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Issue 47 — Thursday, July 2, 2015
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NE Pa. Counties Face 25-Year
Transportation Planning Mandate

SHOHOLA — Northeast Pennsylvania Alliance (NEPA), the regional planning organization that funds transportation projects in four counties, including Pike, held a conference in late June in Bushkill to brief county and municipal officials on a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) transportation planning requirement.

Pike County Office of Community Planning’s Director of Planning Mike Mrozinski briefed the Pike County Planning Commission at their regular June meeting about the FHWA policy and the conference, which was held at the Bushkill Conference Center on Bushkill Falls Road. Kate McMahon, a NEPA Transportation spokesperson, said in an interview last week with the Pike County Dispatch that the 2010 federal Census identified Monroe County’s Stroudsburg area as a metropolitan urban center. Previously, FHWA listed Stroudsburg as part of a rural area.

FHWA requires 25-year transportation plans from metropolitan urban areas. Previously, FHWA considered four of the seven counties that NEPA serves, Pike, Monroe, Schuylkill, and Carbon, as rural counties. In the past year, Pike, Monroe, Carbon, and Schuylkill became a Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (MPO). Once Monroe became an urban county because of Stroudsburg, NEPA included the other three counties in the MPO block as urban, noted McMahon.

Mrozinski said that previously, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and NEPA worked on a 12-year planning model. According to Mrozinski, FHWA is requiring urban areas to plan not just for highways and major roads and bridges, but for mass transit, regional bus transit services, pedestrian, bicycle, rail, and air transportation resources. FHWA has not announced any new funding streams for the 25-year plan, but Mrozinski said that NEPA has retained consultants to assess and evaluate transportation needs in the four counties... for complete story, get this week's issue.

Supervisor ‘Done Being Polite With PennDOT’

DINGMANS FERRY — When Delaware Township Supervisor Tom Ryan announced he had no update on roadwork on State Route 2001, Milford Road, he added his displeasure in this announcement. Ryan continued to express his concerns for the road, saying “01’s an issue, and [PennDOT’s] not spending a dime in Pike County. I have an issue with that.”

Ryan stated he intends to drive Sen. Lisa Baker down the road to show her how bad it is, as he has done with other politicians, but he does not feel it will help. He added to this sentiment, “I’ve gotten more promises from PennDOT than I care about. I have no use for PennDOT.

They don’t care.” He hopes to convince politicians to appropriate funds to Pike County, rather than where the majority of Pike County taxes go now, according to Ryan, to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. He added he is “done being polite with PennDOT,” and will do whatever he can to get the road worked on.

He expressed his concern for residents’ safety when driving on the road, which all supervisors agreed with.

Supervisors also agreed at the meeting to approve the payment of several budget expenditures. These included:

• General funds - $18,380.30
• Recreational General funds - $4,867.53
• PEMA payment (insurance) - $49,497.00
• To fill cracks, seal coat, and repaint lines for municipal building lot - $4,890
• Sheet rock and flooring supplies for the Rec Hall kitchen - $3,968.01
• Repaint double yellow lines on Emery Road - $1,267.20
The grand total of bills paid came to $82,870.04.

Lastly at the meeting, supervisors again stressed the need for donations to the food pantry. Ryan explained the pantry provides food for 30 families in need in the area. He added usage is down, but they are still in need. Anyone interested in donating may drop off food at the township building.

The next Delaware Township supervisors meeting will be July 8, at 6 p.m., in the township building.

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