SAYRE — Valley-goers now have another way to enjoy the local scenery following the opening of the Diahoga Trail on Wednesday.
An opening ceremony and ribbon cutting was held at one of trailheads at Riverfront Park in Sayre near the boat launch area while the other trailhead is located at the Valley Playland in Athens.
“I am very excited,” said Linda Politi from the Diahoga Trail Team. “We are really happy to have this project completed and done. We have been working on it for about seven years now. We had a lot of support from Tina Pickett (R-110), Gene Yaw (R-23) — also the County Commissioners, both boroughs, mayors and councils. We have had a lot of support and we are really happy about that.”
The trail is approximately 1.56 miles in length and runs along the western side of the Susquehanna River from the Athens Bridge on Susquehanna Street to Hayden Street in Sayre. According to Politi, the path is paved with a mixture of aggregate developed by Penn State University specifically for surfacing trails.
Although the trail is now officially open, locals have been walking on the path as it was being constructed over the past year and before that on what was a user-made path. According to Politi, planning for the Diahoga Trail began seven years ago in the spring of 2012. Following the devastating flood in September 2011, FEMA workers organized the Rebuild Athens Steering Committee, later to become the non-profit agency Futurescapes and together they facilitated a series of community-wide meetings.
“Through a community visioning process, residents expressed interest in developing riverfront nature walks and paths that would connect parks and provide access to canoe/kayak launching areas as well as retail stores,” states a press release. “One citizen comment at a community meeting summarized the thrust of the project they envisioned: Take advantage of the waterfront. Our nemesis is also one of our greatest assets.”
The trail team encourages visitors to enjoy the trail and to follow these trail rules: trail hours are from dawn to dusk, an adult should accompany children under the age of 10, stay on designated trail, bikers should maintain a safe speed and yield to pedestrians, pets must be leashed and owners must clean up and properly dispose of waste, and no motorized vehicles, alcoholic beverages or discharge of firearms on the trail.
The trail is open during the winter months, but there will be no snow removal or maintenance.
“I am just really happy for all the people who helped and all the people who have turned out today to support us,” stated Politi.
TOWANDA BOROUGH — The Towanda Borough Council hashed over several funding strategies for a new ladder truck for the borough’s fire department and passed a motion to advertise their new parking ordinance in their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday evening.
The Towanda Fire Department has been searching for a suitable replacement for their 1988 ladder truck, which is out of service currently as repairs are done. The truck has caused more headaches to the department in recent years as it breaks down more often and parts for the almost obsolete vehicle are becoming more expensive and harder to find.
“Hopefully it’s something we can fix that’s a reasonable amount of money that can buy us some time to decide what kind of truck we need and which way we’re going to go,” Roof said about the truck in the meeting.
While the truck is out of service Wysox’s ladder truck has been covering Towanda’s area of coverage for instances that would require a ladder truck.
The department hopes to find a smaller, used ladder truck that would be able to navigate the borough and township streets better to replace the aging one, but even bargain shopping for fire safety equipment can give sticker shock.
Roof said in the meeting that a truck like the one they hope to purchase would cost at least half of a million dollars. A new one would be more than double that.
“That’s what people don’t really understand,” said council president Paul Sweitzer in the meeting about the price tag of fire trucks.
He went on to say that the public generally is not aware of the exorbitant prices for fire equipment and that the small fundraisers that the department puts on, like barbecue chicken sales, would never even scratch the surface of a half of a million dollar bill.
“You can’t sell enough chickens to buy a tire,” he added.
“It’s obscene,” Borough Manager Kyle Lane said.
The department hopes to find a 2007 or later model truck near the half a million dollar price point, but months into their search no truck in their price range has been found.
Also in the meeting Lane unveiled the borough’s new parking map. Lane said that he hoped the map would clarify some issues people in and visiting the borough have brought up regarding their confusion with the new parking rules.
The borough is expected to put the map on display throughout Towanda in the near future.
CANTON — Canton Township has temporarily suspended a roadway permit made with Chief Oil and Gas LLC after claims that the company has not completed road upkeep as promised.
Canton Township Supervisors elected to suspend Chief Oil and Gas LLC from using Beech Flats Road during a monthly meeting Monday night following a report from Roadmaster Bob Petrowski stating that Chief has not applied stone and chip to the road after being asked repeatedly.
Petrowski stated that though Chief has been given much time and multiple warnings to stone and chip the Beech Flats Road, as their contract includes road upkeep, they have not completed the work but have continued to drive trucks including water, log and tri axle trucks on it.
Petrowski said that the road is currently worn out and at too much of a slope to safely accommodate the trucks, especially in the event of rain.
The roadmaster stated that the township has also had problems with Chief not performing upkeep on Barnes Hill Road.
“Gas companies, they do good for a little bit and then all of a sudden they want to start putting it to the townships and I ain’t going to let them put it to the township,” Petrowski said.
Elnor Blaney, Canton Township supervisor-secretary/treasurer, stated that the supervisors would be sending a letter to Chief officially informing them that their road permit is temporarily suspended until a meeting is held with township supervisors to revisit the agreement or they provide information regarding their subcontractor.