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Wolf Lake funding request denied

May 01, 2001

Wolf Lake funding request denied



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


The borough may put revitalization plans for Wolf Lake on the back burner after a state agency denied its request to fund a feasibility study of the project.

"I think we have too many irons in the fire for now," said Bernard Washabaugh, president of the Chambersburg Council. "I, for one, am not interested in a gigantic big plan. I thought it might be nice to clean it up, but I'm not interested in spending one nickel on it."

Residents Pamela Gaudiose and Robert Lesher began pushing for the cleanup of the lake on Wilson College last fall so it could be used for boating and recreational activities.

The council got behind the idea and agreed to apply for a grant that would fund a study into possible improvements and costs.

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Recreation Superintendent Herb Dolaway told the council at its meeting Wednesday that the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources notified him last week it would not fund the borough's grant application for a feasibility study.

Borough Manager Eric Oyer said staff members would come up with a few ideas and bring them back to the council at a future work session and decide then whether there is any interest in reapplying for the grant this fall.

"We may want to refocus the grant application on the Rails to Trails with Wolf Lake attached as the terminus," Dolaway said, referring to the mile-long trail that will run along the former railroad bed. "We may tweak our concept a little so the lake is not the main focus."

Because of the lake's proximity to the trail, he pointed out how the two projects would complement each other.

Councilman Thomas Newcomer agreed. "I think the highest priority is Rails to Trails. I think we should prioritize where we are going," he said.

Dolaway said resubmitting the application would give the borough time to define the proposal, which is a mix of environmental and recreational concepts.

"The real goal here is to try and do what is best for the community with a combination of two concepts," he said. "There is potential to bring back some of the history and a resource that hasn't been used to its fullest potential."

The borough is working closely with Wilson College to gauge interest in the project.

The college has expressed willingness to support plans to clean up the lake and improve trails around it, but raised concerns about liability and land ownership in a letter last fall.

"It raised the flag of environmental unknowns," Oyer said, but added that did not mean Wilson College was withdrawing its support.

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