BURNSIDE - A total of 1,125 passes have been sold so far for access to Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area, according to authority members at their meeting Monday night.

The value of passes sold is $46,775.

With five weekends on the books and 11 to go before Labor Day, the AOAA is set to greatly exceed the $100,000 sales goal authority members had set before the site opened in May.

"We're really happy about that," said Jim Backes, authority chairman.

Backes said approximately 74 percent of users were one and two-day pass riders, and 90 percent of riders were from outside of Northumberland County. He said this number is remarkable because the AOAA has not yet advertised.

Authority members also announced at the meeting the park would be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Independence Day, and three-day passes will be available.

In other business

Improvements have been made to the map provided to all riders.Riders found the maps difficult to use, partly due to a need of increased trail markers. An effort to thoroughly mark all trails is underway, and a motion was unanimously passed to spend $250 on paint and materials for additional trail signs.

The authority unanimously ratified hiring two part-time employees with hours ranging from 10 to 30 per week depending on seasonal need. Mary Ellen Dilliplane will serve as a customer service representative and Robert Mowery as a maintenance worker. Backes said both had been volunteers with the AOAA prior to the creation of the positions, and the hiring committee had been able to view their work ethic firsthand, which factored into the decision.

A unanimous decision was made to renew the vendor rental fee for $30 per day for a Northumberland County business and $40 per day for an out-of-county business for July and August.

Authority members said they had not noticed any negative impact of the fee on the vendors.

"They want to re-book," said member Barry Yorwarth. Backes said the authority was making a conscious decision to keep a low number of vendors each weekend until attendance at the park grows, but more vendors may be added for the upcoming Independence Day weekend.