AOAA leases 200 acres for $1,000 per year
BURNSIDE - Riders at the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) will soon have approximately 200 additional acres to roam.
At Monday's meeting, authority members voted 4-0 to enter into a lease with Brian Pedrick, William Pedrick and Seth Gedman for three parcels beginning Monday and ending Aug. 1, 2015.
Authority member Patrick Mack was absent from the meeting.
The year-long lease will give the AOAA nearly 200 acres of land at $5 per acre, which will cost the park approximately $1,000 per year.
Jim Backes, authority chairman, said most of the land is almost directly across Route 125 from the AOAA trailhead and has existing trails.
"They're riders and good supporters of the project we're doing," said Backes. "(The land) really starts tying things together."
Backes said the authority expected the one-year lease to be renewed in future years, but that they would not be making any changes to the property.
The authority also accepted a bid to engage Michael Baker Jr. in conjunction with Skelly & Loy Inc. and Pennoni Associates for the Phase II and Act 13 projects in an amount not to exceed $22,490 for non-motorized trailhead and trails and $63,524 for the trailhead event area and additional parking, and $34,950 for the Carbon Run Headwaters AMD design.
Engagement of the firms is contingent upon the approval of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and other grant funding sources.
Backes said the authority only had one bidder for the projects, but that they were sufficiently qualified from their other work on the property.
Dave Porzi, AOAA operations director, was authorized by the authority to act on its behalf to work with local law enforcement to report and prosecute trespassing, vandalism or other criminal and possible criminal activity on AOAA property.
Backes said previously an authority member needed to report crime, and officially granting this designation provides the park with legal protection when Porzi notifies the police.
The authority also approved sending two letters regarding installing a gate in the area of the Bear Valley Patches. A letter to Coal Township Commissioners will be in support of citizens that began a petition to install the gate, and a letter to Reading Anthracite Company will state the authority's support and request that Reading also support the project.
A Halloween-themed ride and scavenger hunt is scheduled for Oct. 25. The authority approved Monster Moto Enterprises' event, which will bring costumed ATV, UTV and motorcycle riders to the park for prizes, food and raffles.
Daniel Brocious, an organizer for Monster Moto, said the organization would be arranging for a local nonprofit to sell food at the event.