2018-08-09 / Front Page

Commissioners Meet at Wyalusing Firemen’s Celebration to Promote Event

Borough Officials Pitch Playground Project to Board
By Cain Chamberlin

Photos by Cain Chamberlin
Overlooking the empty grounds of the Wyalusing Firemen’s Celebration prior to its afternoon opening, the Bradford County Commissioners held their regular meeting at the pavilion atop Wyalusing Borough Park this morning, Aug. 9, in an effort to encourage more attendance at the event, commonly known as the Wyalusing Firemen’s Carnival, which benefits the Wyalusing Valley Volunteer Fire Department (WVVFD).
Photos by Cain Chamberlin Overlooking the empty grounds of the Wyalusing Firemen’s Celebration prior to its afternoon opening, the Bradford County Commissioners held their regular meeting at the pavilion atop Wyalusing Borough Park this morning, Aug. 9, in an effort to encourage more attendance at the event, commonly known as the Wyalusing Firemen’s Carnival, which benefits the Wyalusing Valley Volunteer Fire Department (WVVFD). Overlooking the empty grounds of the Wyalusing Firemen’s Celebration prior to their afternoon opening, the Bradford County Commissioners met at the pavilion atop Wyalusing Borough Park on Thursday morning to promote the event, discuss various topics and also meeting with local officials regarding a potential playground project.

With three days of the five-day celebration remaining, the commissioners made it a priority to encourage more attendance at the event, commonly known as the Wyalusing Firemen’s Carnival, which benefits the Wyalusing Valley Volunteer Fire Department (WVVFD).

“After this, hopefully everyone will know the carnival if they don’t already,” said Commissioner Doug McLinko. “It’s really a great event. The parade is one of the best of the year.”

Commissioner Daryl Miller said this is one of the oldest and largest carnival’s that Bradford County has had for decades.

Tom Miller, treasurer for the WVVFD, said the Wyalusing Firemen’s Celebration began in 1954.

“They alternated a number of years until the 1960s, and then they started doing it on a yearly basis,” he said.

He stressed the importance of the event, as it raises funding to help cover the fire department’s annual operating costs.

“This is our biggest fundraiser,” said Miller. “This keeps our trucks on the road so we can respond to fires, car accidents, LNG (liquid natural gas) spills and downed trees.”

Wyalusing Borough Mayor Suky Burgess talks with commissioners about the local effort to purchase playground equipment suitable for children ages two through five at the Wyalusing Borough Park, as the current playground is intended for older children. The borough is hoping the county will contribute Act 13 funding for the project in the near future. Wyalusing Borough Mayor Suky Burgess talks with commissioners about the local effort to purchase playground equipment suitable for children ages two through five at the Wyalusing Borough Park, as the current playground is intended for older children. The borough is hoping the county will contribute Act 13 funding for the project in the near future.

Today, Aug. 9, is family night at the Wyalusing Firemen’s Celebration where a flat rate fee for a wristband allows kids and parents to ride all the Nonweiler Amusement Midway rides for one price.

Also, LeRaysville-Pike Volunteer Fire Company members Doug SternAdori and John Keegan of Dual Alarm will be taking the stage at 7 p.m., playing acoustic versions of classic country and rock n’ roll favorites. 

Friday’s lineup of entertainment will include the annual fireworks display at 10 p.m. The rain date for the fireworks show is set for Saturday at 10 p.m.

Prior to the fireworks spectacle on Friday, the Wyalusing Swing Choir will take the stage beginning at 7 p.m. with local musician Greg Boatman taking the stage to perform between sets. 

On Saturday, a kids’ matinee will be held from 2 to 5 p.m., which like Thursday, allows kids and parents to enjoy unlimited park rides for the price of a wristband.

From 6 to 9:30 p.m., The Boots Band will be performing classic rock and country hits for the crowd. The new band from Sayre consists of Bud Smiley (lead guitar/vocals), Russ Keene (drums), Lee Potter (guitar/vocals) and Wendy Johnson (bass/vocals).

Chicken barbecue dinners will be served from noon until sold out.

The bull raffle drawing will also take place on Saturday at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the bull raffle tent during the carnival.

There are 22 prizes up for grabs in this year’s bull raffle, which were all donated by local businesses and community members.

Miller said without its volunteers and donations from the community, the fire department could not keep the annual carnival going.

Volunteers are always welcome and appreciated during the event as well as the subsequent cleanup after the celebration ends.

Those interested can contact Janet Otis at 570-721-0252 for more information.

Borough Officials Pitch Playground Project to Board

After the commissioners’ meeting adjourned, Wyalusing Borough Mayor Suky Burgess, councilman Gary Rouse and borough maintenance worker Dale Grover presented their idea for a new playground at the Wyalusing Borough Park, hoping the commissioners would contribute some Act 13 (Impact Fee) funding for the project in the near future.

In March, council opted to budget its own funding and solicit donations from the community in order to purchase playground equipment suitable for children ages two through five. Council has stated that the existing playground is intended for grade school-aged children, but most of the kids that age are at the park to participate in sports while the preschool-age children need an appropriate place to play. 

The commissioners looked at the site where the borough plans to erect the 40-foot-by-30-foot play area, which is directly behind the existing playground.

Grover said he and Rouse met recently with a representative from GameTime, a commercial playground equipment company, at the park to go over the site and playground specifications.

Based on the pricing for the equipment, installation, building materials, fill, and initial site work, the project is expected to cost just over $52,000.

Grover said the playground equipment and delivery would cost just over $29,000. Mayor Burgess noted that if the equipment was purchased and delivered prior to November, the borough would receive a $6,000 discount.

Burgess said the borough has already earmarked $20,000 for the project, and some immediate financial assistance from the county would help attain that discount.

Grover said, if purchased in the fall, the playground equipment could be stored until the site preparation is complete. He said this would allow the borough to raise money during the winter to help cover the other expenses associated with the project.

The commissioners said Act 13 funding has been used for other park projects, and they would consider helping Wyalusing Borough with its project.

“We’re interested in helping if we can,” said McLinko, noting it would need to be voted upon formally at a public meeting and all of the proper paperwork would need to be filled out.

Grover said the borough would like to break ground this fall and have the project done by the spring of 2019.

The Wyalusing Borough Finance Committee will also be discussing the project at its budget preparation meeting scheduled for Aug. 20 at 7 p.m.

Be sure to pick up a copy of next week’s edition of the Rocket-Courier for more details about the Aug. 9 Bradford County Commissioners’ meeting at Wyalusing Borough Park.

 

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