The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

February 27, 2014

MARC expands reach to Columbia County

— DANVILLE — The Montour Area Recreation Commission has signed an agreement to work on recreational projects in Columbia County.

The Montour County commissioners announced correspondence about the alignment and praised MARC director Bob Stoudt at their meeting Tuesday night.

“Congratulations to Bob. He has worked very hard on this. He does a tremendous job,” Commissioners Chairman Trevor Finn said.

“He has our total support,” Commissioner Jerry Ward said. “He’s an asset and now will be an asset to Columbia County.”

Through Stoudt’s work with events including races, Montour County has become a recreation destination, Finn said.

Ward said work continues on the North Branch Canal Trail to link Montour and Columbia counties.

The recreation commission was working with Columbia County on the trail, which led to discussion about what MARC does and what other services it could provide to Columbia County, Stoudt said. “Columbia County expressed interest in assistance for other projects,” he said.

As of Feb. 10, the MARC board approved a one-year agreement with Columbia County paying $20,000 for 400 hours of labor and incidental expenses.

Stoudt said Columbia County has set up what it is calling CCREC, for Columbia County Recreation and Events Committee, and Stoudt will work with members of that group to put together a list of projects of interest to hotels, sportsmen and others. The list will be subject to approval by the Columbia County commissioners.

Stoudt said the agreement works out to eight hours per week which would bring him up to a full-time position status. He started out with MARC as full-time in 2010. After that, things got so tight financially he cut himself to a part-time hourly employee and has been part-time hourly since 2011.

Commissioners Vice Chairman Jack Gerst proposed that, once the weather is better, a challenge be started to determine who does the most work on the canal trail.

“We could have a gold spike put in when it’s done. People could be working day and night on it. It would be great,” he said.

Finn agreed it was a good idea.

In Montour County, MARC manages the Hess Recreation Area, the PPL East Branch Recreation Area in Madison Township in Columbia County, the Rivertown Race Series and assists Washingtonville, Danville, Riverside, Montour County and the Danville Area School District with any outdoor recreational projects of interest to them, Stoudt said.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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