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Input sought for Pa. recreation, open space

August 23, 2000

Input sought for Pa. recreation, open space



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A new master plan adopted by the Franklin County Commissioners last year raised questions about what the county should do about improving recreation and open space. Now county residents will have chance to come up with their own ideas.

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Two public meetings on the issue are scheduled for next month, Philip Wolgemuth, a Franklin County planner, said Wednesday.

Residents in northern Franklin County will meet in the Eugene Clark Community Center at 235 S. Third St., in Chambersburg at 7 p.m. on Sept. 13.

The public meeting for the southern end of the county will be held the next night in the auditorium of Greencastle-Antrim High School at 300 S. Ridge Ave., Greencastle, at 7 p.m.

"We want to get the residents' feelings on what they want for recreation, what they're using now and what they would use. We also want to find out if open space is an issue in the county," Wolgemuth said.

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He said residents who attend the meetings will learn what is already available for recreation in the county.

Boroughs, townships and private organizations like sportsmen clubs provide most of the recreation and open space facilities in Franklin County, Wolgemuth said.

The county government can be available to help local governments with technical assistance plus help them to write grant applications for money to pay for recreational facilities and programs, Wolgemuth said.

"The state government looks more favorably on grant applications if it's a countywide plan," he said.

One offshoot of the county's new comprehensive plan was the appointment of a 12-member recreation advisory committee made up of citizens and representatives from boards and commissions.

The committee received a $50,000 state grant to conduct its study and hire a Pittsburgh consultant familiar with recreational issues.

"These people do these plans for a living," Wolgemuth said. "They have been very helpful."

Committee members and representatives from the consulting firm will be on hand for both public meetings, he said.

Organizers ask that anyone with questions or suggestions for the committee call the Franklin County Planning Commission at 1-717-261-3855 or send an e-mail to plan@franklinco.Pa.net.

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