HARRISLAND - Work is progressing on two projects in Pine Creek Township related to the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry.
Township Supervisors Tom Wilt and Jim Moore - Chairman Dennis Greenaway was absent - Wednesday gave their unanimous approval to a "reverse subdivision" on a property owned by PA Energy Vision, LLC. The property is located near Bell Supply Co., which also serves the natural gas industry in the former Avis Chevrolet building on the Avis on-ramp to Route 220.
The supervisors agreed to combine two lots into one 25-acre parcel to facilitate Select Energy, which has leased the land from PA Energy Vision.
Select Energy, based in Houston, Texas, is the parent company of Bell Supply.
Jay Alexander, a partner in PA Energy Vision, said Select Energy had plans to "rapidly" develop that parcel, but those plans have been re-evaluated with the current downturn in the prices of natural gas.
"It's under lease and some minor permitting work still needs to be done," he said.
The township zoning hearing board last summer gave its OK to a variance request to reduce the required parking spaces for an office and "warehouse" building to serve the gas industry, but plans have since been on hold due to the lowering gas prices.
Alexander is also involved in the second Marcellus Shale enterprise discussed Tuesday, as a partner in Henry Street Partnership.
Henry Street partnership recently purchased the former Excel Homes property, along Henry Street in South Avis.
He said they are in the process of removing all of the tracks and rails inside the buildings at the large property to open it up to truck traffic.
Further, Alexander said, the group is in active discussions with officials at the neighboring South Avis Realty to bring a "unified approach" to build an access road to that area from the Avis interchange for trucks coming to the sprawling complex.
Township officials have been trying for years to secure state and federal funds to build that new road, but the funds have since dried up.
The supervisors said that a short road would alleviate the large amount of trucks driving through Avis and South Avis to get to that area, which also houses Jersey Shore Steel Co.
"Our big-picture goal is to get an access road from the Avis exit of Route 220, and we are trying to keep that moving forward," Alexander said. "It's moving along at a pretty decent pace right now, and we'd like to stay active on keeping it moving."