Waterfront Park is beginning its transformation into a wellness sanctuary; Phase 2: The Gazebo broke ground on July 26th. Phase 2 adds a riparian buffer trail, relocates the gazebo, and installs a native plant garden with a small loop path.
Waterfront Park has multiple upgrades scheduled to occur: Phase 1: Fishing Pier, Phase 2: The Gazebo, and Phase 3: Vision Loss Trail. Phase 1 is funded through a DCED Greenway, Trails, and Recreation Program (GTRP) grant of $84,880, Phase 2 is funded through a DCNR Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2) grant of $104,290, and Phase 3 has secured funds through a DCED Local Share Account (LSA) grant for $147,467. Phases 1 and 2 should be completed by the end of 2021, and Phase 3 will start in 2022.
Waterfront Park is open while Phase 2 is under construction, but please keep a safe distance from the worksite. There are stakes in the ground, restricted barriers, and heavy equipment.
We look forward to the completion of this project!
Monroe County’s Housing Rehabilitation Program
To ensure safe, sanitary, and decent housing for our residents here in Smithfield Township, we’d like to bring your attention to Monroe County’s Housing Rehabilitation Program. Funded by Federal and State funds, this program provides financial support to repair your home and much more! However, funds may not be used for room additions/luxury items.
Some eligible work items may include:
Repairing systems such as heating, electrical, plumbing and roofing
Making the home more energy efficient
Structural components (walls, decks, and porches)
Windows and doors
Require testing for lead hazards and radon
The applicant must be a U.S. citizen with a residential, single-dwelling unit located in Monroe County, PA. Home must be occupied as a main residence and ownership will be verified.
Annual gross income for all family/household members must not exceed the following limits:
1 Person: $45,650
2 Persons: $52,200
3 Persons: $58,700
4 Persons: $65,200
5 Persons: $70,450
6 Persons: $75, 650
7 Persons: $80, 850
Further, the applicant’s mortgage payment, property and school taxes, and homeowner’s insurance and applicable association dues need to be paid up to date or on a payment plan. The building to be practically renovated cannot be up for sale or at risk of foreclosure. They will also be reviewing the applicant’s satisfactory equity in the home to secure the loan.
For more information, please call the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Monroe at (570) 421- 4300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Matters: 2021 Municipal Election Edition
By Jacob Pride
Whether you are new to our area or are a longtime resident, you should know that there are no “off years” with elections. Much excitement is associated with presidential and midterm elections – but local elections arguably have a more direct effect on your life. Municipal offices have jurisdiction over a variety of issues, from parks and recreation to wills to school activities to Courts.
For Smithfield Township’s listing of local elected officials, the following offices will be on the ballot this fall:
Pennsylvania Supreme Court (1 seat)
Pennsylvania Superior Court (1 seat)
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court (2 seats)
Monroe County Treasurer
Monroe County Coroner
East Stroudsburg Area School Board (5 seats)
Smithfield Township Supervisor
Smithfield Township Tax Collector
Smithfield Township Auditor
To vote in this election, you must first be registered to vote. You can easily register to vote online here. To be eligible for this election, your registration must be completed by October 18th. Voters may choose to vote by mail or in person. To vote in person, simply go to your polling place on Election Day, November 2nd, and be in line before 8 p.m.To vote by mail, you may apply for your ballot using the secure VotesPA website here. Applications for Mail-in Ballots must be received by October 26th at 5 p.m. Completed Mail-in Ballots must be received by the County Elections Office by November 2nd at 8 p.m. Voters may opt to take their ballot to the Elections Office directly or use one of the County’s drop-boxes. Information on drop-boxes will be published by the County in the coming months.
For specific questions about elections in Monroe County, contact the Office of Elections & Voter Registration at 570.517.3165. They are also on the web here.
For Smithfield’s listing of local elected officials and links to their respective websites, see Smithfield’s Voting and Elected Officials page here.
Knotweed: An Invasive Plant to PA
Japanese and Giant Knotweed, both native to Japan, are invasive to PA. They mature quickly and spread rapidly, choking native plants. First, Knotweed sprouts in late March to mid-April. It is a bamboo-like plant that can grow up to 12 feet featuring large, heart-shaped leaves. Flowering occurs in late July and seeds mature in August and September. The plant propagates mainly through its roots and secondarily through seeds. Knotweed is commonly found on riverbanks and can spread rapidly through waterways. Because of this, it is difficult to mitigate growth and eliminate.
To manage and eventually eliminate knotweed, experts recommend these two steps:
1. Cut the plant back. Around the first week in July (or before the flowers bloom), cut the stalks to about knee height. Local landscapers find a machete works best, but use whatever tool works best for you. Always exercise caution when using tools.
2. Spray with eco-friendly herbicide. In September (about six weeks after the cut but before the first frost), spray the plant with glyphosate. Glyphosate is absorbed through leaves, so be sure to spray the foliage well. Be sure to treat plants on a sunny day – glyphosates need time to become rainproof.
Knotweed can take two years or more to entirely remove, so make sure to follow these steps every year. Once the knotweed is weakened or dead, plant other vegetation to restore the habitat and help prevent a resurgence.
If you haven’t sprayed the plant with herbicide, you can try mitigating springtime growth by eating it! Similar to rhubarb, knotweed can be eaten raw or cooked, even pickled or baked. Try searching “Knotweed Recipes” on the internet to find new and interesting recipes. Whether it’s through whipping up delicious treats or using the herbicide method, it is important to contain and then eliminate this invasive plant.