Township supervisors voice opposition of possible closing of elementary school
Eldred Township Supervisor chairman, Clair Borger, read a newspaper notice to the board and residents in attendance at the Eldred Township Supervisor meeting on Feb. 17, concerning the public hearing to be held on Thursday, March 4 at 7 p.m. at the Pleasant Valley School District office in Brodheadsville, on the possible closing of Eldred Elementary School.
Borger says he is not in favor of the district closing the school and urged everyone to attend the hearing and voice their opposition. Supervisor Sharon Solt agreed with him.
"I have concerns about the amount of time children from Smith Gap will be on the buses," she said.
Supervisor Gretchen Gannon-Petit wanted to know if addressing the busing issue would have an effect on the closing and would like to hear the school board's response to that.
Borger also says he would like to hear the board's answer why it no longer adheres to the mandate when the four townships formed a jointure, that there were to be two school board directors from each of the four townships in the school district.
"There hasn't been a school board director from Eldred since Blaine Silfies," he said.
Helen Mackes of Eldred Township said there were going to be petitions asking residents of Eldred Township to sign in opposition of closing the school. She hopes every resident signs one. There will be one available at the township's municipal building during office hours.
Supervisor Solt said that the district receives over $3 million of the township's taxes and should use that to keep the school open.
Jim Birdsall from Hanover Engineering reported to the Eldred Township supervisors the results of a survey has been completed in regards to the Walter W. Mock Park being proposed for the property the township purchased from Jacqueline Mock.
The township received a grant to purchase the Mock property.
In November 2009, the study group visited the property, did an aerial topography and a wetlands survey and conducted a citizen questionnaire, sending 50 letters out to Eldred Township residents. Birdsall said they received about 20 percent back. They also called several people to try to get an idea of what they would want in a park in their community.
"We determined from those answer that the people of this township views their community as rural and peaceful, a place where the citizens help each other when problems occur. We recognize that it s not a central region for a large park. It was expressed that there was a need for a ballpark and a tot lot. We took all this back to the study group."
The results are there is about three acres out of about the 50 acres purchased that are usable for recreation with just about enough room for a little league ballpark, a pavilion for small groups or family picnics and parking lot. There will be paths/walkways around the perimeter and into the wooded area. There will be no water, no electric, no permanent bathroom facilities. No motorized vehicles like cycles or four wheelers will be allowed.
Birdsall says they are ready to present the plan to the Planning Commission on March 18, 2010.
Solt said that Census training will be held at the Eldred Township municipal building Feb. 22-25 from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.