HARRISLAND - Private developers Jay Alexander and Bob Maguire are willing to invest money in the natural gas boon by trying to attract a hotel and/or a restaurant at the Avis exit of Route 220.
Alexander attended Wednesday's Pine Creek Township supervisors' meeting seeking their blessing to possibly build an access road from the entrance/exit ramp of Route 220 at the Avis exit into a 21-acre plot between Belle Supply (formerly Avis Chevrolet) and the interstate where the development is planned.
State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Lock Haven, and Sen. John Wozniak, D-Johnstown, will "go to bat for us" seeking the access point if the supervisors also agree, Alexander said.
The supervisors unanimously put their support behind the effort.
Alexander called the current boon of companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale region to draw out the natural gas underneath "the best opportunity we've had in the last several decades to create jobs and growth that we need."
"We've talked to a couple of hotel and restaurant chains," he said. "These folks are really focused on the Marcellus Shale effort and they are trying to feel out and see what the demand is going to be... We think we have some serious interest in a hotel and a restaurant, as well.
"We all see what's happening and we think this is the best chance we've had in a long time to seriously get some good development in there like a hotel or two or a restaurant."
The possible development would fit in with the area, which is currently zoned commercial. Alexander said he and Maguire may ask the Jersey Shore Area School Board in the future for tax incentives to help spur development in that area.
Solicitor Bob O'Connor noted Lycoming County has already felt the economic impact from the natural gas industry, with many hotels and motels with significant room reservations for the next couple of years.
"It's amazing, and it's moving our way," he said.
In another matter, the supervisors, without comment, approved more speed limits and stop signs in and near the Pine Creek Meadows development.
The new speed limits:
n 25 mph on Teaberry Lane between Gravel Hill Road and the cul-de-sac
n 30 mph on Checkerberry Lane between Teaberry Lane and the cul-de-sac
n 20 mph on Woodside Circle between Creekside Lane on both sides
n 25 mph on Creekside Lane between Dutch Hollow and the terminus at Woodside Circle.
New stop signs will be located at:
n Teaberry Lane north at Gravel Hill Road
n Checkerberry Lane east at Teaberry Lane
n Woodside Circle south at Creekside Lane
n Creekside lane west (except right turn) at Woodside Circle
n Unnamed private drive north at Creekside Lane
n Tall Timber Drive west at Woodside Circle.
The speed limits and signs came from a study completed in December by a private firm. The roads were recently dedicated to the township from the developer.