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Commissioners mull ordinance for hunting preserve

A Muncy Township resident expressed concerns to Lycoming County officials Thursday about a proposal for a hunting preserve.

William Keller said he’s not opposed to hunting, but is worried along with other neighbors about people using high-powered rifles to hunt game near their properties.

County commissioners held a public hearing to discuss a proposed zoning ordinance amendment permitting hunting preserves in Resource Protection, Agriculture and Countryside districts.

The county planning commission recommended the zoning ordinance amendment for approval at its November meeting.

Keller said he fears the possibility of bullets hitting people who live nearby.

“It’s not good for land values,” he said.

Township resident Stacy Fry wants to establish the hunting preserve, which under the zoning ordinance amendment would be required to meet certain stipulations including the establishment of setbacks of at least 450 feet between the property and neighboring residences and buildings used to house livestock, schools, daycare facilities as well as school playgrounds.

Keller’s attorney, John DeWald, called for additional language or changes to be included in the amendment.

Lycoming County Planning Commission Executive Director Shannon Rossman said that no application has been made to establish the hunting preserve itself.

“We just know he would like to do this on his property,” she said.

Keller noted that more than 50 people have signed a petition opposing the hunting preserve.

Mirabito said the zoning ordinance amendment would not be used to ban hunting preserves, but rather to regulate them.

Commissioners took no action on the issue.

During the regular portion of their meeting, commissioners approved the hiring of Karen L. Wilson and Marcella A. DeSanto as clerks in the district attorney’s office at hourly rates of $13.95.

Commissioners approved an agreement with TextBehind Inmate Mail Management Service to provide mail screening in the prison system. The service comes at no cost to the county.

An amendment to an agreement was approved with Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc. to screen urine for drugs in the prison system.

Commissioners also approved an agreement with Delta Development Group Inc. for consulting services on an as-needed basis.

The next commissioners meeting will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28 at Executive Plaza, 330 Pine St., Williamsport.

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