County Does Major Upgrades To Merli-Sarnoski Park

The Lackawanna County Commissioners continued their commitment to building a world class recreation system with a $100,000 expansion and upgrade of Merli-Sarnoski Park in Greenfield Township.

The work entails improvements and paving to the basketball courts, paving the access road to the park, and installing a new playground/swing set.

All of the upgrades were done with Act 13 funds; not County tax dollars.

“Our park system is second to none.  The upgrades at Merli-Sarnoski further enhance what we can offer our residents and visitors to the area,” said Commissioner Jim Wansacz.  “This is a great project because we are adding a new playground and general improvements without impacting the County’s budget.”

“We’ve made a great park even better.  Merli-Sarnoski is surrounded by natural, rustic beauty.  The improvements add more amenities for people to enjoy,” explained Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley.  “For families who are not able to travel, our park system serves as a “true recreation get-away” to enjoy sports activities, picnics and swimming in a safe, clean environment.”

“The improvements to Merli-Sarnoski represent our on-going commitment to offer an outstanding recreation experience. This is also a great project because the work done did not impact the County’s budget.  This venture was a perfect fit for the Act 13 funds.  It was also a win-win situation – upgrade our park at no cost to the taxpayers by using the gas drilling fees from firms who are utilizing our natural resources,” noted Commissioner Edward G. Staback.

The new work done at Merli-Sarnoski Park were funded via the County’s portion of the Marcellus Shale gas drilling impact fee, known as Act 13.  The impact fee is derived from the gas drilling companies extracting natural gas in the Commonwealth.

These funds are specifically earmarked for community improvement, park improvement, and/or conservation.

The work and additions at Merli-Sarnoski will complement the other amenities that are already in place.  Residents and visitors are able to enjoy:

  • A 35-acre lake stocked by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
  • Large handicapped accessible fishing pier
  • Boat launch (electric motors only)
  • Sandy beach area with bath houses
  • Two pavilions
  • Two playground areas with basketball and volleyball courts
  • Regulation soccer field
  • Lake Walking Trail
  • 15 miles of hiking, mountain bike and nature trails
  • Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Department horse stables
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Picnic tables and grills

Merli-Sarnoski Fishing Derby Winners

Lackawanna County officials present trophies to the winners of the 23rd annual fishing derby held at Merli-Sarnoski Park, Carbondale, in early October. The event was open to youngsters, ages 4-12. Front row, l-r, Adam Riggi-Cusick, Pavel Vorozilchak and A.J. Piestrak.

Back row, from left, Rich DeStefano and Andy Kudzinowski, Parks & Recreation staff; Larry Lukasik, Deputy Director of Roads & Bridges; Commissioner Edward G. Staback, Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley, and Skip Horan, John Ghilardi and John DeNunzio, Parks & Recreation staff.

County Fishing Derby At Merli-Sarnoski Park

The 23rd annual Lackawanna County fishing derby at Merli-Sarnoski Park, Carbondale, is set for Saturday, October 3, from 11 AM to 1 PM. The event is limited to the first 250 children, ages 4 -12, and costs $5 to register. Sign-up information is are available from the County’s Parks & Recreation office at (570) 963-6764.

L-r, John DeNunzio, Parks & Recreation staff; Commissioner Jim Wansacz, Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley, and William Davis, the County’s Deputy Director of Parks & Recreation.