An Old Strip Mine with a View

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The state just awarded a contractor $1 million  that could help turn an old strip mine in Plymouth Township into a scenic housing development.

In 2001, the old strip mining pit on top of Avondale Hill in Plymouth Township was filled with flames from tires that burned for hours. The fire helped convince state officials to reclaim the land, but crews only got so far before money ran out.

Rocks and earth filled the pit, but the overall reclamation project remains unfinished.

Recently, the state announced it will pay for a million dollar contract to finish the job which includes smoothing out the 92 acre land and planting seeds.

John Brunick lives just outside the Avondale mine site and said he is glad to see the state helping finish the project.

"I've been up there. I've been up there a few times and if you've been up there before they started this project there was a deep hole there junk cars and everything else, but now they've cut down on that and so I'm happy about that," said Brunick.

The views from the top of the hill are spectacular, according to township officials. Supervisor Joe Yudichak said plans call for a residential housing development after the reclamation project is done.

"Everybody wants to see it done. It's a beautiful site and I can't stress enough how nice it is up here and what it can mean for the future of Plymouth Township," said Yudichak.

Any development on the scenic hill is likely still a long ways away.  The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection estimates the reclamation project should wrap up by next February.