Fairview, Wright Focused On Improvements In 2015
By NICOLE FAY BARR
Correspondent

Officials in both Fairview and Wright townships looked for ways to improve the community this year. Fairview made renovations at Memorial Park, acquired grants to improve road conditions, and obtained better equipment for local police. The expansion and renovation of the Wright Township municipal building began and the first steps were taken in revising the township’s comprehensive plan.

Fairview Township

After years of surveying and strategizing, renovations began at Memorial Park in Fairview Township this year. In June, board members approved plans for phase one of renovations, to the small children’s play area. The plans included the removal of old and worn playground equipment, in the area for two-to five-year-olds, and replacing it with a new, safer play structure and a set of swings. A new fence was put in around the small children’s area and the parking lot was scheduled to be redone.

The phase one renovations were funded by a $45,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. In April, the board voted to apply for another grant from DCNR, for $40,000 for phase two, renovations of the five-to 12-year-old playground area.

Plans to improve the park started in 2013, when Barry Isett & Associates, who worked on the recent renovations, worked with the township on another DCNR grant, to create a master plan and public survey to guide the future use, conservation, development, and rehabilitation of the park property.

The long-running summer program at Memorial Park went well this year as the township hired new director Alexandria Briggs. A teacher, Alexandria oversaw park activities for 55 children and expressed interest at the end of the summer in directing the park program again next year.

The program, for children ages six to 12, separated the kids by ages for various activities, which included arts and crafts, sports, playground time, and swimming. Children attending the program were also taken by bus on field trips throughout the summer and the program concluded with an overnight campout and talent show.

Fairview Township received several grants this year to improve roads. A cooperation agreement, between Luzerne County and Fairview Township, was given for a $100,000 community development block grant. These types of grants, from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, are given often for government housing. The Fairview grant was used to make improvements to the roads at Fairview Park, public housing run by the Luzerne County Housing Authority.

The road crew in Fairview was busy all summer, Roadmaster and Chairman to the Board of Supervisors Russ Marhold reported. The crew worked at the Mountaintop Area Council of Governments’ compost facility and did “extensive work” in the township park. Workers also replaced deteriorated drainage pipes, fixed retention basins, and did camera flushing of sewer lines and fixed potholes, using around 8,000 pounds of blacktop.

Fairview Township held an information session this fall to educate the public about stormwater runoff, sewer systems, and the overall effect of pollutants on water quality. The session, one of the state requirements in implementing new sewer regulations, was sponsored by the Mountaintop Rotary Club.