DALTON - At the Dalton Borough Council meeting held Feb. 9, Lackawanna Trail senior Nick Sujkowski, son of Dalton firefighter Mark Sujkowski, requested approval from the board to hold a run on Turnpike Road in April for his senior project.
Sujkowski mentioned that he spoke with Church Street resident Laura Evans. He also said that Evans has held a run, in which the road wasn't closed, but runners had to sign waivers stating that she and council are not responsible for any injuries.
Dalton Council member Bill Montgomery asked Sujkowski what is the purpose for the run. Sujkowski answered, "The purpose is to benefit a charity, cystic fibrosis, that two of my cousins (brother and sister) passed away of. My aunt, their mother, holds a chapter of this in Rutherford, N.J. every year, so I just want to bring it here for one year."
Mayor Jim Gray replied that PennDOT might not approve of blocking the traffic on Turnpike Road.
Gray suggested that the run be held at Huntington Woods instead of Turnpike Road to avoid traffic.
"Something like that will be off the roadway. It will limit your liability, and since we just paved those roads up there this year, they're very nice for running on," said Gray. "It gives a little scenic area and the people out there might even come out and support the efforts there, too. It is just something I'm giving you as an idea for the purposes of safety of your runners."
Gray also suggested Sujkowski ask the Dalton Fire Company to help him set up the race.
"What you're doing is very honorable, and in memory of your cousins, I think that's straight, powerful stuff," said Gray.
Bill Montgomery added, "I think you've seen a couple hurdles you might have to get over but I think you have council's blessing at this point."
Nick Sujkowski thanked the board .
In other business, Countryside Conservancy trail coordinator Cheryl Ellsworth and trail committee member Christine Dettore made a presentation announcing that the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources received a grant of $566,000 in December 2011 for the Northern Electric Trolley Trail. They handed the Dalton Council members brochures for the Trolley Trail, which is based on the idea of connecting the former right-of-way into a non-motorized community recreational trail. This trail would reconnect the small towns from Clarks Summit to Lake Winola.
Ellsworth and Dettore mentioned that they secured easement control of the first three miles. Using a map as a visual aid, they showed the route between downtown Clarks Summit to downtown Dalton, which is the currently funded Phase 1. Ellsworth mentioned that Phase 1 will start at Clarks Summit, continue through the Abington little league field, cross Arch Avenue to Waverly Road, continue through the Church of the Epiphany, and end at South Turnpike Road.
"Our hope is to be able to preserve the trolley station as you all know that is still standing, and this is our first phase," said Ellsworth.
Ellsworth mentioned that Phase 2 will extend from Factoryville to Route 6, and Phase 3 will be from Route 6 to Lake Winola.
"We want to get the community up to speed and also get your input," said Ellsworth. "We are aware of some glitches, but by and large, this is for the community. I think it's going to be a wonderful asset to the community. Our purpose tonight was to let you know where we're at with it."
President Bill Salva said, "Your hard work has certainly come a 180 (degrees) from where you started because I know you're up against hard times when you first proposed the thought. I think you both deserve a round of applause."