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Montgomery added to list of River Towns during workshop

By Staff | Jul 12, 2011

MONTGOMERY – Rural and urban areas are challenged with fostering a partnership in sustaining the past while planning to meet future needs. This challenge has been made more difficult with cuts in governmental funding.

A workshop for the Susquehanna Valley Region was held recently at the PPL educational auditorium at Chillisquque Lake near Washingtonville.

The effort in aiding community building in Rivertowns was held under the auspicious of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP). In existence for 10 years, SGP began a vision and action plan aiding communities in evolution. Regional coordinator, Brian Auman from Seda-Cog said, “Montgomery and Shickshinny are examples where currently strengths and weaknesses are being assessed.”

Representing Montgomery with two diverse entities were Becky Sanguedolce of Riverview Campgrounds on the business and tourism point of view, and David Morehart from Montgomery borough’s Main Street project who also has a great interest in historical factors.

Of the meeting Sanguedolce said, “The workshop confirmed what a special place we have in the Susquehanna River Valley. We should all be advocates for our neighborhoods in trying to make it even better. I learned that by partnering with other organizations, we can accomplish a lot.”

“I was pleased two volunteers took their time and money to attend the session learning as much as they can to help continue Montgomery’s revitalization efforts,” Becky Fought, regional Main Street Manager said.

Most workshop attendees had participated in a survey taken last July by the Pennsylvania State Historical and Museum Commission. The unofficial results revealed Lycoming County had the most numerous responses, mostly from property owners, ages 55-64.

“Appearance, views, and overall beauty of the area,” were listed as the area’s most enhanced resources, while neglected properties were listed as the most negative. Sprawling development was a concern and the survey showed that only half think “the average person in their neighborhood recognizes benefits to protecting and preserving the architectural, historical and cultural character of the community.”

The Elm Street project is a code name for any street being revitalized with location situated near downtown areas. Only Pennsylvania has this project, while the more well known Main Street projects are nationwide.

Montgomery is a community working toward marketing their town as a great place to live and visit. A core group of residents, Rose-Mary Rymsza, Peggy Yohn and Linda Stein met at the campground pavilion to assess results from suggestions. The group facilitated by members of three agencies met with borough residents including Mayor Onufrak, borough manager John Lynch Sr., and Becky Fought.

The attendees participated in a survey describing proposed ideas to enhance the borough’s downtown area and to tie it to the river. The generated booklet addressing issues and solutions can be viewed at the borough office.

The public is encouraged to attend a meeting for further discussion on the issues scheduled for Wednesday August 10 at 10 a.m. at the borough building, Montgomery.