NEWSLETTER #101

Monday, November 3, 2014
LP TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher

Night Out for Public Safety The committee reviewed the event that was held on August 5th of this year at George Park. It was attended by a large crowd including the Governor. The three fire companies and the ambulance company had equipment there and there were three hot air balloons. The committee considered improvements that could be made for next year’s event including a somewhat better layout of tents, etc. on the large field.

Budgets Committee Chairman Dave Johnson requested that the three fire companies forward what 2015 budget information they have developed to him and that they complete their year’s budgets as soon as possible.

Information Concern was raised that communications between the fire chiefs, the police department and Mr. Johnson during emergencies has on occasion failed. He agreed to investigate how the emergency information system including press releases could be improved.

Township Line The south township line with Swarata Township goes directly through three houses. The question was raised regarding which township’s police and fire departments have the responsibility to respond to emergencies at that location. This will be investigated.

Public Safety Meetings A concern was raised that the Paxtonia Fire Company was often not represented at these committee meetings. Director Johnson reminded the fire chiefs that each company was required to be represented at all meetings. He stated that if necessary the time and/or date for the meetings could be changed.

Grant The Linglestown Fire Chief reported that his company is preparing a grant application for state aid to build a needed addition to their firehouse. The application needs to be approved by the township before it is submitted for consideration.

Bishop McDevitt Lights The failure of the school’s stadium lights during a football game caused a concern for public safety. The township’s Fire Marshall is involved in resolving the problem.

Ebola Township personnel led by Mr. Johnson have been developing procedures to be followed in case there is a medical emergency. This is being done in coordination with personnel from Pinnacle Health and Harrisburg Hospital. All police officers will be trained and equipped to deal with an emergency situation and will work in coordination with the South Central EMS ambulance service.

Cameras The Linglestown Fire Chief raised the concern for the company’s responsibility in the case of a traffic accident when responding to a fire call. A camera’s recording from the truck on their trip could avoid legal action in the case of a traffic accident. The possible use of a camera for legal protection will be discussed with the supervisors. Also, the police department discussed the pros and cons of having body cams for officers during traffic stops. Cars have fixed cameras which record what happens in front of the patrol car but that might not always help. These cameras are expensive and there could be possible legal problems resulting from their use. This will be discussed with the DA.

November 3, 2014
LP TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher
Ambulance Service At their workshop meeting on October 21 the supervisors decided to increase their annual contribution to South Central Emergency Medical Services to $50,000.00 a year for the next two years. At this meeting they voted to formally approve the agreement.
Compost Facility The supervisors approved a lease agreement for two pieces of new equipment that are needed to improve the operation of the township’s Compose Facility and to comply with state law. The pieces are a material screener and a windrow turner. At the end of the four year lease they can be purchased and the township will apply for a state grant to help cover that expense.

Soroptimist Club – Proclamation #14-02 The president of Soroptimist International of Harrisburg East attended the meeting and the supervisors formally recognized the club’s 50th anniversary. They expressed appreciation for the women’s club’s civic work.

Woody Waste – Resolution #14-33 The supervisors established the fee of $30 per scoop for the sale of single grind woody waste from the township’s Compost Facility.

November 5, 2014
LP TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher

HATS Study Parks & Recreation Department Director Brian Luetchford distributed copies of the “Bicycle & Pedestrian Study” which was prepared by Gannett Fleming in cooperation with PennDOT for the Harrisburg Area Transportation Study group. The 94 page document includes background information, laws and regulations, existing conditions, goals, and suggested steps to work toward those goals. It includes the Bike Share Feasibility Study that was previously reviewed by the committee. State funding will soon be available to begin implementation of some of the many recommendations in the study to improve access and safety.

Trail Maintenance Committee members established a time to do cleanup work on the trail at Kohl Park. They will possibly consider relocating a part of that trail in the future. They also plan to walk the area along the sewer line that could become the Oak Park Trail extending south from the circle to the Osteopathic Hospital.

Safe Routes to School In the past committee members worked with several school principals on grant applications for pedestrian safety improvements. This effort is being renewed and it will be on the agenda for the next committee meeting.

Sidewalk Connections The committee had previously identified locations in the township where the construction of relatively short sections of new sidewalks between existing sections could complete safe walking stretches. The supervisors have set aside funds for a few such projects in the coming year. The committee will address this opportunity.

Heroes Grove Construction documents for this amphitheater to be built in Brightbill Park will be completed over the winter and actual work will begin in the spring. The use of spaces in the adjacent mall lot for overflow parking has been approved.

George Park The construction of a sidewalk from Nyes Road along the entrance road into the park is being planned for next year.

November 5, 2014
LP TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher

Mateer Field Representatives from the recently reformed Community Club of Colonial Park attended the meeting to discuss the possible transfer of ownership of the property containing two baseball fields to the township to become a township park. The property owners are interested in seeing the property eventually becoming a formal park but expressed concerns that all the proper legal issues are resolved which will obviously take some time. They also have stated concerns regarding lighting, road improvements, hours of use, etc. The township needs the additional fields for their baseball programs and might be willing to lease the fields and make some improvements while the legal matters are resolved. The county might help to finance some needed improvements.

Possibility Place Improvements to the play structure at George Park are being made by the local Rotary Club and by an Eagle Scout. These include replacing the shades above the benches and planting shrubs.

Hodges Heights Park The board continues to consider needed improvements to this park which was built on land fill. The ball field was recently filled, graded and seeded. Any new permanent structures would require pilings. State regulations will help to dictate what can be done. The board will plan to again discuss the issue with the local residents to get their input. The indications seem to be that it might be better to build a new pocket park at a different location in this part of the township than to try to deal with the unique problems at the site.

Hurley Field This small park area on the south side of Locust Lane at the township’s Public Works building has two baseball fields, one of which is the only Babe Ruth field in the township. The south field will likely be infringed upon by the planned enlargement of the building and now it was learned that part of the north field area will be the location of a new District Justice Office. The board will need to consider a plan to deal with this future problem. An option mentioned was to build a new Babe Ruth Field in the south area of George Park and develop a Midget Baseball field at Mateer Field if and when that property can become a township park.

Miscellaneous The Arts Council chairman reported on their planned activities including those of the Variety Band. The Greenway Committee and the Community Engagement Committee representatives reported on their fall and winter plans. P&R Department Director Brian Luetchford reported that the 2015 budget is nearly the same as this year’s. With some expected increase in housing starts additional fee-in-lieu payments might be forthcoming. As usual with new developments in the township, getting park area is preferred over getting a fee payment.

November 5, 2014
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING – Reported by Bill Bostic

New Business
Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan for Parkway Farms, Inc. #2014-06 The plan calls for a 114-acre property located on both sides of Parkway West in the Agricultural/Residential Zoning District to be divided into five lots. The applicant tabled the plan in August to make revisions.

The owners of the farm property plan to sell a 30-acre lot created under the plan to McNaughton Homes. The lot would be combined with the company’s Autumn Oaks development, said Joel McNaughton of McNaughton Homes. (Map: http://goo.gl/maps/vy9uk)

The commission unanimously recommended approval of the plan.

Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan for Harrisburg Christian School #2014-21 Parkway Farms is also involved in this plan for 67 acres located along Parkway West in the Agricultural/Residential and Institutional zoning districts. The tract would be broken into four lots, with Harrisburg Christian School taking ownership of a 16-acre lot that would be added to its school complex located off of Blue Mountain Parkway. (Map: http://goo.gl/maps/vy9uk)

The plan was unanimously recommended for approval.

Prior to the vote, a man who had farmed the property objected to the lot being purchased by the school for environmental reasons. He said the school could be planning to build a sports facility on the lot, which in his opinion is unsuitable for that kind of use because it has steep slopes, wetlands, a swale and headwaters to the Paxton Creek. Township officials said the school has not submitted a plan to date.
Heroes Grove Amphitheater, Phase 1 #2014-16 The group organizing the project asked the commission for a letter of recommendation needed for a state grant application.
The project engineer with H. Edward Black and Associates reviewed Phase 1 of the project that includes a stage, seating areas and a handicap-accessible parking lot. Colonial Commons has agreed to allow people visiting Heroes Grove to use the shopping center’s parking lot located next to the planned amphitheater.

Commission member Roy Newsome said he supports the plan but would like to see some kind of walkway to connect the parking lot in Colonial Commons to Heroes Grove. The engineer indicated that Colonial Commons would not grant permission for a walkway because of increased liability.

The commission agreed to provide a letter of recommendation.

November 10, 2014
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher

Engineering Agreement The yearly agreement with the authority’s engineering firm, GHD Engineers, was up for renewal. Jeff Wendle presented the firm’s proposed agreement, which was slightly higher than this year’s, mainly due to increased personnel costs. After a lengthy discussion on the firm’s design and inspection work and the projected construction costs for 2015 the authority voted to approve the agreement.

Authority Budget Sewer Department Director Bill Weaver presented the proposed 2015 budget that was prepared in coordination with GHD. He mentioned the ongoing improvement projects, the current housing development projects and the anticipated upcoming projects including the large Shadebrook development. The authority members debated the need to increase the homeowner’s quarterly sewer rate of $125 by $5 in 2015 or delay the raise until the following year with a possible larger increase. After a long discussion they voted for the smaller increase starting in 2015. They then voted to approve the budget as presented.

Tapping Fee – Resolution #14-13 This action would establish a reimbursement component tapping fee for the Ronco Company sewer project in Forest Hills which is now complete. The amount of the fee needs to be preapproved so the proposed action was tabled.

Permanent Easement Agreement This agreement would allow the owner of a residential property near the Beaver Creek pumping station that has a failing on-site sewer system to install a line across a neighbor’s property to connect to the municipal sewer. The owner has not yet agreed to sign the document. The board reluctantly voted to sign the agreement first to encourage him to also approve it.

Sewer Department Records – Resolution #14-14 The board approved the destruction of certain township records as allowed by law.

Delinquent Collection Policy – Resolution #14-15 It was recognized that the board needs to finalize a policy to resolve collection of delinquent sewer bills. Three specific situations involve unpaid bills, primarily the result of billing errors on the part of the township. Even if bills are not correct when sent or were never sent at all the property owner is legally responsible to pay them. In one case the property owner did not receive a bill for decades which was discovered only when the house was being sold. The board now needs to establish a fair and even policy to deal with these three situations and any more that are discovered. The solicitor was directed to recommend possible policy options for the board to consider at their next authority meeting which is in February.

Second Consent Decree Projects Six of these projects are still open and the department hopes to finish as many as possible before the paving materials plant closes for the season. That is now scheduled for December 12. Where handicapped ramps are needed, PennDOT now requires individual design plans instead of constructing them using stock plans. The correction of the raised manhole covers on Linglestown Road east of the village unfortunately will be much more involved than originally thought. The lifting of the cover assembly
will apparently cause damage to the top of the manholes. Half of the cost of the necessary repairs will be borne by PennDOT. The state has already closed this road repair contract.