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Property transfer gives Rails-to-Trails group OK to begin study

An ongoing debate amongst Antis Township supervisors concerning a 16-acre piece of land near Igou Road is now over.
On Tuesday, supervisors voted to transfer ownership of the land to the Rails-to-Trails organization, a group dedicated to transforming old railroad beds into recreational walking and bicycle paths.
The vote followed a lengthy debate where property owners in the area felt the township should transfer the property into their names. Some of those property owners felt that a Rails-to-Trails initiative would cause unwanted foot traffic on their properties, as well as vandalism and increased litter volumes.
But proponents to the Rails-to-Trails system say that those who use the trails respect the areas and environments and criminal mischief occurrences are rare.
Supervisors agreed to the land transfer following discussions after a public meeting held Aug. 13, where a majority of attendees voiced their support for the Rails-to-Trails program. Should the concept ever come to the drawing board, the trail would run from Bellwood to Blandburg.
Before the deed can be transferred, a survey of the area in question must be completed, and early estimates show the price tag for this survey will be in the neighborhood of $10,000. At Tuesday’s meeting of the supervisors, a representative from the Bellwood-Antis Community Trust organization said it would foot the bill for that part of the project.
Supervisors also gave final approval for plans for the North Side Modular Village development located along state Route 865.
The plans were on hold as the architecture for the site worked to correct several small issues.
The new housing unit is subdivided into 42 different lots, offering public water and sewer service.
In other business, the supervisors:
•approved an an ordinance allowing volunteer fire service providers to charge for services. The ordinance will be reviewed in one year;
•hired Joseph Oricko of Hollidaysburg to finish the design, inspection and architectural design of an elevator project at Bell Mansion. Oricko submitted the lowest bid of $6,595.