Northumberland County will host a Public Input Session on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 - 6:30 pm, at the Shamokin Area Junior Senior High School Auditorium, 2000 W. State Street, Coal Township, PA 17866. The County has commissioned a study to develop over 6,000 acres of County owned property to create an Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) recreational facility. This meeting is being held to gather public input relative to the development of the facility.
Pat Mack, Director of the Northumberland County Planning Department, said "We want to obtain input from residents of the County regarding the proposed park. We want their thoughts and ideas on how we can develop a world class off highway vehicle park in the County. With the development of this park there will be opportunities to create jobs and provide those who come to visit the park with the goods and services they desire. The economic potential related to the development of the park is unlike anything the County has experienced in recent years." Mack goes on to say "We have an opportunity to provide a facility to meet a demand that is not very well met in Pennsylvania. If we do this right Northumberland County can be regionally and nationally known as the home of one of the best parks and best places in the United States for motorized and non-motorized recreation."
Kathy Jeremiah, project coordinator for the Northumberland County Planning Department, stated "The park area, which is over 6,000 acres in size, can accommodate a variety of motorized and non-motorized uses, including full size 4x4’s, rock crawling, MX, ATV, and UTV use, mountain biking, equestrian trail riding, hiking, hunting, camping, and environmental interpretation, to name a few. It is important that the public come to the meeting and share with us their wishes for the park."
This is the first of two public input sessions being held during the master planning process for the park. A second follow-up meeting will be held in the Fall.
Commissioner Kurt Masser said "There is a lot of enthusiasm behind this effort and it has the potential to have a significant positive financial impact to the County and its business community. There are a lot of issues to address, and a lot of planning that needs to take place. We’ve started that process and this is your opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas. We encourage you to participate in this process by attending this important meeting."
The master plan is being funded with grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The plan is being prepared by Pashek Associates, a Landscape Architecture and Community Planning Firm located in Pittsburgh in conjunction with Pennoni Associates of Mechanicsburg.