Carbondale Looks To Grow Businesses

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CARBONDALE, Pa. – Bill Wallis sees the benefit of the city’s facade grant program that has improved the look of town.

“A lot of Main Street shops had the face-lifts and that’s nice,” said the owner of Wallis Furniture. “That’s an attraction for people. The sidewalks and street lamps make it a more pleasant downtown as well.”

The facade program, the new businesses and the increased downtown focus are part of a strategic plan created by the Greater Carbondale Chamber of Commerce in 2002, according to Mayor Justin Taylor.

Mr. Wallis’ family-run business is located on Main Street, where city officials and developers have been focusing an effort to revitalize businesses. He has already noticed an increase in foot traffic in the two months since NHS Health Services of Northeastern Pennsylvania moved in down the street.

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Easton’s Long-Defunct Pomeroy’s Building Rents Apartments, New Restaurant On Way

Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette College

Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For 35 years the hulking, empty Pomeroy’s building symbolized the decline of Easton’s downtown.

Once a flourishing department store, the property was shuttered in 1977 and sat untouched on Northampton Street just a few dozen yards from Centre Square.

But a $4 million rehab that created 22 apartments, retail space and a restaurant has reclaimed what Mayor Sal Panto Jr. called the city’s white elephant. New renters arrive June 1, the building’s first tenets since the original “Star Wars” movie was released.

William Vogt and Mark Mulligan, partners in VM Development and owners of Pomeroy’s, said the project is a risk, but they believe Easton is ripe for their mix of high-end apartments and large retail spaces. Mulligan said six of the apartments, one- and two-bedroom units with granite counters, wood flooring and 14-foot ceilings, have been leased without much marketing.

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Rail Yard Rezoning Before Lancaster City Council

More than six years ago Lancaster City Council gave its enthusiastic blessing to a plan to build a “meds & eds” campus on the former Armstrong World Industries site.

Council members voted to rezone 57 acres of the former flooring plant to allow the creation of athletic fields for Franklin & Marshall College and educational facilities for Lancaster General Hospital.

Now they being asked to rezone a long, narrow area that separates two sections of the college and completes the expanded tract for the $46 million project.

On Monday, Lancaster General Hospital formally asked council members to change the zoning designation for 28 acres of Norfolk Southern‘s Dillerville rail yard from “central manufacturing” to “mixed use.”

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Nonprofit Group Refurbishes Reading’s Skyline Drive Overlooks

Reading's Pagoda seen from Skyline Drive

Reading’s Pagoda seen from Skyline Drive (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note: AWESOME!

Drivers will get a better view of the city and a safer parking spot at the three overlooks along Skyline Drive because of the work of Pagoda-Skyline Inc.

The nonprofit group got volunteers from the Blue Mountain Region of the Sports Car Club of America to clear several trees near the overlooks, in part for the view and in part to create safety zones from the brush fires that occasionally plague Mount Penn, and then contracted Morgan Rail of Ontelaunee Township to install 438 feet of new guide rail at the overlooks.

Replacing old and often rotten wooden rails, the new weathered-look steel guide rails were installed Friday and Monday. They cost nearly $13,000, Pagoda-Skyline Chairwoman Corrie Crupi said.

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Duncannon, PA Norfolk Southern Corporation employees will be donating their time as part of the company’s spring volunteer day starting at 9:00am on Saturday, May 12th improving river access points in the Borough of Duncannon, a town whose heritage has long been tied to region’s greater transportation network as a hub community for canals, ferries, rails and trails.  Volunteers from the company’s Enola Diesel Shop will be pitching in with assistance from Borough workers and local Fire Department to help improve a pedestrian and recreational pathway to the river under the railroad arches in advance of a town-wide event with a theme of getting out-of-doors. 

“The river arches represent the physical connection between our historic downtown, the Appalachian Trail footpath and the Susquehanna River Water Trail”, said Borough Councilman, Jack Conrad, “The Borough is pleased to collaborate with the Norfolk Southern volunteers on this important project that further positions Duncannon as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts.”

“Many of our employees live in Perry County and recognize this rail line for the beautiful scenery of the Susquehanna Water Gaps,” said NSCorp. Enola Diesel Shop Senior General Foreman, Archie Glace.  “We’re happy to help improve local access to the river under our tracks and strengthen ties with the communities where our people live and work.”

Employees participating will be using railroad equipment and sweat equity to scrape sediment and resurface the floor of two river arches near the Borough’s business district.  The arch-ways receive heavy use from recreational paddlers and pedestrians accessing scenic views of the broad river and surrounding forested ridges.  In times where local governments are feeling the squeeze of funding cuts to state and federal programs, the Norfolk Southern group’s collaborative efforts with the local community will maximize resources towards improving public safety for pedestrian access following damage from last year’s flooding, helping prevent future erosion, and enhancing the appearance of the river access points.

This upcoming downtown beautification and recreation-based volunteer effort was coordinated with assistance from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Duncannon’s Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Committee in preparation for Duncannon’s upcoming Appalachian Trail CommunityTM designation celebration being held downtown on Saturday, June 2nd.   The river access improvement suits the intent of the Appalachian Trail Community TM program in bringing greater awareness of the area’s outdoor recreation opportunities to residents and visitors and in highlighting the connection between the health and abundance of the region’s natural assets and the economic vitality of local communities.

About Duncannon Appalachian Trail CommunityTM Advisory Committee
The Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Committee (DATC), comprised of local officials, Trail Angels, Trail to Every Classroom teachers, business owners, and representatives of non-profit organizations , Trail clubs and the Susquehanna Rovers Volksmarch Club, represents a collaborative effort with the mission of supporting projects and programs that bring the historical, cultural and environmental richness of the Appalachian Trail and surrounding landscapes to the lives and livelihood of the residents of the greater Duncannon area.  For more information on the upcoming A.T. Community designation celebration, visit

About Norfolk Southern Corporation
Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products.

Kim McKee                                                                                             
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel. 717.258.5771 x208
Fax. 717.258.1442

Lock Haven’s Piper Airport To Get $977,708 For Runway Project

Piper PA-40 Arapaho in 1974 in Lock Haven, PA ...

Piper PA-40 Arapaho in 1974 in Lock Haven, PA I took this picture in 1974 in Lock Haven, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG, PA – The William T. Piper Memorial Airport in Lock Haven is one of 27 airports across Pennsylvania that will improve facilities and enhance safety with a piece of a $12.6 million investment of federal and state funds.

The airport at the east end of Lock Haven will receive $977,708 for runway work, according to an announcement by Gov. Tom Corbett.

The rehabilitated runway will be only 75 feet wide, which is regulation size, according to the city. It is 100 feet wide righ tnow, and the project will narrow it by 12.5 feet on each side.

Lighting also will be upgraded and the lights relocated as the runway is narrowed so they remain close to the runway’s edge. The city’s local match for the work is roughly $60,000.

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Easton Farmers Market Booming A Decade After Hitting Bottom

Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette College

Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Easton, PA – On any given Saturday from May to November, you can race zucchini, chow on hot peppers and glory in the goodness of the tomato at the Easton Farmers Market.

This year the 260-year-old market boasts 45 vendors, 20 more on a waiting list and will draw more than 50,000 people into the city’s Centre Square. It’s hard to imagine that 10 years ago its lone vendor, Gloria Raub, passed away and almost took the market with her.

“When Raub died,” said state Rep. Bob Freeman D-Northampton. “I was deeply concerned that the market would just disappear.”

Instead of vanishing, the market bloomed as its backers found the right niche and a formula that attracted producers and consumers back to Centre Square – it also didn’t hurt that a movement toward localiy-grown food gained momentum at the same time.

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