on March 22, 2013 at 4:13 PM, updated March 22, 2013 at 4:14 PM
In a seven-minute meeting Friday afternoon, the Pennsylvania
Board of Fish and Boat Commissioners reversed itself on the planned closure of
two of its 14 trout hatcheries, an
action the board had approved in late January.
Rather than winding down operations at the Oswayo hatchery
in Coudesport, Potter County, and the Bellefonte hatchery in Centre County to
close the facilities by the end of 2014, commissioners have now decided to
continue funding for the two hatcheries through July 2015.
Commissioners, all participating by conference call except for
commission President Steven Ketterer, who was present at commission
headquarters in Harrisburg, voted unanimously for the delaying action.
Ketterer explained, "We received some calls from
legislators, saying, "Let's sit down and talk. Let's see if we can help you
Commission Executive Director John Arway said at the July
meeting that closing the two hatcheries would save $2 million per year, part of
an overall saving of $9 million over the next four years, $6.7 million of which
will be needed for employee health care and retirement benefits.
He also noted, the commission would not enroll a new class
in its waterways conservation officer school.
Ketterer would not name any specific legislators or committments
He said, "There are some programs out there we've suggested
to them, and they have some programs they're looking at."