Central Carbon County's Regional Comprehensive Plan recently was awarded the Governor's Award for Local Government Excellence.

The award was presented in Harrisburg by Tom Corbett, governor, on April 17.

The Central Carbon County Regional Comprehensive Plan Committee adopted a multi-municipal comprehensive plan with East Penn, Franklin and Mahoning townships and Lehighton and Weissport boroughs.

The plan identified critical regional issues early in the planning process and organized the plan around these issues rather than containing separate discussions on background data analysis and planning elements.

The plan outlined the need for economic development and job creation, improving area roads and bridges, improving the sense of community, preserving natural resources, and providing community facilities and services clearly surfaced as priorities during the public participation process and were used as the foundation and framework for the plan.

Traditional planning elements, such as plans for natural resources, land use, housing, economic development, transportation, water resources, and community facilities were incorporated into the focus areas where appropriate.

As a follow-up to the receipt of the PA Governor's Planning Award for the recently completed regional comprehensive plan, Allen G. Heist, PMP, project manager is submitting an application for a similar planning award through the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-PA). Heist said that he was extremely proud of having the opportunity to work with the planning committee and helping them produce an award winning plan.

The local committee was comprised of representatives of each of the five communities who have joined together for the project. Representing the communities were: Lehighton, Darryl Arner; Mahoning Township, Bruce Steigerwalt and Frank Ruch; Franklin Township, Paul Kocher and Rod Mann; East Penn Township, Attorney William Schwab; and Weissport representative, Susan Pywar.