"Great day for Sunbury"
Sparkling riverfront puts city on map, mayor says
Aug. 17. Sunbury. While everyone was congratulating Jim Eister, manager of the three-year, $9.5-million Riverfront Project, the city councilman on Thursday morning was deflecting the praise to a longtime Sunbury resident who stood in his namesake park, ribboncutting scissors in hand.
“We were honored that Merle Phillips showed up here today,” Eister said after the ceremony that drew 200 people to Merle Phillips Park along the Susquehanna River.
“It made me feel good because Merle put this together years ago, so to see him here today was so special to all of us who have been involved with this from day one.”
Phillips, a state legislator for three decades and former Northumberland County commissioner, said he was thrilled at what he saw.
“I think this adds so much to our community,” Phillips said. “This was something that we needed.”
The walking trail illuminated by several dozen LED lights, the 300-plus yards of floodwall redone in precast concrete and the $500,000 spent on trees and gardens stretching a mile long are well worth it, he said.
Cool idea a reality
20-second, 45-foot drop draws hundreds
Aug. 18. Northumberland. Judging by the hundreds of thrill-seeking children waiting Friday for their turn to descend 45 feet on the Liberty Splashland Bowl Slide, the long, involved odyssey to bring the water ride to Northumberland was well worth the effort.
“I’m scared to do this again,” giggled Jonah Wasserman, 11, of Northumberland, “but it’s so much fun. I’ve done this five times already today.”
And then with a loud swoosh and a scream, he jumped into the tube for his 20-second slide down to the round bowl to the bottom.
Watching from atop the tower, Northumberland Borough Councilman Greg Carl beamed with obvious satisfaction, because it was largely through his indefatigable efforts and three years of persistence that this ride became a reality.
Carl over the years has acted as fundraiser for the $100,000 ride, and as a carpenter, electrician and has fulfilled other project needs to get the bowl slide ready for the borough.