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Rail Trail Commission Seeks Ways to Fund Fountain

The Saucon Rail Trail's development may continue with the addition of a drinking fountain.

The Saucon Rail Trail Oversight Commission hopes to raise money throughout 2013 to install a $5,800 drinking fountain.

"This [money] could come two different ways," said chairman Roger Jurczak at Monday's meeting. "Perhaps there will be an organization that funds the whole fountain, or it will be a conglomerate of donations from individuals."

Jurczak noted that the need for a fountain has been expressed by trail users who would rather not have to bring their own water, and from the desire of the commission to keep users on the trail.

"Some people head down to the creek to get their dogs water," said Jurczak. "We should be doing everything we can to keep people on the trail."

The potential drinking fountain must be winterized and pet-friendly--some of the reasons for the proposed fountain's high cost. This led the commission to discuss fund raising.

"We would like to reach out to citizens through Patch.com," said Jurczak.

The commission currently maintains a Facebook page and members have expressed a desire to launch a website to help promote the trail.

Hugh Gallagher November 29, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Some trail users and some administrators have lost all common sense to suggest that a dog should drink from a $5800 fountain and it is the duty of the commission to "keep people on the trail". A very small % of people use the trail. I am grateful for it but try to have reasonable expectations
Denise November 29, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Hmmm, this is thought provoking. I see it as a waste of money in that people can easily bring their own water. That's what you have to do to hike in the mountains. Is their a water fountain in Trexler Park? Save the $5,000 for something more pressing. Lets hear from the other side.
Andrew Wilt November 29, 2012 at 03:32 PM
This is a waste of money. It's just another example of some organization trying to accommodate a few at the expense of the many. If people want water for themselves or their pets, they should bring it with them with when they use the trail.
Rich November 29, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Hang on second here folks. While I agree that $5800 seems like huge amount for a fountain, I see no mention of paying for it with public funds. The article says the commission is going to raise money through donations. If those that want a fountain pay the cost, how does that impact those that don't use the trail?
Jennifer Moyer November 29, 2012 at 07:18 PM
If the fountain is built with private funds, please, do not criticize the municipal governments. Individuals have a lot of different ways of wasting money such as nice cars, nice clothing, big houses, entertainment, etc. Why pick on individuals purchasing a public fountain?
Hugh Gallagher November 30, 2012 at 08:18 AM
The trail impacts non-users just by being there. There are neighbors and travelers who intersect it on a daily basis. The commission has made it more difficult to fix the closed bridge at High St. They might think about using their energy + resources to being a better neighbor.
S November 30, 2012 at 01:18 PM
why not try raising some money to help extend and complete the trail towards Coopersburg and/or Bethlehem?!
Hugh Gallagher November 30, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Those are long term goals but they would have to address the High St Bridge issue before they extend it to Bethlehem.
Roger Jurczak November 30, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Mr. Gallagher: For your information, the oversight that the Saucon Rail Trail Commission has over the former SEPTA rail line ends at Bachman Street in Hellertown Borough. North of Bachman Street the rail line is owned by Norfolk Southern and is in the City of Bethlehem who is also responsible for the High Street Bridge. The Morning Call just ran an article on the High Street Bridge at http://articles.mcall.com/2012-11-22/news/mc-seidersville-road-bridges-20121122_1_bridges-ravena-street-penndot which should provide you with more information about their plans to construct another bridge. Regarding the fountain, the Rail Trail Commission has heard complaints from property owners who live along the trail that dog owners are taking their dogs off the trail onto private property looking for water for the animals. I fully agree with you that a $5000-6000 price tag for a water fountain is a large cost. However a year-around water fountain that also supplies water for pets is a highly specialized and durable piece of equipment. Perhaps the point you missed was that the expenditure if and when made would be from citizens and /or trail users who voluntarily contributed to the total cost and not funded by any municipality. Roger Jurczak, President Saucon Rail Trail Oversight Commission
Hugh Gallagher December 01, 2012 at 05:18 AM
Mr. Jurczak, Although the SAUCON commission may end it's oversight (but not it's influence) at Bachman , another entity of the rail trail controls it from that point. If there was no trail, the railroad would have filled in and built a passageway over the rail bed, and we would be driving over that area today. Somehow, with patience + cooperation, we should be able to have both the trail and be able to drive on a road that has been there for a century. There is a shared responsibility for the closure of this road. The people that live in the Ravena St area are seriously impacted by this closure. I did read the M-Call article about the bridges. I would suggest that you could build a number of fountains and still have complaints from neighbors about dogs.

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