Progress: Jersey Shore
Infrastructure, recreation at forefront in Jersey Shore
By MALLORIE McILWAIN
JERSEY SHORE — The small borough of Jersey Shore is fundraising for an upcoming $6.5 million road project alongside new additions for resident recreation and community service.
Joseph Hamm, borough manager, said that 2019 was a year “focused on infrastructure improvements,” saying that it will continue in 2020 with major construction to happen on Allegheny Street.
“In 2019, we continued our focus on improving infrastructure, working on roads throughout the borough and making sure we get our roads and alleys back together,” he said.
Allegheny Street, a major street that runs through the entirety of the town, has a stream called Lawshe Run that runs underneath the street and through the rest of the town. According to Hamm, it can potentially become dangerous as it continues to eat away at the culvert.
“Lawshe Run is a stream that is beautiful most of the time but when the water comes up it can become a raging waterway. This project will protect our residents and business owners,” he said.
The borough also worked on the alley behind the local library and worked on other community projects including tearing down and replacing a cracked wall in the community pool and also working on repairing and recovering the floatable dock at the public river access.
“We plan to get it back into the river so that folks can fish from it, tie their boats to it, and do what they so choose,” Hamm added. “We are always looking for ways to improve recreational opportunities for our residents and visitors.”
In addition to that, the borough has their own active transportation plan with projects to better the walk and bike trails and eventually, have them all connected.
“Our goal is to have Clinton County’s trail and our rail trail connected to the Williamsport River Walk,” Hamm said. “They are big plans going outward, but we hope to see it all interconnected.”
With that, the community has had some new businesses come into the community and work together to better the area.
“They are always looking for new businesses in the area,” Taryn Mueller, marketing and membership coordinator, said. “One of our more active members Erica Morgan, “Up the Crick,” will be continuing the Grower’s Market this summer.”
The market brings together local artists, farmers, business owners as well as the Chamber of Commerce to bring the community together to meet the individuals selling their items and connect with them.
“Local businesses are always looking to get more involved,” Mueller added. “They are looking to broaden their reach and are talking about doing community service to give back to the community more.”
With that, Joe Feerrar, business owner, will be bringing Bald Birds Brewing Co., a new large-scale brewery to Shaffer Lane in 2020.
Feerrar grew up in Jersey Shore and has been wanting to expand his brewery company located in Philadelphia. Bald Birds Brewing Co. will not only be doing in house brewing and having a tap room but will also contribute to other brewers through contract brewing.
Many details of the business project are yet to be determined but Feerrar said that though the brewery is still under construction it will open within the year.
“We are really excited to be a part of Jersey Shore and the county chamber,” he said. “I think we will be a nice addition to the community.”
Jeremy Frantz, volunteer firefighter and president of the Town Meeting group, is one of the people in the borough who is working with the Town Meeting to provide a larger fundraising space for communal celebrations.
“Last year we replaced a fundraising tent with a rather large shed to do our fundraising out of,” he said. “It is a bigger building to raise our funds out of.”
Frantz also is working on making sure the annual carnival continues to open up to new vendors and local artists.
“I work very hard to promote more local business people and craft people,” he said. “I strive to make it easier for them (local artists and non-profit groups) to get in the community to get that exposure.”
He added that within his position with the Town Meeting board, they also sponsor the Christmas events including lighting the town with holiday light decorations and they even replaced the old Santa hut that had been too small and run down from the funds that the local who plays Santa fundraised.
“We finished before the parade and opened up the new Santa Hut on Main Street,” Frantz added. “It was a rather exciting project that we were able to complete. It went from a seven by 14 building to a 10 by 20 building. It is eye catching and it has a new porch and ramp.”
He added that the borough also hopes to have Easter holiday events at the hut as well.
The Town Meeting group will be working to get the stage open a little earlier this year to help with the Annual 5K-10K put on by the River Valley Regional YMCA in Jersey Shore, followed by a Ruck March where all funds will be going to PTSD Awareness.
“They have some very exciting plans,” Frantz added. “We are going to get our stage opened to help them out in any way we can.”
In other news, occupational opportunities are also increasing at one of the larger corporations in the borough.
Jason Fink, president and CEO of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, mentioned that West Pharmaceutical’s plant in town is continuing to grow as it is the larger of the two plants in the county.
“They have got a very active work force and have been hiring a lot in the past year,” he said. “It’s always great to see companies looking to hire.”