Commissioners: No county tax increase in 2018

Trails, parks, and recreation: Scenic Rural Character Preservation program now open for grant applications

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  • Scenic Rural Character Preservation mini grants program, which supported the Cornelia and Florence Bridge Preserve (pictured), is accepting applications for the next round of grants (Photo provided)

By Anya Tikka

— There will be no county tax increase in 2018, said chair Matt Osterberg at the commissioners' Dec. 6 meeting.

The 2018 budget proposal is available for public inspection on the county website. The total millage stays the same, at 19.74.

“Our county debt is still the same amount, it’s just that it’s swapped between SRCP (Scenic Rural Character Preservation Program) and our county debt service," said Osterberg. "We’ll approve it on December 28."

Total receipts and the beginning balance amount to $40,047,255, total expenditure to $40,047,255, with the assessed valuation at $1,126,969,670.

Rural preservation money The Scenic Rural Character Preservation Program's Marcellus Legacy Mini Grant is open for applications, said Jessica Grohmann, assistant community planning director.

The Legacy Fund was established in 2012 to allocate money from gas drilling impact fees and recreation projects, with up to $25,000 per project possible.

“In 2017 two projects closed in the spring,” she said. “Dingman received two grants for trails, one for Dingman Park and the other for Dingman Bridge Preserve trail construction, and Lehman Bushkill also go a grant for the train platform at Bushkill Village, the total for the three amounting to $50,000.”

“We’re very excited about it,” Grohmann said. "Fifteen percent comes for rehabilitation of open space. Parks, recreation, waterways, and in Pike County the scenic and rural preservation for which the commissioners have agreed to provide funding for three categories: trail enhancement, parks and recreation development, and river access.”

Up to $290,000 has been received so far in Pike County, and $50,000 of it has already been allocated in awards.

“We have funding available for future projects, so we’re happy for any interested municipalities to please get in contact with me, as well as with matching organizations,” Grohmann said.

He said in-kind services also helped.

“They have donated labor and construction materials," he said. "Some contractors offer assistance.”

Grohmann can be reached at 570-296-3500.

In other county news: The commissioners urged everyone in the county to register with the CodeRED community notification system, for weather-related and other emergency alerts, at

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