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Sligo Borough Council Considers Connection to Piney Trail for ATV’s

Friday, September 14, 2018 @ 12:09 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

atvSLIGO, Pa. (EYT) – A request to allow ATVs on the streets of Sligo rejected at the August meeting brought continued discussion at the September meeting. Terry Chapla, from Piney Rail Riders, asked questions concerning the possible connection to Piney Trail.

The Piney Rail Riders are attempting to purchase the rights to one of the only remaining tracts of rail bed in Clarion County that hasn’t been already purchased and designated as a walking/biking only trail that excludes any motorized modes of transportation.

The ultimate goal for the 39-mile railroad bed would be for a mixed-use trail.

“We put it on hold last month to kind of see what Piney Rail Riders were doing and Piney Township,” explained Wayne Meier to Chapla about the decision. “Basically, our consensus is if we did open that up that would be nice, and I think it would also be of benefit to the community.”

“Our discussion last month was whether if we open all of the streets to ATVs and Council was not in favor of that at all.”

Hoping to get some background on council’s thoughts, Chapla asked what are the concerns that council has on opening some of the streets.

“There’s nowhere to go after you do it if it’s illegal to ride outside and the townships,” said Chuck Marsh. “I don’t want them running on my street. They are right now, and I’d like to stop them. I have four wheelers and go to Marienville and all over the place riding.”

A connection to the proposed Piney Trail could be made, but it would take authorization from private landowners.

“We would have to go through Piney,” Meier said. “For example, if Piney Township worked to approve Limestone Flats which runs right into Sligo, then you would have access to Wessex Performance and things like that. Burns Farms also owns property that you could come off of with permission to bring you into town basically. It would be my impression that would be good for the community if you do follow through and get that done. I think Piney Township would probably be on board with it.”

Chapla said that to his knowledge, Piney Rail Riders have not yet met with the Piney Township Supervisors but the board plans to attend a future meeting.

Meier said it would be nice to be able to ride a four-wheeler into town for gas or the Family Dollar.

“If you folks indeed get it up and running, I think it would be a good deal for this area. I’ve ridden it since I was 16 years old. I think it would be a good idea for that to happen in the area.”

Marsh said if the streets were opened, Sligo Borough should talk to the property owners along the streets.

“They’re going to be the ones who have to put up with noise and all that.”

Chapla said support was growing for the project, but it was still a long, long way in the future and outlined what has to take place.

“The property owner is in support of what we’re trying to do,” Chapla said. “At our last board meeting, he offered us a lease to use the land until we get everything resolved.”

“The first thing is we have to get the funding to do a feasibility study to have engineers come in and check out of all the bridges, look at all of the roads crossings to determine property lines, and a lot of other things.”

“So, that’s step one. We’re in the process now of writing a grant for DCNR to get the money to hire the engineering firm to do that study for us. That’s where we stand.”

“A lot of the railroad lines around here were built were bought by the rails to trails associations, and they close them to motorized vehicles. There are fewer opportunities, and this is the last chance of getting outdoors to the streams and fish. The upper part of Piney Creek is stocked and there is catch and release section that’s open year round. It gives people the access to those areas for fishing, hunting, hiking, and outdoors.”

“We’re not trying to keep it as a closed trail where would just be a ATVs, and it will be a multi-use system. If you want to walk, you can walk it. It will be completely open to everyone.”

In other business:

• An auction at the Sligo Borough Rec Center is scheduled for October 9 at 6:00 p.m.

• The COG Pool closed August 26, a golf scramble fundraiser was scheduled for September 9, and the Presbyterian Church Roast Beef Dinner fundraiser for pavilion electrical upgrades is scheduled for October 11.

• An invoice was sent to Reynolds Logging requesting the company forward the total amount due of $1,505.16 by September 25 for inspections of roads traveled so that Sligo Borough may release Bonds.

• Approval was granted to redo the Sligo website through go Costs for the three-year contract of $503.05 will be shared between Sligo Borough, Sligo Rec Center, and Homes for the Holidays. Sligo Borough plans to put additional information on the website, including ordinances. The addition of ordinances on the website would give citizen’s access to the laws of Sligo Borough dealing with subjects ranged from burning days, what can be burned, and the prohibition of mowing grass on to the roads.

• Council member Wesley Buck Wyant regularly reports incidents of people mowing grass on to the road, including four properties along Madison Street in August.

• Approve the request from the Eccles Memorial library for a donation. The library is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Council approved a $250.00 donation.

• Borough secretary Janie Croyle requested any ideas for the coming 2019 budget.

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