|
|
News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Pike County, PennDOT swaps land

  • A lease agreement was approved Wednesday for a land swap between the County of Pike and the local PennDOT maintenance office. This will allow PennDOT to relocate their county facility from Milford to a much larger piece of ground at Lords Valley, now part of the county complex which also houses the prison, senior center and 9-1-1 emergency operations.
    • email print
  • A lease agreement was approved Wednesday for a land swap between the County of Pike and the local PennDOT maintenance office. This will allow PennDOT to relocate their county facility from Milford to a much larger piece of ground at Lords Valley, now part of the county complex which also houses the prison, senior center and 9-1-1 emergency operations.
    In exchange, the County will receive the current facility for PennDOT located on Bennett Avenue in Milford.
    "This is a win-win for both the County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," said Ken Thiele. manager of the Pike County PennDOT office. The idea was first discussed about 15 years ago by the County Commissioners. He said it has been a long process of obtaining approvals.
    No funds are being expended, said Commissioner Chairman Rich Caridi. PennDOT will receive approximately 14 acres from the County, where PennDOT can build an upgraded facility that is more centralized. The County receives the 3-1/2 acre parcel and building now used by PennDOT.
    Caridi said that the County has no immediate plans for the old PennDOT facility. Thiele pointed out that the County is gaining a historic structure. It was built in 1931 for the Department of Transportation when Gifford Pinchot was governor. He said it is one of the oldest facilities in the PennDOT system.
    Commissioners also executed agreements regarding the water service and sanitary sewer service for the new facility.
    Commissioner Karl Wagner noted that once the County receives the title, the County will need to lease the current Milford property back to PennDOT while the state builds their new facility.
    Theile explained in an interview that the need for a new facility comes about from the great increase in population Pike County has experienced in recent decades. Having the facility closer to the center of the County will be beneficial for crews in far reaches such as in Greene Township, should a truck need to be serviced. Repairs are done now in Milford, which is nearly 30 miles from Greentown, and can be difficult when trucks are needed back on the road during a snow storm.
    They currently don't make their own brine, a salt water solution used to pre-treat highways in the winter. He said they plan to get their own machine to produce the brine at the Lords Valley location.
    The state Department of General Services has already approved the money to build the new facility. Theile said he understood the design work has been completed and the project should be going to bid in time to break ground in 2014. The plan calls for it to be completed in 400 days; Thiele said they could be in the new facility by the start of 2016, but hopefully sooner.
    Their new site is located on the north side of Pike County Boulevard and will be accessed off State Route 739 in Blooming Grove Township.
    Page 2 of 2 - ••• Winter travel
    In other matters concerning PennDOT, Thiele said they are preparing to battle winter roads. He noted that they have 810"snow lane" miles of state highway in Pike County. "You could drive to Penn State and back twice and not leave Pike County," he said, "just to plow our roads."
    He reminded motorists to drive responsibly during times of wintery weather, and to have the correct tires on their vehicle. Give yourself extra time to reach your destination. "Safety doesn't happen by accident," he reminded.
    Pike County residents were thanked for taking part in PennDOT's Adopt-A-Highway program. Over 2,000 bags of litter were picked up in the past year. Anyone who would like information about the program may call Megan Vennie at the Pike County office, at 570-296-7193.
      • calendar