By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item
NORTHUMBERLAND — Point Township Supervisor Randy Yoxheimer officially signed off on a $30,000 matching grant application, the money to be used as the first step in a long-term project to build a roughly 12-mile North Branch canal trail to Danville.
“I’m really excited about this,” Yoxheimer said during Tuesday night’s supervisors’ meeting. “Having seen how well received the Lewisburg rail trail project has turned out, this one would be a great asset to the area, for our residents and for Northumberland borough’s.”
The grant would be for a feasibility study, which would cost $60,000.
If $30,000 is raised locally, either through donations or other grants, Yoxheimer said, the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources would provide the other $30,000.
The study would determine whether there is enough of the canal left to create a trail, whether landowners favor a trail, the best route, challenges, funding possibilities, project phases and cost estimates.
The project would cost millions of dollars and take up to 10 years to complete. It is the brainchild of Ann August, president of 17857.org, which promotes positive activities in Northumberland and Point Township.
August said she won’t know whether Point Township will receive the grant until November. Until then, she plans on raising the cash.
Earlier in the meeting, Supervisor Montie Peters, speaking on behalf of the Point Township Sewer Authority, reported on a March 7 meeting he had — along with members of the Northumberland Sewer Committee — with state Sen. John Gordner, R-27 of Berwick, and state Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver, R-108 of Sunbury, on the wastewater plant project under way in Northumberland.
There are several issues in dispute between the two jurisdictions, and Gordner and Culver suggested mediation as a way to work things out.
Peters said he has reached out to the borough’s sewer committee to talk about mediation but has heard nothing back.
“I don’t know what their thinking is,” he said. “We are very unhappy.”