DANVILLE – – State funding to assist in the continued operation of the Montour Preserve was announced this morning by State Senator John R. Gordner (R-27) and State Representative Kurt Masser (R-107). The officials made the announcement of the $200,000 state commitment to the Preserve at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Montour County Commissioners.
The Montour Preserve and Lake Chillisquaque were constructed by PP&L in 1972 to provide a backup reservoir of cooling water for the PP&L Montour coal-fired power plant, located roughly three miles south of the Preserve. During the next decades, the company added various amenities at the Preserve, including the sugar shack, fossil pit, pavilions, parking lots, restrooms, play areas, a boat launch, wildlife observation blinds, trails, gardens, a visitors’ center and environmental education center and other features. PP&L operated and maintained the Montour Preserve until September 2014 when it announced it would discontinue programming at the Montour Preserve and consider proposals from other organizations interested in providing programming at the site. At the same time, PPL also announced its intention to spin off the competitive electrical generation side of its operations to Talen Energy.
“At that time, the Montour Area Recreation Commission (MARC) and Montour County expressed a desire to continue to operate the Preserve and its popular programs,” said Senator Gordner. “At a meeting in my office with MARC, county officials and representatives of the two energy companies, Rep. Masser and I committed to securing state support, providing local support could also be secured to ensure the sustainability of the facility.”
MARC then successfully raised more than $175,000 from local donors and was able to negotiate an operating agreement with Talen Energy.
“With the local commitment secured to enable more than a year of operation at the Preserve, Senator Gordner and I were successful in bringing Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Dunn to the preserve,” said Rep. Masser. “We were able gain the support of the Department and then worked to ensure at least two more years of funding with this $200,000 commitment.”
On October 1, 2015, MARC assumed operational control of significant portions of the Montour Preserve, while Talen Energy retained ownership of the lands and facilities. All programming and facilities at the Preserve has continued under the direction of MARC.
CONTACT: Todd B. Roup (717)787-8928