Moon Lake in the news again...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Moon Lake in the news again...

    County ponders ideas for park | The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton PA - News

    County ponders ideas for park
    Starting next week, park will be closed weekdays for lack of funds.

    Luzerne County Manager Robert Lawton said employees are exploring “creative solutions” to restore daily public access to county-owned Moon Lake Park by the time park usage typically picks up in April.“I’m talking to departments who are involved looking for ways to be imaginative in how we respond to this to avoid restriction of access to this resource by residents,” Lawton said.
    The solution won’t involve additional county funding because the county is on a tight budget, he said.
    “I don’t anticipate taking county dollars out of another program and moving it into Moon Lake, but we’ll look at other ways to open this facility to the public,” Lawton said.
    Starting next week, the Plymouth Township park will be closed on weekdays because the county security department lost six employees to recent budget cuts, county Security Chief John Robshaw confirmed last week.
    Three security workers were laid off Thursday, and three vacant positions won’t be filled. Many county departments were cut to balance the county’s reduced 2012 budget.

    Park’s restricted hours
    The park will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
    County Council Chairman Jim Bobeck said the manager makes decisions about park operations and staffing, while complying with the budget adopted by council.
    Bobeck expects both the manager and council to be involved in many decisions about the park’s future.
    A master plan outlining possible improvements for the 650-acre park is scheduled for completion in several weeks. The state required the plan for the park to be eligible for future government grants.
    The state may cover 50 percent of the cost of recreational improvements at the facility once the master plan is completed. County officials would have to come up with the other half of the expense and a plan to fund ongoing maintenance.
    The park needs costly capital improvements on the water and electrical distribution systems, sewage treatment plant, pool and campgrounds, officials said.
    County officials had earmarked $3 million in past borrowed capital funding for park improvements, but that allocation was drastically reduced because bond money was tapped over the years to cover county operating expenses, said former county interim manager and budget/finance chief Tom Pribula.
    A recent bond report provided to council indicates $294,000 in county funding is set aside to cover Moon Lake capital improvements.
    The park also was used as an asset to obtain funding for operating expenses through past bond transactions, though officials say the documents could be revised to list another county property if the county needed to free up Moon Lake for some type of ownership transfer.

    Grants used for purchase
    Pribula said the county likely would be forced to repay past grants for the park if it attempted to put it in non-governmental ownership.
    The county purchased most of the Moon Lake property in 1965 and 1966 to be used for conservation, recreation and parks, according to news reports from the time. The state kicked in 50 percent of some of the land purchase, while the federal government covered 30 percent.
    “There are an awful lot of grants tied up in Moon Lake that restrict what can be done with the property. I think the best option is to give it to the state, but the state’s cutting back too,” Pribula said.
    The state has declined the county’s past attempts to transfer ownership.
    Bobeck said the county’s past financial recovery plan recommended putting the park in the hands of a nonprofit, something he’d like to further explore.
    Councilman Tim McGinley expects the park’s future use will be heavily debated with the release of the master plan and during 2013 budget discussions.
    “It’s always a budget issue because it requires money to make improvements and cover ongoing expenses,” McGinley said.
    The park had closed in January 2010 because of the county’s money problems, but the facility reopened with fewer amenities that March.
    The public is permitted to use the park – weekends only for now – for hiking, biking, fishing, cross country skiing and other activities, but no swimming or camping.
    Councilman Stephen A. Urban, a former commissioner, said he believes the county should assign someone to open and close the gates and occasionally provide security patrols.

  2. #2
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    I can't say that I am surprised that this article says the park will be weekend use only. The other article had a vague out of context statement that made it sound like it might be accessible during the week. It's time to get in touch with all those other park users.


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    If you can think of any other organized group of park users, please let me know. If no one else is gonna do it, I can at least try to get everyone to talk to each other.

  3. #3
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    The article that I read made it sound like bikers and anglers were still welcome they just weren't going to be allowed in the park if you walk in from the outside or parkon the outside but I'm wondering the same thing as I can only really ride the moon during the week I work on weekends

  4. #4
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    Yeah, so what is up with weekday use? If I go up there tomorrow and park my truck outside the main gate like I normally do...will it be there when I come out?
    Waging war on my pedals every chance I get!!!

  5. #5
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    Kinda confused as well...

  6. #6
    Did you ever have ham?
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    Well, guess I will just ride around town tomorrow as I can't really afford any fines!!!
    Waging war on my pedals every chance I get!!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by motoman465 View Post
    Well, guess I will just ride around town tomorrow as I can't really afford any fines!!!
    Do a covert! if there is no budget they don't police it,never lay down!

  8. #8
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    We ride when the park is closed all fall and winter. There's nothing that says we can't ride after hours.
    ahh...the sound of my hub when I coast.

  9. #9
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
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    Good job!

    Well, Mr Got Bike you are incorrect...

    ...the park has a sign inside the main gate that states no one is allowed in the park after hours unless you have permission from the county!

    There has never never been a problem with any mt bikers at Moon Lake, and I will continue to ride until they tell "me" not too, as to what others do it is "your" choice!

    I remain positive and look to work with anyone who will support Moon Lake, and like I said in the other thread let's get involved and be positive and help the new council work through this problem.

    Please spend your time going to the meetings and stand up and speak your opinions!

    See ya at the meetings!

  10. #10
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    ride they dont have the money to police it if they dont have the money have gaurds there . they would need to be there 27/7 to keep everyone out .

  11. #11
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    See ya at the meetings![/QUOTE]

    i wish mini and i could go to meetings . lee let us know if we can do anything . we love riding da moon !

  12. #12
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    Who are you calling Mr. ? I'm giving you neg rep for correcting me! Btw.. I always park out side the gate. I've never seen a sign outside the gate telling me not to go in after hours. Then again, I'm there to ride and do trail work not read.
    ahh...the sound of my hub when I coast.

  13. #13
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Got-Bike!! View Post
    Who are you calling Mr. ? I'm giving you neg rep for correcting me! Btw.. I always park out side the gate. I've never seen a sign outside the gate telling me not to go in after hours. Then again, I'm there to ride and do trail work not read.
    You have to go into the park first, to read the sign, thus then you are trespassing! Or you have to visit the park when it's open to read the sign!

    See how they get ya, Mister!

  14. #14
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    The question that has not been raised................Are we riding Wednesday night or not!
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  15. #15
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    Yeah, was wondering if you guys were too.
    There is no charge for awesomeness......or attractiveness.

    Good rep does not wash out the bad, nor the bad the good.

  16. #16
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    If you are concerned about riding at Moon Lake, ride the forest next door. It's open for sure, park at A, up the hill and enter at B on your right as you go up. It's a nice little ride, and you would be amazed how much it looks like Moon Lake when you ride. It's probably best to have someone show you the route the first time, but it's not hard to remember.

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