COAL TOWNSHIP - A $50,000 commitment was made by Geisinger to the Lower Anthracite Regional Recreation Committee (LARRC) toward the development of a soccer field complex along Trevorton Road.

Officials from the Geisinger-Shamokin Area Community Hospital (G-SACH) campus presented a $25,000 check to LARRC members Thursday ahead of the monthly meeting of the Coal Township commissioners. Another $25,000 will be donated in 2015.

The funding is to be used toward the construction of a fieldhouse on 6 acres of county-owned land near the Mountain View nursing home.

John "Skip" Rabuck, a LARRC member, proclaimed Geisinger's donation evidence that people believe in the committee's mission, and on a larger scale that people believe in the Coal Township and Shamokin areas.

"They certainly know there are believers here because they're believers, too. They invested in the Shamokin hospital, they believe that it's a viable resource to them. Now they donated ($50,000) to LARRC, which shows they believe in us and what we're doing," Rabuck said.

Rabuck spoke of the township helping the city purchase rock salt in the winter, of TimberEnd Inc. donating $3,400 in mulch for township playgrounds and of LARRC's own donation of $5,000 to Shamokin's public swimming pool. The West End Fire Co. in Shamokin followed suit, kicking in an additional $1,000 toward pool operations.

Rabuck didn't speak of specifics, but he said LARRC and its estimated 20 members are "going to make believers out of people" over the next year. Over time, the committee envisions expanding its operations beyond Coal Township and Shamokin, reaching communities throughout the anthracite region.

"We're making believers one community at a time, one person at a time," Rabuck said.

Also on hand were Earl Foura, G-SACH board chairman, Tom Harlow, G-SACH chief administrative officer, Joe Bressi, G-SACH advisory board member, and LARRC members Justin Feudale and Claire Bonshock.

Bid on renovated home

Commissioner Bernie Rumberger said Restoration Ministries, Shamokin, received and accepted a bid on its renovated home at 1676 W. Spruce St. The property had been a blighted double home that was converted into a single and renovated inside out. About $130,000 was invested into the home. The work was performed by volunteers and members of the church's youth ministry.

Commissioner Gene Welsh said the entire board of commissioners was very grateful for the work of the church volunteers. Rabuck called them "believers," too.

In other business

The commissioners:

- Tabled a policy on the taping of public meetings to discuss it further with township solicitor Vincent Rovito, whose absence from the meeting was expected. Among the proposed restrictions, the policy would attempt to ban citizens from using audio devices to record township agenda sessions held on the Tuesdays before the monthly meetings held on the first Thursday.

- Announced $1,504.23 was spent on the hourly wages of the township police officers stationed at the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) May 3 in response to a planned protest.

- Adopted ordinance to extend the Commercial 2 zone near the former Mountain View nursing home building and to advertise intent to amend existing Peddling and Soliciting ordinance to include both public and private properties.

- Passed resolution to used remaining money from 2011 through 2013 budgets from Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for a paving project on Webster Street.

- Sold the former Fairview Fire Co.'s engine to the Locust Gap Fire Co. for $10,000.

- Advertise for bids to purchase a used Ford F550 dump truck with plow and spreader.

- Acknowledged receipt of a petition from Bear Valley Road residents seeking a locked gate to be put across the roadway restricting vehicle access to the third patch, site of illegal dumping. The road gives access to privately owned coal lands. Commissioners said they'd attempt to reach the land owners to discuss the request.

- Announced the township street department would not pick up residential yard waste until an undetermined date in the fall. The department picks up yard waste twice yearly, in the fall and spring.

- Heard from citizen John Burd, who said a group, "West End Coal Township Community and Watch," has been created on Facebook and invited residents to join.

- Received correspondence from community groups announcing the Citizens for a Better Community will again host a fireworks display at 9:40 p.m. July 5 from the Cameron Bank, Maine Fire Co. will host its annual block party Aug. 23, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars will hold its annual flag retirement ceremony at the township municipal building at 6 p.m. June 12.