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Rail Trail Oversight Commission Elects Chairperson

Roger Jurczak of Lower Saucon was unanimously voted chairperson of the commission for the remainder of 2011.

Members of the Saucon Rail Trail Oversight Commission met on Oct. 24 in Coopersburg to discuss winter maintenance of the trail and a potential change in the meeting time for the upcoming year, as well as to elect a chairperson.

of Lower Saucon Township was unanimously voted chairperson of the commission for the remainder of 2011, however the intermunicipal agreement that led to the commission's formation specifies that a new chairperson must be elected each year. Jurczak will be eligible to continue in the position in 2012 if he chooses to be considered and is elected.

The intermunicipal agreement also specifies that within two weeks of ratifying the agreement dues of $1,000 per municipality must be paid, and then an additional $1,000 must be paid at the beginning of 2012. Lower Saucon Township Manager Jack Cahalan advised that a checking account was in the process of being opened to hold these funds, and discussed the preferred frequency of treasurer's reports.

In other business, members of the commission discussed changing their monthly meeting time from 5pm because .

The commission said it intends to address the time issue by drafting a tentative schedule that will be distributed among members and voted on at the next meeting. Members also said they hope having a later meeting time will result in an increase in public attendance.

Upper Saucon Township Manager Tom Beil also introduced Joseph Geib, Upper Saucon's Special Projects Coordinator, who will be sitting in on future meetings when Beil has conflicting engagements. 

Another discussion at the meeting centered on seasonal issues related to the rail trail's maintenance.

The trail, it was announced, is not going to receive winter maintenance such as plowing, however portable restroom facilities are likely to be maintained throughout the seasons at the trailheads.

The commission discussed the possibility of grooming the trail for cross-country skiers, but no definitive decision was reached. Cahalan also mentioned a potential problem created by snowfall.

"Snow piles up against the gate, which is something emergency services will have to look at and address before the snow season," he said.

The final discussion at the meeting centered on geocachers and their use of the trail.

Lower Saucon recently adopted an that stipulates how and where geocaching games can be played.

The next Rail Trail Oversight Commission meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 28 at 5pm at the Upper Saucon Township Municipal Building.

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