Gas Line Donor Offers Money to Open Milford Beach

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DINGMAN TOWNSHIP -- An energy company is offering an olive branch to folks in Pike County.

The company has been scrutinized for building a natural gas pipeline just outside Milford. So now it is offering money to keep open a beach that was set to close because of federal budget cuts.

Milford Beach in Pike County is one of several areas along the Delaware River in Pike County where visitors can launch boats or spend the day.

"Whenever we get the chance, we bring our puppies down and let them go down toward the river," said Walter Staszewski of Matamoras.

But Milford Beach, located in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is scheduled to close May first due to federal budget cuts.

That's even though a donor has recently stepped forward with $41,000 to keep it open this summer.

"While we do have a donor, we are still going through the approval process that will need to be sent to our regional office in Philadelphia for approval. If approved there, it will go to our Washington office for approval," said Kathleen Sandt, the park public information officer.

That donor is Kinder Morgan, an energy company based in Texas.

"I think that's terrific," said Lee Coleman of Shohola Falls.

"It's great for this beach to be open," said Kelly Staszewski of Matamoras.

A subsidiary of Kinder Morgan is currently installing an upgraded natural gas pipeline that passes through Pike County. The project has sparked several protests.

"I think they're sucking up. This is a big controversy down here with them. This is their way of saying, hey, we're donating," said Walter Staszewski of Matamoras.

But the energy company released this statement:

"We are pleased to work in coordination with Governor Tom Corbett, Congressman Tom Marino, the National Park Service, the Pike County Commissioners, and others to help ensure continued public access to this important community asset,".

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is very thankful someone stepped forward, offering money to keep Milford Beach open.

Again, the offer is still being considered by the park service.

Kitatinny Point Visitor Center, which is also in the park along the Delaware River, is still scheduled to close due to federal budget cuts on May 1.