Pike County, Pennsylvania
It is with great disappointment that the Board of Supervisors of Dingman Township read the news release issued by Lake Adventure Community Association and printed by the Pike County Courier. We note that there is no by-line with the release so we must assume that it was printed without research by any reporter and that its content is solely that of Lake Adventure. Dingman Township was not contacted by anyone associated with The Courier before the news release was printed. If we had been the untrue and unfair accusations made in that article would have been addressed.
Lake Adventure is a recreational campground community within Dingman Township that has been a continual source of regulatory and environmental problems for decades. Problems with its sewage system, water supply system and electrical supply system have caused the Township significant concern. This concern is heightened because Lake Adventure sits at the headwaters of Shohola Lake and the lower portion of Shohola Creek, two major fishing and tourist assets in the County. Improper sewage treatment can lead to pollution of those water resources as well as damage to the aquifer. Improper maintenance or operation of the potable water supply system can lead to a draw-down of area wells and the resulting expense to the landowners who would have to drill new wells. Improper installation of the electrical supply not only endangers campers but also causes and has caused danger to local firefighters and other emergency personnel. It is the duty of the Township to guard against these hazards.
While all this is taking place Lake Adventure appeared before the Township and demanded to be able to place 12 foot wide mini-mobile homes within the community. Its justification is that the camping industry considers these units to be recreational vehicles and that the Township must accept them and permit their installation. The Community was not designed or approved for these types of units. The reaction of the Township was to prove to us that they will not cause additional strain on the already substandard systems at Lake Adventure and we will permit them. But we are not going to make an already bad situation worse by adding more modern, more “home-like” units without proof. That proof was never supplied. Lake Adventure appealed to the Zoning Hearing Board and they lost. In fact they lost three different times on the same basic issue. They are now appealing all those losses to County Court.
As stated in their news release LACA has been telling the Township and the Zoning Hearing Board that they, according to their Attorney Tammy Clause, are “abiding by all the laws, regulations and ordinances set forth” and that Dingman Township is “wasting taxpayer’s money”. The Township did not want to take their word for it, so they sent representatives to the offices of the PA Department of Environmental Protection and found that, not only was Lake Adventure not compliant, but they had to enter into a Consent Decree with the Department in which they admitted to a host of environmental violations and paid a Ten Thousand ($10,000.00) fine. The records also show that they continued to violate environmental standards after that and were told by the DEP to put in a new sewage system to correct those conditions. The Township knew nothing about these enforcement actions by the DEP which directly dispute LACA’s claims until the files were reviewed.