Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bart Twp. Residents Oppose Rail Trail 2-1

The attempts by advocates of a "rail trail" along the former Enola Low Grade Line in the southern portion of the County to bring that vision to fruition have been frustrating.

Since the project's inception, it has faced skepticism and opposition from residents in some areas of the County.

One of those areas is Bart Township, a rural municipality in the southeastern portion of the County perhaps most notable for the calamitous 2006 Nickel Mines Amish schoolhouse shooting.

Township supervisors there say that they sent a survey to every mailbox in the township 2-3 years ago, and found that residents opposed recreational use of the rail line by a margin of approximately 2-1.

Along with concerns about trespassing, liability, and maintenance, Supervisor Chairman Calvin Keene shared that "A lot of people thought the County had a big enough deficit and didn't have any business doing it."

"It became rather clear to us that a large majority of our residents didn't want it," said Keene.

"Justified or not, they didn't like it."

"So, being we're elected by those people, we represent what they want. Now, that doesn't mean that one or more of us is in favor or not in favor of the trail, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm trying to represent what the constituents want."

"Until that changes, we represent them," Township Supervisor Bob Girvin Jr. agreed.