Work to Begin on Upgrades to Area Park

By Duane Good, Editor, February 2, 2010

MILLERSBURG - All of the necessary funding is in place to move forward on a hiking/biking pathway and other additions to the borough’s Riverfront Park.

Aided by more than $500,000 in grants from the state and from Dauphin County, the project will enter the construction design phase in February.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for the late summer/early fall, with completion anticipated by the spring of 2011, according to Christopher Dietz, coordinator of the project and president of Millersburg Borough Council.

The hiking/biking pathway would be eight feet wide, made of asphalt, and would stretch the entire length of the 3.8- acre park.

Other planned additions include:

  • the creation of a “gateway” to the planned Lykens Valley Rail Trail project at the Millersburg Ferry docking area at the intersection of North and River streets, including construction of a concrete ramp at the dock;
  • a restroom/concession building north of the ferry dock, which would offer boat, bicycle and fishing equipment rentals;
  • additional paved parking in and around the park;
  • and additional trash and recycling bins, new signs and a conduit for lighting and sound systems.

These additions – which borough officials call the Riverfront Park: Gateway to the Lykens Valley Rail Trail project – are part of the first phase of Millersburg’s Master Park Plan, as well as the first phase of the planned rail trail work.

Estimated cost to design and build the project is $560,000.

The concession building and rental building will provide seasonal jobs, borough officials said.

Located on the banks of the Susquehanna across from River Street, Riverfront Park has been the site of the annual music concert/fireworks display around the July 4 holiday for the past two decades.

State county funding received. The River-front/Gateway project, which was developed by Millersburg Borough, recently received $530,000 in funding – $280,000 from the state’s Community Conservation Partnership Program (through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Re-sources) and $250,000 in matching funds from Dauphin County (as part of more than $8 million in gaming revenue the county recently received).

The project also has received funding from several other sources, including a grant from The Foundation for Enhancing Communities ($10,000) and donations from the Tour de Millersburg ($3,000), the Paul A. Troutman Foundation ($2,000), the Millersburg Ferryboat
Association ($2,800), the Millersburg Shade Tree Commission ($1,000) and the Millersburg Bench Sponsorship Program ($1,200).

In addition, Millersburg Borough is contributing $10,000 in labor and other in-kind services.

Several people thanked. Dietz said he had several people to thank for the newest funds obtained.

They include: U.S. Rep. Tim Holden, state Sen. John Gordner, state Rep. Sue Helm, the Dauphin County Board of Commissioners, the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, the Millersburg Ferryboat Association, the Millersburg Area School District, the Millersburg Shade Tree Commission, the Millersburg Borough Planning Commission, and Millersburg Area Working Together.

Also, the Northern Dauphin Revitalization Project, Susquehanna Greenway Project, Susquehanna River Trail Association, Lykens Valley Rail Trail Association and the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission.

Dietz also said that two other people were “invaluable to our funding efforts.” Lori Yeich, natural resource officer for DCNR’s North Central/South Central Region, and Carl Dickson, director of parks and recreation for Dauphin County.

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