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Possible vehicle ban draws attention

ROARING SPRING — More than 50 concerned residents flooded the Friendship Fire Station on Monday to question the Roaring Spring Borough Council’s deliberation over disallowing vehicles on Plum Creek Mountain.

But after an hourlong discussion with residents, the council tabled discussions to further investigate the issue.

“We had good conversations with good people,” council President Rodney Green said. “I think we all learned a lot tonight.”

The capacity meeting stemmed from council members exploring a potential ban of motor vehicles on Plum Creek Mountain, which is owned by the borough.

Green said that while the land has been traveled on by locals for generations, issues arose from a group that wanted to hold a large event with ATVs on the property.

The borough’s insurance agency found potential liability concerns with the event, Green said, and to cover such an event, the borough would need to increase its liability insurance premium.

Green said that potential prices for increased coverage are “very high,” and with added issues of vandalism, he said the council was considering all options.

Residents pleaded with council members to keep the property open for motor vehicles, adding who the large majority of people that travel on it “do it for recreation.”

“It’s hard to get kids outside anymore,” resident Nathan Dick said. “Most of the people that use this property are families spending time together.”

Resident Dennis Yingling said many hunters use the property, and after harvesting a deer, he said it would be impossible to remove the carcass from the woods without a vehicle.

Residents also said they have policed the property themselves for generations.

“If we drive by and see trash, we’re going to pick it up,” resident Bob Brennan said. “If someone is doing something they’re not supposed to be, we’re going to tell them.”

Pennsylvania Game Commission Warden Brandon Pfister surveyed the property and said he found minimal litter or vandalism.

Council members said they were encouraged by the number of residents that claimed to maintain and police the land themselves.

“It’s only a small percentage of people that don’t respect property,” Pfister said. “The people that were in the room tonight aren’t the problem, because they respect that property and want to continue to use it.”

Council members did not take action on the agreement, and solicitor Larry Lashinsky said council will continue to hold discussions with its insurance agency.

While the situation was contentious at first, council members said it was a positive discussion with residents.

“Maybe we didn’t do as good a job of communicating our situation with everyone,” Green said. “I really appreciate everyone coming here to speak with us.”

Mirror Staff Writer Calem Illig is at 814-946-7535.

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