Old Masters. He also worked three years for Disney drawing pictures for the resort.
Ritterbeck works at Robert A. Ritterbeck Painting in Scranton, specializing in liturgical artistry and church restoration.
He is the fourth generation of the Ritterbeck family to work in the business, which was started in 1946.
Last Chance To Enter Gypsy
Moth Suppression Program
MILFORD — Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Secretary Kelly Heffner was present at the Aug. 19 Pike County Commissioners’ meeting to announce that the final deadline to be considered for inclusion in the Pike County Gypsy Moth Suppression Program is Sept. 1.
This deadline is final. There is a fee of $75 per community and $20 per individual for an assessment. Upon receipt of this fee, a representative will come out to your community and/or home to conduct an evaluation. It does not, however, guarantee inclusion into the program. It covers only the evaluation.
Heffner stated that their office has received many calls regarding the program, and encourages the public to move quickly if they have interest in being included. The last time the area was sprayed was 2009.
Unfortunately, this is a state run program, and the state has yet to decide on its budget. That being the case, there is some uncertainty regarding the program’s funding. This is the case for all current programs that depend on state and federal funding.
Despite this uncertainty, the program must carry on under the assumption that their program will receive its expected funding.
More information can be received at pikeconservation.org or by calling 570-226-8220. Applications can be downloaded on the website or by visiting the County Administration Building on 506 Broad St. or the Gypsy Moth Suppression Program at 556 Route 402, Blooming Grove Township.