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Supervisors want to slow down plan for exercise stations along walking trail

Published On: Mar 18 2013 10:22:12 PM CDT
LOWER MOUNT BETHEL TWP., Pa. -

More heavy lifting will have to be done before a plan for walking trail with 10 exercise stations gets the blessing of Lower Mount Bethel Township supervisors.

Supervisor John J. Mauser presented the township recreation board's latest ideas for the walking trail to his colleagues on Monday night, and while the supervisors were far from hostile to suggestions for the trail in the recreational area at Riverton, they raised questions about the scope and cost.

When the project was first proposed last year as a memorial to Joseph Hriczak, a long-time recreation board member who died in January 2012, it included six exercise stations and had a price tag between $4,000 and $5,000, Mauser said. Adding four more would increase the cost to about $10,000, he noted.

Supervisors chairman Stu Gallaher said that given what is now being proposed, the board should be "putting the brakes on this. ... I like the idea, but the cart's before the horse. We don't really have a master plan for [the development of the] Riverton [site]."

Supervisor Susan Disidore said the plan raises a question about priorities, namely, should money be spent first on the fitness stations or the two tennis courts at the township's municipal complex that are badly in need of repair. "I'm not saying [installing the stations] isn't a nice idea. ... But we should have the recreation board figure out what's more important to them," Disidore said.

The tennis courts were last repaired 10 years ago, and officials estimate it could cost anywhere from $25,000 to $80,000 to refurbish them.

Supervisor Howard Klein was the least enthusiastic about the plan for the exercise stations. "I happen to like these [fitness] trails, but not what they're showing us here. This is ridiculous." He said he plans to visit a fitness trail near Bangor High School to investigate how that one is put together.

In other business, Mauser asked the supervisors for financial help so a litter cleanup along the Martins Creek Belvidere Highway could be incorporated into a township Earth Day program set for April 20.

Mauser said 20 Girls Scouts would participate in collecting trash along the roadway between Riverton and Kaylor roads if the supervisors would agree to pay the road crew four hours of overtime and allow township trucks to be used.

Klein said he would talk to residents along the roadway who have complained about the amount of litter near their homes to see if they would volunteer to help with the cleanup.

 The Earth Day program, which will include planting a butterfly garden and removing invasive species, will run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Mauser said. Anyone interested in participating can sign up by calling the township office at 610-252-5074, he added.

The supervisors announced there are three openings on the township Environmental Advisory Committee and one on the Open Space Committee. 

People interested in serving should call the township office.