Roaring Spring Council Continues to Field Questions On Mountain Ground
April 21, 2022
Roaring Spring Borough Council met for its regular meeting March 14, and again addressed its decision to limit access to Plum Creek Mountain.
Citizen Norman Wright addressed council and asked it to open the ground for recreation by charging a fee for a permit. Councilman James Musselman outlined the reasons the borough cannot do that.
Musselman said a “pay to use” policy would bring an end to the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s patrolling of the ground, effectively eliminating consistent policing of mountain, and that the borough would not be able to secure an insurance policy for such use.
Musselman also repeated what council has been saying since the mountain ground became an issue, which is that the borough could lose its existing insurance coverage if ATV riding was permitted.
Borough Solicitor Larry Lashinsky said there are only “two or three” insurance companies in the country that will insure a municipality, and if the borough were to lose its current coverage, it would be difficult for them to meet the insurance needs of everything else the borough does such as liability on borough vehicles and parks.
A suggestion that the borough install orange triangles to show riders the correct path to ride to avoid further damage to the mountain was dismissed as not being feasible for the borough to patrol and manage ATV riders.
Responding to earlier reports that the borough is getting the mountain ground appraised, Wright asked council to not sell the land which would take it away from future generations. Wright said that if the borough sold the ground, they would be giving up money made from timbering.
Lashinsky told him that the borough has already gotten all the timber it could from the mountain and that the forester has informed them that it will be at least 40 years before there will be any salable timber again.
Wright said selling the land will also eliminate a water source for the borough, but Mayor Dennis Igou, who has a DEP water license, said the water on the mountain is not fit to drink.
Resident Troy Wright told council he would like the possible sale of the ground to be up to the voters and would like to see the question on November’s general election ballot.
In other business, the Roaring Spring Borough Police Department received two business donations of just under $1,500. Police Chief Greg Wyandt said the donations will be used to purchase three sets of stop sticks, one for each police cruiser.
Wyandt said several Cove police departments – Freedom Township, Greenfield Township, and Blair Township – have stop sticks and that if they are used, the department can pursue the cost from the person they are used for.
Borough Manager Lisa Peel said she is working on a fundraiser for the Spring Dam and will mail out donation letters.
A motion for the Blair County State Designated Enterprise Zone, which encompasses core areas in the county including Altoona, Logan Township, Hollidaysburg, Tyrone, Williamsburg and Roaring Spring was passed. With the resolution, the borough will work with the Altoona Blair County Development Corp (ABCD) to try to generate interest in the borough’s industrial plants and entice investors into developing therewith some business tax credits.