Pike's water deemed good and plentiful

Commissioners frustrated about cancelled meeting with gas pipeline companies

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By Charles Reynolds

— Pike County Commissioner Rich Caridi said the county's water is of good quality and exceptional quantity, according to a recent study.

The United Stated Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a multi-municipal groundwater level monitoring project to provide a long-term assessments of Pike's groundwater. The assessments will help local communities decide when to declare drought watches, warnings, emergencies, and demand realizations as it grows.

Twenty wells throughout the county were tested in this sixth year of the study, which requires about ten years of surveys to track trends and fluctuations in the groundwater supply.

Caridi pointed out that there are multiple surveys going on all the time, and that the current one was not related to the survey being conducted to provide a baseline for comparison in case any pipeline problems, or other adverse incidents, arise in the future.

Tennessee Gas upgrade meeting cancelled

The commissioners' recent efforts to gather all parties involved in the Tennessee Gas Pipeline's Northeast Upgrade Project had to be canceled, much to the frustration and disappointment of county officials.
On Sept. 6, representatives of the pipeline companies, Kinder Morgan Inc. and El Paso Corporation, met with the commissioners to discuss the pipeline's status. Caridi said their meeting on Sept. 6 did not replace the commissioners' request to meet again on Sept. 18.
Caridi said the representatives "looked him in the eye and said 'Nothing is going to change unless FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) makes us change it,'" Caridi said.
The full-scale effort of construction and clearing is set to begin after Jan. 1.
Caridi said one positive result of the meeting was that Kinder Morgan and Tennessee Gas Pipeline agreed to “do the same detailed re-forestation that they are forced to do in New Jersey.”

In other business

Joseph Biondo Sr. said the March of Dimes walk-a-thon is scheduled for Sept. 30. The success of last year's walk “impressed the national council,” and Joseph Biondo Jr., who ran the event was asked to co-chair the National 75th Anniversary March. This year's march will be held at the Firefly Field in Airport Park in Matamoras, Pa., beginning at 10 a.m. Commissioner Caridi thanked the Biondo family for all they do for the community.
Commissioners agreed to place 13 recycling containers, a dump truck, and a recycling truck to help the transition when countywide recycling ends Oct. 1. Commissioner Caridi said other counties weren’t interested in collaborating with Pike and so were opening the bids publicly.
Commissioners agreed to seek funding through the Monroe County Local Share Assessment (LSA) Grant Fund Program for the Pike County Children and Youth Visitation Center Project. The proposed facility would be for assistance to families in need. Child care education, counseling, and other services will be available. Caridi explained that the current economy was having a direct, negative impact on families, and the county wanted to help.
Caridi praised the efforts of county employees working to fund various projects without resorting to tax revenue. Seeking the LSA grant for the visitation center was one such result of their efforts, he said. Others include the planning office's mini-grant to print up more “Pike Outdoors” booklets, which are currently out of stock, and another for a mini-grant to develop a marketing plan for the Scenic Rural Character Preservation. These three efforts would save county residents over $100,000, he said. In the past, he said, county employees searching for grants for things such as the training center have brought in million dollar and half million dollar grants.
The next commissioners' meeting is set for Wednesday Oct. 3 at 9 a.m.

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