Working continues for big day at AOAA
BURNSIDE - Work continues to have everything in place for the opening weekend of the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area.
Several motions at the authority's meeting Monday night set up finishing touches on the 6,500-acre park that will be open for off-highway vehicle (OHV) use - full-size vehicles, ATVs, motorcycles - May 17 and eventually for biking, hiking, equestrian trails and other activities.
Chairman Jim Backes reported the authority has closed on a $250,000 line of credit with M&T Bank. The authority can draw down on the loan for three years, after which there is a five-year payback period. Interest was set at 3.19 percent.
Any funds drawn from the credit line will be used for expenses ineligible for use of state grant funding, including the salary and benefits for the vacant operations manager position.
Authority members took no time drawing from the credit line, approving two loan disbursements. The first one was for $8,750, $8,500 of which is going to Eckert, Seamans, Cherin and Mellott LLC, of Harrisburg, the law firm that helped prepare the documents for the line of credit; the rest is a $250 service fee to M&T Bank.
The second disbursement is for $12,000 to Christian Baker Company, of Lemoyne, for the AOAA's general liability and workers compensation insurance policy.
Members voted to purchase the policy Monday at a cost not to exceed $15,000 and will use some money from their account for the purchase.
The board also approved a motion that all future loan disbursements must be signed by two of three designated authority officers, either the chairman, secretary or treasurer.
Backes and the board thanked the many volunteers that came out for two recent cleanups held at the AOAA. They offered special thanks to One Smart Cookie for serving lunch for the 200 participants; DMS, Dan Shingara and Waste Management for their donations of Dumpsters, and Maurer's Ice Cream for paying a $150 Dumpster tipping fee.
Other donations accepted this month include shelving from Big Boys NAPA, a first aid kit from Warren Remig, two file cabinets from FNB Bank and stripping and waxing the floors of the Welcome Center by 3B Cleaning.
Authority member Pat Mack commended the Anthracite Trail Riders for their work on the benefit trail ride held April 26 for the benefit of first responders in Shamokin, Coal Township and Zerbe Township.
The next event to be held at the park will be the first-ever W.E. Rock DirtRiot MidStates race Saturday, May 3.
"This is a points race for dirt track riders and an endurance race similar to the Line Mountain 7-miler," Backes said. "There will be open divisions for local racers, and the spectators are invited to see all the action."
The authority announced the area will be closed Friday through Sunday to prepare and clean up from the event.
Mack also reminded all of the riders coming to and from the park into Shamokin about speed limits in Burnside.
"Just remember that its a 35 mph speed limit," Mack said. "The last thing we want to hear about is anyone either in town or out of town getting into an accident or hitting someone."
In other business
- The board approved purchases of a full security system for the welcome center building linked to a central monitoring station that will watch it 24 hours a day at a cost of $2,495 paid from the trail head grant. Also approved for purchase from Ad One, Sunbury, were two 5-foot by 9-foot vinyl signs to be placed at the entrance at a cost not to exceed $900, purchase volunteer T-shirts from Academy Sports, Mount Carmel, for opening weekend at a cost not to exceed $400, permit required signs from Rowe's print shop for $299.98 and for signage around the trail head at a cost not to exceed $1,200.
- The AOAA Authority entered an agreement for credit card services with FNB Bank to purchase a stand alone card reader for $370.
- Set at Monday's meeting were a $10 fee for a duplicate pass or magnetic backed pass and a $35 fee for receiving checks for insufficient funds.
- The board approved a motion to submit a product loan agreement with Kawasaki for the loan of a 2014 Teryx utility terrain vehicle for tests, maintenance and rides at the AOAA.
- A motion was approved to submit AOAA phase II maps and information to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) as part of the organization's grant approval process and to submit a community work program application to SCI-Coal Township.
- Approval was given for the chairman, or a committee of authority members he selects, to hire an administrative assistant for $11 to $14 a hour and a maintenance worker for $9 to $12 an hour. Both employees will work between 20 and 30 hours a week and be selected through an interview process.