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Issue 34 — Thursday, March 26, 2015
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Pike Jobless Rate
Highest In State

MILFORD — According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, Pike County tied with Philadelphia County for the highest unemployment rate in the state for Nov. 2014, with 6.7 percent unemployment. Monroe County was also among the highest, with 6.2 percent, with Monroe County at 5.0 percent for November, seasonally adjusted.

For December, Pike County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate crept up to 6.8 percent, with 1,800 individuals out of a workforce estimated at 26,200. Monroe County was at 6.3 percent and Wayne County 5.1 percent for December, compared to 5.1 percent statewide. Only Cameron County was higher, with 6.9 percent for the month.

In 2014, 330 residents of Pike County exhausted their UC benefits, meaning they still were not able to find employment by the time their compensation ran out. Monroe County had 1,540 residents run out of UC, while Wayne County was comparable to Pike, with 330 exhausting benefits. Twenty to thirty people more are predicted to run out of benefits each month in Pike County, for estimates through March... for complete story, get this week's issue.

Park Service Seeks Public Input On Visitor Use Plan

BUSHKILL — Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DEWA) wants your input so that park managers, partners, and stakeholders can plan appropriately for the next century. The park is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and the National Park Service (NPS) is celebrating its Centennial in 2016.

A series of public listening sessions and focus group meetings is scheduled for April 7-9 to solicit input from the public about visitor use in the park. Holding these meetings and listening sessions is an initial step in a multi-year process to prepare a Visitor Use Management Plan (VUM) for the park.

The purpose of the VUM plan is to determine the best ways for the NPS to protect the park’s natural, cultural, scenic, and recreational resources while maximizing public access and enhancing visitor experiences and opportunities.

“As an integral part of the planning process, the NPS is asking for public input to help us gain a better understanding of our visitors and their needs, experiences, and preferences and to help us identify existing or new opportunities to meet those needs while also achieving our mission to preserve and protect resources,” explained DEWA Superintendent John Donahue. “There will be several opportunities over the next two years for the public to get involved,” he added.

The NPS will host two public listening sessions to provide information on the Visitor Use Management Plan project and encourage input and questions related to visitor use at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area:

• April 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Terraview Event Facility at Stroudsmoor Country Inn, 231 Stroudsmoor Road, Stroudsburg, PA, 18360
• April 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, 707 US Highway 46 East, Parsippany, NJ, 07054

Those who cannot attend the meetings in person can review recorded presentations and provide input online at www. parkplanning.nps.gov/dewa... for complete story, get this week's issue.

Official Paper
More Than
Forty Years

MILFORD — Although it has been publishing much, much longer, the Pike County Dispatch has been the newspaper of record for the County of Pike for more than 40 years. That means the Dispatch is the place to go to find out about public meetings, estate notices, bids, public hearings, real estate sales and transactions, and Sheriff sales.

The Pike County Commissioners listed the Dispatch as an official newspaper for legal notices during their opening meeting of 2014, and once again, during their annual reorganization meetings on the first business day of the New Year, most of the other municipalities in Pike County followed suit. So far, Milford and Matamoras Boroughs, and Westfall, Dingman, Delaware, Shohola, Blooming Grove. Milford and Lehman Townships have made it their business to have the Dispatch as an official newspaper.

So make it your business to keep up with all the news in Pike to print, including official business and legal notices from your town.

To find out where to buy your copy of the county’s official newspaper or to subscribe for home mail delivery, click here.

The Voice Of Pike County
Since 1826

The Pike County Dispatch is not only Pike County's largest circulation weekly newspaper, it is also the oldest.

Founded as the Eagle of the North, it has been in continuous operation reporting news and covering local events since 1826. It is, and always has been, the mainstay in keeping the local citizenry informed. Today, subscribers are as far afield as California and Florida

The Dispatch has covered the historic events that have shaped Pike County for almost as long as that history has been in the making.

Over the years, hometown news has shared pages with national and world events, and world events were sometimes right here in Pike County, Pennsylvania.

Its pages carry news of joy and sorrow, homespun advice, births, deaths, marriages, spats, feuds, political controversy, scandals, murders, heists, social affairs, dedications--in short, all the news in Pike to print.

Look for the Pike County Dispatch at local news dealers, and read all about it!

 
 
County Planners OK Court Expansion Design

SHOHOLA — The Courthouse expansion project took a major leap forward on Monday when the county Planning Commission and Office of Community Planning (OCP) recommended the Pike County Courthouse and Annex Land Development Plan as ready to go. The commission met on Monday at the county planning office in Shohola to discuss the plan as presented by Engineer Scott Quinn of McGoey, Hauser, and Edsall, the county engineer/project management company.

The recommendation opens the door for the county to present the plan to the Milford Borough Planning Commission, according to Quinn. Mike Mrozinski of the OCP said that this was the first time the commission had seen the official Land Development plan to be submitted to Milford.

Mrozinski’s office and the Pike Planning Commission review Land Development plans to assure that they meet all state and local regulatory requirements for sewage, stormwater management, parking, zoning, easements, historical-building impacts, neighborhood impacts, environment, green areas, and ordinance compliance.

According to commission members, Pike commissioners and McGoey, Hauser, and Edsall had struggled mightily to meet the demands of regulatory agencies such as Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission (PHMC), local agencies, such as Milford Architectural Review Board (ARB), citizens advocacy groups, such as the Concerned Pike Taxpayers, and critics.

During the struggle that took place in the past two years, the county and its engineers adjusted the plan multiple times. The county planning commission reviewed previous courthouse complex land-development plans, but those were works in progress, according to Mrozinski.

Mrozinski said that his office reviewed all the correspondence between the county and PHMC. He found that the county and engineers addressed PHMC concerns. He said that the county also met Planning Commission member concerns regarding total project footprint, adequacy of sewage, utility easements, ability to handle stormwater load, parking, adequacy of total square footage to accommodate all the offices, interior traffic, storage, and lot improvements.

All Land Development plans must first pass county reviews and then must get through local agencies before a project could start... for complete story, get this week's issue.

County Launches Ad Campaign
To Recruit Volunteer Firefighters

MILFORD — At the County Commissioners meeting last Wednesday, March 18, the board accepted and authorized the proposal from Canned Fire, Inc. to develop a program for recruitment and retention of emergency services volunteers in the County.

Canned Fire, Inc. President Steve Powell gave a presentation based on their successful efforts in Rockland County, NY. Pike County emergency services are 96 percent staffed by volunteers, who put in more qualifying hours than some paid departments, according to Powell. Calls are up, but volunteers are down, as volunteerism on the whole has been on the decline.

Powell cited the treatment of volunteers by the community as a huge factor in retaining trained personnel. The Recognition Program they implemented in Rockland focuses on “handing out respect” to “make them feel valued” in the community. One example he gave was an ice cream shop which offered free scoops to firefighters and one of their children, which ended up increasing business overall.

In a recruitment video he shared, volunteers that otherwise worked as police officers, students and engineers described being involved in their local fire company, saying, “It makes you a better person,” and “It is a brotherhood.” Canned Fire produced three 24 minute-long videos, 15-18 30-second spots, and 12-15 print ads for Rockland, and plans to do similar materials for Pike County.

If Pike County were forced to move to fully paid emergency services, Powell calculated from Sen. Lisa Baker’s report that it would require an increase of $90 million per year in property taxes. It costs $1.2 million a year just to man a fire truck. The cost of the recruitment and retention program for the County is just $38,000... for complete story, get this week's issue.

 
 
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