Local News...

Issue 48 — Thursday, June 30, 2016
Send your event listings to
Don't forget to include:
who, what, where and when!
Dingman Monitors
Short-Term Rentals
By Kenneth Books

DINGMAN — Dingman Township Supervisors announced June 21 that no residents have replied for Certificates of Non-Conforming Use for Transient Residential Units (TRUs). The certificates allow the township to keep tabs on properties being used for short-term rentals.

“Enforcement actions will not be initiated,” said Zoning Officer Chris Wood.

Letters have been sent to owners of known TRUs, informing them that they must cease operations.

“Most have rules to keep them from being party houses,” Wood commented.

In another matter, the supervisors discussed methods to legally combine adjacent properties into a single property. No conclusion was reached. Wood noted that problems with the township website, dingmantownship.org, have been resolved and the site is up and running again.

Fire Dept., Community
Honor Gregory’s Passing
By Ken Baumel

MILFORD — Former Milford Borough Mayor and Pike County Commissioner Randolph “Skip” Gregory was honored last weekend at a viewing and services held at Stroyan’s Funeral Home in Milford Borough, funeral at First Presbyterian Church in Milford Borough, and burial at Milford Cemetery.

Milford Fire Dept. Fire Chief Tony Mann spoke on Thursday about the dedicated contributions Gregory made to the department, including making sure that the department had a modern firehouse on West Catharine Street. Mann said that Gregory always mentored young firefighters and encouraged the entire department membership, young and old, with his sage advice and wise counsel.

Mann said, “We honored Skip for his 60 years of service to the department. We might never again see anyone serve the department such a long time. He was such a great example of dedication for new firefighters.” Department member Charles Drummond read the “Fireman’s Prayer.” Also at Stroyan’s, on Friday, the Milford Masonic Lodge held a service recognizing Gregory’s decades of service to that fraternal order and community service organization.

On Saturday, Stroyan’s facilitated funeral services at the Presbyterian Church in Milford and the burial with a military honor guard at Milford Cemetery. Pastor Ben Willis and Gregory family members spoke on Saturday at the church and Willis also spoke at graveside. The family held a Reception and Repast at the Milford Fire Dept. Firehouse following the cemetery service. Gregory’s wife Lorraine enlisted her Helms family members to cater and prepare the food.

Also on Saturday, Milford Music Festival held its annual program on the streets of Milford Borough. Gregory and his wife Lorraine were among the major sponsors. Fittingly, event coordinator Adriane Wendell reported, the music event that supports local businesses and attracts visitors had the best turnout in its history.

Conservation District Celebrates 60 Years
Protecting Pike Resources

MILFORD — Last Friday, the Pike County Conservation District (CD) celebrated its 60th anniversary at Lily Pond, on Schocopee Road, in Milford Township. Board members, state legislators representing Pike County, and some partnering agencies attended, according to CD Executive Director Sally Corrigan. Pike commissioners in 1956 formed the precursor to CD, the Soil and Water Conservation District, to help conserve soil and water resources, but later, the CD mission expanded to include all natural resources. Corrigan noted that in the early years, CD worked with farmers on conservation planning, assisted landowners with soil survey information and tree plantings, and assisted municipal and county officials with flood control following the devastating 1955 flood caused by Hurricane Diane.

Since then, CD missions of preserving natural resources have touched the lives of every person and many local businesses in Pike County. CD work helps support the economy and educates youth and the public. “We are blessed with great water resources here in Pike County, and the Pike County Conservation District has been a big part in the protection of those resources. “It’s a testament to the work done by our past and present Board and staff,” said CD Board Chairman Scott Savini. The CD is part of a national effort started in the middle to late 1930s to prevent erosion of natural resources. Corrigan said that in the 1930s, government agencies studied the Dust Bowl disasters, caused by intensive farming and lack of knowledge on how to prevent soil erosion and sedimentation.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture then organized a system of local agencies given a mission to prevent local soil erosion and stormwater actions that ferried away topsoil. The system would prevent future regional disasters, such as the Dust Bowl. The USDA formed the Soil Conservation Commission, which encouraged the formation of state delegating agencies, such as the county Conservation District. These local agencies helped county and local government, businesses, and communities manage their soil and water resources. Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers and Land Grant universities, such as Penn State, Rutgers, and Cornell, also conducted research on water, soils, and roads.

According to Corrigan, each county district serves as a watchdog agency that monitors soil and water resources and natural resources. State and county regulations and CD enforcement flag potential problems and prevent or counter potential soil and water degradations. CDs also educated the public on how to preserve natural resources. CD has remained in the forefront among Pennsylvania districts. CD was the first district in the state to develop a vocabulary that defined major terms used for soil and water conservation. According to former Pike County Planner and Penn State Pike County Cooperative Extension agent Peter Wulfhorst, though many people settle in Pike County attracted by the resources, and many visit the county to enjoy its natural resources, yet few would know how much work goes on behind the scenes to keep the resources intact through CD enforcement and education programs.

With the knowledge and methodologies learned from the Dust Bowl disasters, local districts, such as CD, county commissioners, county planning department, municipalities, and the Extension formed partnerships to lobby and educate. Partnerships include federal, state, and county agencies on specific projects, such as for funding for plantings and conservation programs, and lobbying legislators for conservation funding, legislation, or programs. CD works with school districts, colleges, agencies, and organizations that have scholarships or programs to educate students and organizations, such as Lacawac Sanctuary, the Penn State Cooperative Extension’s Pike County office, U.S. Forest Service’s Grey Towers/Pinchot Institute, and Wallenpaupack Watershed Management Agency. CD partners with other CDs from neighboring counties, watershed groups, and foundations, such as Pinchot Institute, promoted educational programs and expanded CD clout. For decades, CD encountered resistance from developers, who felt threatened that CD might prevent development.

But, by the late 1990s and early 2000s, CD’s traditional mission, the state commitment to the Growing Greener movement, and education brought CD and former adversaries closer together... for complete story, get this week's issue.

Nikles Achieves Five Wins At Awards Gala

LAKE WALLENPAUPACK — Local construction firm, Ed Nikles Home Builder, Inc., won five awards at the Wayne-Pike Building Industry Association 2016 Home Awards Gala held June 16th at the Silver Birches Waterfront at Lake Wallenpaupack. The acclaimed builder enjoyed a clean sweep at the ceremony, winning five awards in all five categories that they entered.

Industry recognition was bestowed to the Ed Nikles firm for their outstanding performance in the following categories; Best Residential Construction less than 2,000 sq. ft., Best Residential Construction less than $250,000, Best Remodeling Project between 2,000 and 4,000 sq. ft., Best Whole House Renovation between $150,000 and $400,000, as well as Best Commercial Remodeling under 10,000 sq. ft. for their work on the Convene Conference Center at the Hotel Fauchere in Milford.

Previous awards won by Ed Nikles Home Builder, Inc. have included many building awards from The Pocono Builders Association, The Pike County Chamber of Commerce, and The Pike County Builders Association. In 2008, the firm was honored by The National Association of Home Builders as “Custom Builder of the Year.” This year’s round of awards serve to highlight the diversity of the construction company with winning entries attained in the categories of new home construction, residential remodeling, and commercial remodeling... for complete story, get this week's issue.

© 2016 The Pike County Dispatch, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of the format or any content without express permission is prohibited.