Luzerne County Council to approve $65,000 in recreation grants

By Jennifer Learn-Andes - | February 9th, 2016 12:16 am

By Jennifer Learn-Andes

Ten entities are set to receive a combined $65,000 for Luzerne County recreation projects, from trail improvements to new playground equipment.

The Luzerne County Council invited municipalities and nonprofits to submit applications in November for $65,000 set aside from annual natural-gas funding awarded to the county for recreation.

The county received 19 applications seeking a combined $125,000.

A five-person review committee of council members, the council clerk and county Recreational Facilities Advisory Board members evaluated the applications in December and recommended funding for seven nonprofits and three municipalities.

The council members will vote on the awards at today’s meeting.

According to the agenda, here are the county allocations followed by a description of the projects they will fully or partially fund:

Anthracite Scenic Trails Association, $ 2,500

The association is undergoing a $10,000 project to complete survey and title work in Kingston, Pringle and Luzerne for a proposed new trail connecting the Back Mountain Trail in Luzerne to the Wyoming Valley Levee trail system along the Susquehanna River in Edwardsville. The connection of the two shorter trails will create a 13-mile trail.

• Butler Township, $10,000

The township is completing an $880,000 project to add a new access road, parking area, trails and two softball fields at Freedom Park.

• Courtdale, $2,579

The borough wants to replace old spring animal rides at the Courtdale Playground with three new ones for children, including those with disabilities.

• Earth Conservancy, $9,646

The organization wants to construct a public path and educational kiosk at the site of the Askam Borehole Acid Mine Drainage Treatment System off Route 29, which will cost about $39,700. Many don’t understand the large holding pond of orange water is part of a system that keeps pollutants from underground mine drainage out of Nanticoke Creek, the organization said.

• Eckley Miners’ Village/Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation, $2,725

New interpretive signs costing $5,300 will be installed at the Foster Township site to educate visitors walking through the former coal mining patch town operated by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

• Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails, $8,330

Piping totaling $14,530 is needed to prevent trail washouts in the area of Dreck Creek during periods of heavy rain.

• Luzerne County Transportation Authority, $8,000

The authority will use the funding to advertise and promote its summer bus route to Frances Slocum State Park in Kingston Township.

• Riverfront Parks Committee, $9,000

The funds will help the volunteer committee continue to provide free, family-friendly community activities along the Susquehanna River.

• White Haven, $ 7,500

The borough is undergoing a $39,660 rehabilitation of Hemlock Park because the equipment is outdated and no longer meets state safety guidelines.

• Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA-Live Well Luzerne, $4,500

A new map will highlight all stops in the 2016 Keystone Active Zone Passport program and other free outdoor recreation sites throughout the county to encourage exercise and exploration.

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.