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Bloomsburg is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Susquehanna, and currently the second largest community. The town is also co-terminous and under the jurisdiction of the Federal District of Susquehanna, and has a population of 5735 citizens as of 2015. It has an area of 4.39 sq mi.
The area was first settled by a man named James McClure in 1772, who built a log cabin on the site of what would become the town. Until the mid 19th century, it was only known as Bloom Township, but grew after a coal boom. On March 4th, 1870 the village was incorporated as a town. Before Doomsday it became known as the only incorporated town in Pennsylvania. McCandless Township had taken the name the Town of McCandless, although it was not classified as one. It was known for Bloomsburg University, and the Bloomsburg Fair held in the fall. As of the last census in 1980, the town had 11,717 individuals.
The town was not a target in the nuclear war between the USA and the USSR. Many individuals feared a conventional strike on the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station. That attack never came, but many fled west to escape radioactive fallout.
The entire town council and police force, as well as former members of the state government convened and formed a small provisional state in the city. They used the small National Guard unit to prevent looting, as well as the town police, college campus security and surviving state police units.
Immediately after the power went out the police, security guards and National Guard immediately began to provide emergency care to the injured, and attempted to calm down the panicking population.
The Town of Bloomsburg has two levels of government, federal authorities and local authorities, although in practice only the former controls the town. The town council is the primary executive and legislative branch for the govenment.
The town hosts most of the Commonwealth of Susquehanna's government buildings and offices. All branches of the government maintain most of their functions here. The Governor's office, executive departments, General Assembly, and judicial branch all have a presence.
Most local government functions are handled by the town council, but certain areas must be approved by the House of Representatives, including construction, taxes, business, and law enforcement. The federal government also operates the Commonwealth of Susquehanna Capital Police which has the main role of providing law enforcement to government offices and buildings. They also support the Bloomsburg Town Police if needed, patrolling during protests and acting in a similar capacity as county sheriff departments do.
Bloomsburg has a town council of six elected members as well as a town mayor. The council operates on a strong mayoral system. They offer minor public transit services along with Berwick and Danville, town police, public water, trash, and sewage, emergency services, and public works.
The town is divided into six districts that each elect one council member, and the town as a whole elect the mayor. The local government also offers police services as well as fire and rescue units. There are two. The town council also operates a small court system that acts in the same capacity as county courts do.
Bloomsburg has a population of 5,735 people as of the 2015 census. It is the second largest community in the Commonwealth, but has less than one quarter the population in Hazleton, the largest city. There is substantial population growth in the town though, as people relocate there to be closer to government functions, school, and business.
The town has a small minority population, although it is nowhere nearly as substantial as Hazleton. There are 211 blacks in the town, 137 Asians, and 6 Hispanics. The entire population speaks English as the primary language. A few speak Spanish or German as a secondary language, especially those working for the government as translators.
Selection as the Capital
The town was chosen as the provisional capital city after the formation of the Provisional Commonwealth of a Pennsylvania. The main reason was the central location, and it had an undamaged courthouse, government buildings, university, and transportation infrastructure. It was also centrally located in the nation.
The provisional government took over the Columbia County Courthouse, and the Caldwell Consistory as a temporary capital and legislative building, respectively. After the official formation of the Commonwealth of Susquehanna the two buildings were officially taken as property of the federal government.
Interstate 80 runs just north of the town, with the government maintaining the section connecting Danville to Bloomsburg. There are also rail lines that provide commercial transportation between Berwick and Danville.
The town has a small airport named Thornburgh Regional Airport, in honor of the last governor of Pennsylvania before Doomsday.
All of Bloomsburg's architecture is classical with no skyscrapers. The tallest structure in the town is the courthouse, and Bloomsburg University has a handful of high rises.
The downtown lacks any high rises and has few low rises. A majority of the buildings are architecturally similar to homes, but they have an interior design for business.
Outside in the industrial section there are warehouses and industrial buildings for these companies. These are mostly low steel and concrete buildings that host manufacturing.
The federal government is considering similar laws that former Washington D.C. This would limit the structural height of building to keep the rural feel of the community.
The downtown of Bloomsburg, along with that of Hazleton form the two most important business districts. It hosts headquarters for most of the companies based in Bloomsburg and Danville.
The downtown has small buildings, mostly three and four stories, with a handful of five stories. It competes with State College in former central Pennsylvania for business, but also acts as a transit point.
The Federal government has purchased most of the buildings in the town square, primarily as office space for government officials and agencies, but also to prevent terror attacks.
Bloomsburg is served by Greater Bloomsburg Municipal Transit Authority. It operates in Bloomsburg, Catawissa, Berwick, and much of the surrounding communities. There are two buses and two vans operated.
- Bus Route
- Bloomsburg Line- Loop around Bloomsburg (ten stops)
- Bloomsburg University Line- Loop around Bloomsburg and the University (14 stops)
- Van Route
- Catawissa/Danville Line- Downtown Bloomsburg to Catawissa, then Danville (four stops)
- Berwick Line- Downtown Bloomsburg to Berwick (four stops)
The only airport in Bloomsburg is Bloomsburg Municipal Airport. There are no regular flights to or from the airport as of 2016, thought it is used occasionally by foreign politicians to enter or leave the nation. It is a major staging point for the Defense Forces, and is titled Bloomsburg Military Post.
Most businesses in Bloomsburg are small shops, although there are a handful of big businesses. Bloomsburg University and the government provide a large amount of business and associated business to the community.
The main street is the primary business sector of the town, but the lower portion near the river has some factories and warehouses as well. Some facilities in the town are the Bloomsburg Silk Mills, a minor carpet company and some coal processing facilities.
The federal government is the largest employer, with over 900 employees working for them. Light industry and education are also major components.
Bloomsburg is the wealthiest community in Susquehanna, partially due to government presence in the town and a strong economical base at its founding. Per capita GDP is approximately $800 USD per year.
The town of Bloomsburg is also the Federal District for the government. This designation is similar to the former United States government with the District of Columbia. The Federal District is co-terminous with the town. Federal authorities have the final say in any ordinances put in place by the town council, as well as the ability to block any ruling that they disagree with. This has rarely been done, and most of the time the national government has approved the ordinances.
The Bloomsburg Police Department is responsible for policing the local population in the town outside of any federal property. Law enforcement in government buildings is the responsibility of the Capital Police. In practice though, the two agencies cooperate on a variety of issues including security and prosecution of crimes.
Citizens living in the town pay local taxes to the town government as well as federal taxes but do not pay county taxes due to the federal district being run by the town council.
There are laws preventing buildings from being constructed that are over 120 feet tall throughout the city. The downtown area has an even stricter height restriction of 100 feet tall.
Bloomsburg had one nickname before Doomsday and has gotten a few nicknames since, most relating to its position as capital.
- The only incorporated Town in Pennsylvania
- Post Doomsday
- The only incorporated Town in Susquehanna
- Susquehanna's Capital City
Current plans for the city are vast. Many government officials want to expand the town and construct more infrastructure. As of now, trolley lines are being rolled to be placed from Bloomsburg University to the end of town.
The federal government is planning to construct a new bridge from Bloomsburg to Mainville. This will ease transportation issues. The old bridge was closed in 2010 after damage from a bad storm. Engineers decided to close it because the structure was damaged beyond repair.
The population of Bloomsburg will be limited to 20,000 people due to the small size of the town. There are talks of relocating some of the citizens from Hazleton to Bloomsburg so it would be the largest city. Since the cost would be extreme with little benefit, the federal government has denied the town this.