Pike County will be receiving $201,993 to be used for agricultural land preservation, said Jessica Grohmann, Assistant Planning Director.

MILFORD - Pike County will be receiving $201,993 to be used for agricultural land preservation, said Jessica Grohmann, Assistant Planning Director.

She explained at the  Pike County Commissioners’ meeting, March 21 that the Ag Land Preservation program can use the funds to help a farmer or landowner to maintain land for agricultural uses in perpetuity. The state funding is matched by the county’s match of $7,574, which is raised from the Clean & Green roll back tax interest.

Townships that have certified ag-security areas for the program are Greene, Westfall, Dingman and Lackawaxen. Landowners outside these areas can contact the Planning Office to learn how to have a program established in their municipality. Call the Planning Office at 570-296-3500.

‘Hate Speech’ decried

Lowell Ellanson, of Greeley, spoke during public participation, urging the community to beware of “hate speech.” Ellanson said that hateful things have been heard since the World Peace & Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland- which is pastored by Rev. Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon, helped to host the “Thank You” rally for President Trump in which gun rights were emphasized, followed a few days later by the special “blessing service” at the church which included AR15 firearms.

Ellanson spoke from bitter experience, stating that he joined the Unification Church in 1975, when it was led by the founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon. As a young man, Ellanson was harshly persecuted and harassed for his religious beliefs and suffered at the hands of “paid de-programmers.”

When these two local events were held in late February, he said “it went viral” with rapidly spreading media attention that went around the world. He said that 90% of media reports were fair and accurate, but others only spread the misinformed hate speech that was being heard from some of the public. He pleaded for this conduct to stop.

Commissioner Chairman Matthew Osteberg said that as the Board of Commissioners, they “do not advocate hate” and their role was to be sure residents are safe. “Each of us have our own beliefs and have the right too speak about them,” Osterberg said, “Let’s be respectful.”

Also discussed:

Angie Smith, Penn State Extension 4-H director, referred to their calendar of programs. There is a big need for 4-H adult volunteers who can help be role models to children and assist with the clubs. For more information about Penn State Extension programs and 4-H clubs, call 570-296-3400.

Reviewing the impact of the recent snow storms, Chairman Osteberg stressed that residents should register for Code Red Alerts. Pike County Emergency Management Agency maintains a list of residents who asked to be notified in the event of a road closure, storm warning, natural or manmade crisis. Automatic voice messages are sent out to land lines and cell phones, as well as text messages. An app is available. Call 570-296-1911 ext. 1940 for information.

Three persons were hired to Caseworker I positions with Children & Youth Services. They are: Wendy Williams, Alexander Levity and Zachary Morgan. In addition, Edward Calabrese was promoted from Caseworker II to Caseworker I.

Christopher Ingulli was promoted from Resource Conservationist to Administrative Manager for the Conservation District.

Vincent Flatt was appointed as a representative of Delaware Township to the Road Task Force to fill an unexpired term.

The Pike County Commissioners meet on the first and third Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Administration Building, 506 Broad St., Milford.