Zerbe Township embraces AOAA prospects
A joke this past summer among critics of the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) was, "Wow, look at all the ice they sold at Turkey Hill." It was in reaction to a story detailing the economic impact of an AOAA event in which the convenience store sold out of ice at its Lincoln Street location in Shamokin.
Of course, there's more to economic development than bags of ice. If it wasn't apparent this summer in Shamokin, those looking for proof can take a drive through Trevorton. There, new businesses have opened, apartment buildings are being renovated and the township supervisors have approved a new zoning ordinance that promotes commercial opportunities - all of it in anticipation of the AOAA.
As detailed in our "Spotlight On" series Thursday, Zerbe Township leaders are looking to capitalize on the park. Who can blame them, considering what's occurred prior to the AOAA even opening.
Support for the zoning changes was not unanimous among members of the public. Zoning all of Route 225 through the township for shared commercial and residential uses concerns those who prefer the quite of small-town life.
Supervisors, however, seem intent on making a bold statement about what they think could happen if the AOAA is successful. In particular, they see "traffic" from the AOAA being significant if one of its secondary access points is located in the township as has been proposed.
That's also why people like Kandie and Harry Rebuck have sunk $80,000 into Kandie's Place restaurant in Trevorton, and that's why Mountainside Motorsports opened two years ago in the village.
From public officials to business owners, they see the potential - new construction, new businesses, new employees, new tax revenue - new dollars in the community.
Indeed, it's about a lot more than bags of ice.