Planning director delaying retirement | Local News | –

Bedford County Planning Commission Director Donald Schwartz, who had announced retirement plans at the commission’s January meeting, will be staying on a bit longer.

While Schwartz formally announced plans to retire March 4 at last month’s meeting, he said at the time that the Bedford County commissioners were aware of the pending retirement and had already begun their search. But at Wednesday’s meeting, he said that while the commissioners had carried out “extensive recruitment for the position,” they had not chosen a successor.

As such, he has agreed to stay on through the May commission meeting.

He said the decision to stay on for a while did not mean he’d had a change of heart.

“I certainly will be retiring in the near future,” he said.

Wednesday’s meeting largely consisted of updates on a number of topics:

• On the proposed Abundant Life Women’s Care and Birth Center, Schwartz said the U.S. Department of Agriculture continued to express interest in the project. Plans call for rehabilitating an existing structure rather than constructing a new building.

• Municipalities have until April 13 to adopt the South Central Counties Solid Waste regional plan, or it will be assumed that they have adopted it. So far, the commission has received resolutions from Broad Top, East Providence, East St. Clair, Juniata and South Woodbury townships. The plan will e submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection for review and comment and should be finalized by the summer.

• The Countywide Action Plan, aimed at improving Chesapeake Bay water quality, will have about $500,000 available for projects this year, an increase over previous years. Selected projects must reduce nitrogen, phosphorous or sediment going into the bay.

•The Bedford Fulton Joint Recreation Authority is awaiting a review of its submitted funding application of just under $514,000 to PennDOT from its Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside program to be used for the Old Pennsylvania Turnpike Trail. Priorities, Schwartz said, anre the milling of a 12-foot wide single lane the entire length of the trail to bring it into Americans With Disabilities Act compliance, and also replacement or repair of damaged or missing draining inlets, a situation that Schwartz described as “extremely hazardous.”

The commission will next meet on March 23 at 9 a.m. Wednesday’s meeting was held via Zoom or teleconference.

Contact Paul Rowan at, 623-1151, ext. 140.