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Jersey Shore: Small community with big plans and heart

Retaining its small-town atmosphere, which has not always been the formula for success in some communities, Jersey Shore Borough continues to evolve and for residents and visitors that is for the better, says its borough manager Cody Hoover.

“If I had two words to describe the borough, it would be civic and community-minded,” he said.

“The borough has been a member of the Williamsport-Lycoming County Chamber for over 25 years, ” he said.

For Hoover, being involved with the chamber and the chamber with the borough is a valued mutual partnership.

Regularly, either a member of the borough administration, and a member of council represents the borough at chamber meetings, he said.

That partnership can’t be overlooked and should be encouraged by other municipalities and entities, he said.

For example, the borough is encouraging residential growth to strengthen its tax base.

It is looking for economic opportunities. The borough also has a continuing transportation improvement plan and has the Thompson Rec Field improvement plan.

“We work closely with the local chamber and in Williamsport in regards to finding economic opportunity,” Hoover said.

The chamber helps the borough by assisting it in the search for grant opportunities, he said.

“Our transportation plan is under development and includes a connection of the Pine Creek Rails to Trails to the downtown,” Hoover said.

From downtown to Porter Township, a bicycle and pedestrian trail will eventually lead to Lock Haven and the river trail to the picturesque Pine Creek Valley, he said.

“We, as a borough, are in a strategic location,” Hoover said.

The borough also is seeking funds for updating Thompson Recreation Field. A project of $800,000 including a new playground, basketball court, and soccer field. The update includes a walking trail and a paved parking lot using American Rescue Plan funds and Act 13 or natural gas impact fee.

“We want the park to serve the community for the next 30 to 40 years,” Hoover said.

West Pharmaceutical, a major employer, is looking to expand its facility.

“We are working with them, as is the chamber,” he said. The Wheeland Center was sold to West Pharmaceutical and the chamber helped facilitate that process, he said.

Jersey Shore Town Meeting is a private organization that holds its own special Independence Day celebration each July.

There are other organizations such as Autumn at the Shore, charities that are done by the Lions Club, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Moose and Elks clubs and many churches and civic-minded, pro-community-oriented organizations and individuals.

Borough streets and parks are maintained by the highway crew and the community organizations help beautify the borough.

“We did a plastic reclamation for a free bench,” Hoover said.

The YMCA is a big draw in town as are the many private restaurants including Arby’s, whose crew planted flowers at Veterans Park, Hoover said.

Any successful effort is a combination of municipal, community, organization, churches and civic-minded borough residents, he said.

The Borough Council consists of individuals with that mindset.

Minutes are posted transparently on the borough web page and the borough started a Facebook account to notify of events, roadwork and emergencies.

An online newsletter was released on Facebook and added a Borough Manager coroner, where Hoover selects a topic or discusses a project that is being worked on.

The borough office’s doors are open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

As for safety, the borough has its own regional Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police Department with a 13-officer force to protect and serve and two fire companies — Citizen Hose and Independent Hose Co.

These public safety professionals and volunteers are responsible, responsive and take part in parades and special events serving the community.

Most recently, the police force sponsored a fishing derby and handed fishing poles out to the kids, Hoover said.

“You can’t say Jersey Shore without mentioning the Bulldogs, the mascot of the Jersey Shore Area School District.

The Bulldogs were the most recent state champions in football, he said.

“We have an old-time, small-town feel,” he said. “That is slowly slipping away in some communities but Jersey Shore has captured it.”

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