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More flaws with Packerton Yards

Published February 02. 2013 09:02AM

Dear Editor:

This letter is in response to the letter on Jan. 26 from George White about Packerton Yards.

While Mr White points out what our tax raising County Commissioners want us to know in that Mahoning Township's land development ordinance requires sidewalks in industrial parks, he fails to point out the other VERY obvious flaws with the plan.

Flaw #1: To have any chance of getting PENNDOT approval for the proposed traffic pattern at Packerton Yards, you need to have a stop light at the bottom of the Packerton dip. Does anyone think that is a good idea? That would cause an intersection that is a downhill from both directions where both directions have extremely limited visibility due to turns on both sides of the dip. Mahoning Township would be responsible for the traffic disaster and transportation safety issue that the commissioners are trying to create.

Flaw #2: The Packerton Yards site can only have one entry/exit point due to crossing railroad tracks. That would mean that ALL of the traffic would be coming out in the bottom of the Packerton dip. With our 'genius' County Commissioners pushing to have an industrial park in that site, it would mean that we would have tractor trailer traffic coming out of the bottom of the Packerton dip as well as a dangerous amount of traffic coming from the end of a working shift at the proposed industrial park. What would all of this traffic do to all of the people in the area that depend on that stretch of route 209 to get from place to place? How many productive hours per year would be lost due to traffic issues in the Packerton dip?

Flaw 3: No business wants to be located in that site! The traffic situation makes the Packerton Yards a disaster for any business that would even think about locating there. Successful industrial parks in recent years have tended to be located near a major highway in order to keep shipping costs lower. Where is the major highway that Packerton Yards has access to? To get to I-81 you have to pass a few industrial parks which have vacancies and that is the closest non-toll access that the park has. The truth is that none of the four County Commissioners that have been involved in the Packerton Yards project have been able to show any interest from a business to move into that site. That is the free market telling us as voters that the project is a bad idea.

Our new majority commissioners, which many of us voted for because of the previous administration's handling of Packerton Yards, has been spending a disgusting amount of money on the project that they said they would be getting rid of as soon as they took office. Instead they have doubled down on the same course of action as the previous administration. How are they spending money you ask? They have had to have plans redrawn and resubmitted numerous times. In addition the court challenges that the county has filed will run the county's legal fees up. Are any of these expenses accounted for in the budget? Exactly how much spending have they done on this project?

Finally, lets face facts. With no companies showing any interest in a potential Packerton Yards industrial site, there will be NO JOBS created there. When the County Commissioners attack Mahoning Township supervisors for following their development code by saying that the supervisors are against job creation is nothing but political fraud. We as voters need to take our County Commissioners to task for lying to us during their campaign AND remember what they have done when they are on the ballot again.

Thoughtfully Yours,

Don Wilson

Jim Thorpe

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