– A land swap between Ohiopyle Borough and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is now complete, said Rep. Matthew Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset), who wrote the legislation authorizing the transfer.
Under Act 60 of 2020
, the state was authorized to convey land it owned in Ohiopyle Borough in exchange for the borough conveying some of its own land. The swap would allow additional water access for DCNR and the state park. It would provide developable property for Ohiopyle Borough, which could be a future revenue stream. The property conveyance would also allow the borough additional room to update an adjacent sewage treatment plant, should that become necessary.
“This is more than just a win-win…it’s a win times four at least,” Dowling said. “The borough benefits by gaining developable land. Ohiopyle State Park benefits by gaining additional water access. And area residents – as well as anyone who chooses to visit the state park – benefit by gaining additional, high-quality recreational opportunities.
“I’m so pleased the land swap is complete and our region can start reaping those benefits,” he added. “It really is unique in that Ohiopyle is one of only a few state parks that resides in a municipal borough. The opportunity to bring the park and borough together to forge a partnership where both benefit equally is a great accomplishment for the district.”
DCNR Bureau of State Parks Director John Hallas said: “This is a big win for conservation, park operations and the borough of Ohiopyle. This land exchange will improve stewardship in the park and provide for a quality recreational experience on the river.”
Ohiopyle Borough Councilperson Conrad Hamather said: “Through the continued partnership between the Borough of Ohiopyle and the DCNR, this land exchange will enable Ohiopyle to increase its community base footprint, thus stabilizing and securing the heritage and culture of its citizens, which makes Ohiopyle special. This is a logical step in the planning and continuation of the borough into the future for new generations to share the rich natural capitals afforded to its stakeholders.”
The land swap was completed in mid-April.