NEWSLETTER #102

November 18, 2014
LP TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION – Reported by Watson Fisher

2015 Budget Preparation At this meeting Township Manager George Wolfe continued his presentation of the final parts of the 2015 proposed township budget. Almost all of the parts of the budget have been reviewed at a number of previous meetings. Historically the total budget is approved at the supervisors’ last business meeting of the year which this year is scheduled for Tuesday, December 16th.

Administration The major remaining budget concern was whether or not it would be necessary to increase revenues in 2015 to cover the relatively small projected increase in the cost of municipal services. Mr. Wolfe mentioned the needed addition of three police officers, the expansion of the Public Services building, continuing sanitary and storm water sewer projects, earthmoving at Wolfersberger Park and the expansion of the compost facility. Other than those items, expenditures are expected to remain about the same as for 2014.

Revenues would need to increase slightly to create a balanced budget for next year. Of the major revenue sources the real estate tax is the only one the supervisors can vote to change. After discussion they voted to increase the real estate tax rate from 1.3 mils to 1.7 mils for 2015. They stated that this should avoid the need for a possible much larger increase next year. This decision will result in a balanced general fund budget figure of approximately $21,300,000.00 for 2015.

Review of Municipal Fees and Charges for Services Discussion on this agenda item was postponed until the next workshop meeting that is scheduled for Tuesday, November 25.

November 18, 2014
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher

Mateer Fields A series of meetings have been held by the Parks & Recreation Board with representatives of the Community Club of Colonial Park regarding the possible use of their two baseball fields by the township parks’ program. The fields are located east of Oak Park Circle along Berryhill Road.

The township is in need of additional fields for their recreation programs. At the meetings they expressed their interest in being able to use the fields which have been idle for some time and possibly acquiring the property. The members of the reorganized club expressed interest in cooperating with the township. A lease agreement was prepared which established a fee for the township’s use of the fields and included the township’s right of first refusal if the club decided to sell the property. The board voted to approve the agreement.

Self Reporting – Resolution #14-34 This resolution is to authorize the township to self-report under the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative. The resolution was prepared by bond council and its approval was mandatory. The board voted to approve it.

Bethany Church of the Nazarene – Final Subdivision Plan #13-15 This plan which was submitted by the church and by James and Mary Spangler is to subdivide the 20 acre property located at 5122 Earl Drive into two 10 acre lots. No development is planned for this property so no recreation fee-in-lieu payment is required at this time. The board voted to approve the plan.

November 25, 2014
LP TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION – Reported by Watson Fisher

Heroes Grove The supervisors reviewed the proposed agreement between the Heroes Grove Committee and the township that will cover the operation and maintenance of the new amphitheater to be constructed at Brightbill Park. The committee has raised the funds to construct the amphitheater with some help from the township and the township will own and maintain it with some help from the committee.

The board acknowledged that in future years the township will most likely end up being responsible for its maintenance and needed repairs. The proposed agreement states that the committee will agree to contribute up to $3000.00 a year for ongoing maintenance. The board felt that this provision in the agreement might need to be improved and they voted to discuss it with the committee on December 1 prior to the supervisors’ regular business meeting on December 2.

Meadowview Village Homeowners Association This agenda item was postponed until the supervisors’ workshop meeting on December 9.

Fire Companies’ Budgets Officers from the Linglestown and Colonial Park Fire Companies attended this meeting to discuss their 2015 budgets. No one from the Paxtonia Fire Company was there. The supervisors discussed the companies’ budgets but the supervisors are not required to approve them. The companies were applauded for their successful fund raising efforts every year.

The major item of discussion was the Capital Equipment Fund from which the supervisors finance the purchase of major equipment. No recent purchases have been made but the chiefs suggested that there is an ongoing need for specific new pieces of equipment. The supervisors indicated that they would begin to consider that matter next month.

Township Engineer Representatives from HRG, the township engineers, discussed the status of their ongoing projects, their upcoming projects and their proposal for fees for work in 2015. They suggested that the fee percentage remain the same but that they would omit the current discount for certain items of work. The supervisors indicated their continued satisfaction with HRG’s work but asked them to come back with their best proposal in lieu of just omitting the discount item. They agreed to attend the next supervisors’ meeting and will be prepared to further discuss the fee matter.

2015 Budget Final action on the township budget for next year will take place during the December 9th supervisors’ business meeting. The only significant change from 2014 will be the previously announced increase in the real estate tax rate from 1.3 to 1.7 mills. The change was deemed necessary to cover the cost of new projects planned during the coming years.

Municipal Fees The township levies fees and charges for providing certain services to the citizens such as issuing building permits, conducting inspections, processing appeals, etc. These charges are intended to cover the costs incurred by the township, not to create revenue. The fees have not been adjusted for five years and the supervisors voted to increase them approximately 5% to be somewhat consistent with yearly inflation.

Compensation Program Township Manager George Wolfe presented the proposed 2015 compensation program for administrative employees. He said that it included a general 2% increase with adjustments for some under compensated employees. He also said that he will consider doing a complete plan review of the system next year. The board approved the proposed compensation program.

Stormwater Regulations Mr. Wolfe reported that he had received a Capital Area Council of Governments transmittal regarding a Cumberland County Commissioners Resolution suggesting new stormwater regulations affecting more streams. At their next meeting the supervisors may want to consider whether or not they will indicate to the governor their support for this proposal.

December 2, 2014
LP TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher

Rivers & Streams – Resolution #14-39 This resolution is to indicate to the state the township’s support for the efforts to keep our rivers and streams clean. There are federal and state requirements regarding control of nitrogen and other pollutants but there is inadequate federal and state funding to deal with the problem. The board approved the resolution to urge the state government to fully mandate the needed financial assistance.

Compensation Program – Resolution #14-38 At the previous workshop session the supervisors agreed to approve the proposed 2015 compensation program for the 26 administrative employees. At this meeting the board voted to formally approve the resolution. Township Manager George Wolfe restated his suggestion to revise the program next year.

Heroes Grove The supervisors reviewed the revised agreement between the township and the Heroes Grove Committee covering the construction, operation and maintenance of the amphitheater to be constructed in Brightbill Park. At the previous workshop session the board raised a concern about the provision regarding the committee’s contribution for maintenance stated as up to $3,000.00 a year for 30 years. The wording in the extreme could allow a contribution of $1.00 a year for 30 years. It was agreed that the wording would be changed to include a commitment to a total contribution of $90,000.00 over the 30 year period. The agreement was approved. The board thanked the committee and the engineers for their extended efforts to make the project a reality.

Humane Society Each year the township enters into a Municipal Domestic Animal Protective Services Agreement with the Humane Society of the Harrisburg Area for the handling of stray animals. The $7,000.00 agreement for 2015 was approved.

Friendship Center The township took action on a lease/purchase agreement with Municipal Capital Finance to lease 15 commercial quality spinner bikes for the Friendship Center for three years for three payments of $5,700.00 each. After three years the bikes can be purchased. The agreement was approved.

New Truck A lease/purchase agreement with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA, LLC was acted on for a 2015 Freightliner 108SD truck for the Public Works Department. The cost is $41,300.00 a year for four years. The new truck is expected to remain in service for ten years. The supervisors voted to approve the agreement.

Sewer Work Change Orders Change orders to projects with three companies were acted on. The first one was with Joao and Bradley Company for the PC-5D/E & BC-6 sanitary sewer mini-basin project for $601,000.00 for increased quantities of work. The second one was with PACT Construction for the PC-1 Gale Drive sanitary sewer mini-basin project for $82,000.00 for additional work required by PennDOT. The third one was with M.F. Ronca and Sons for the PC-1G/H Forest Hills sanitary sewer mini-basin project for $1,265,000.00 for extensive repairs due to unforeseen underground conditions and for extensive additional paving. It was explained that in all cases the discovery of unexpected repair work to existing lines and other hidden conditions and the needed additional street paving beyond the expected patching created the high additional costs. The township’s inspectors documented the additional quantities of work. The three change orders were approved.

Parkway Farms, Inc. – Project #14-06 This preliminary/final subdivision plan will transfer the 30 acre Parkway Farms property to the adjacent four parcels constituting the Autumn Oaks development at the north end of Patton Road. No construction on the Parkway Farms property is planned at this time. The plan was approved.

Kendale Oaks – Resolutions #14-35, #14-36 and #14-37 These three resolutions will accept the roads in the Kendale Oaks Development, Spring Creek 1A, Phase 5 and Phases 2 and 3. The resolutions were approved.

December 3, 2014
LP TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher

HATS Bike-Ped Study Committee member Roy Newsome reported on the recent meeting of the Harrisburg Area Transportation Study group. Members from the three county area established priorities based on the recent local study to improve opportunities for safe bicycle and pedestrian movement in the area. They will focus on different municipalities each year and they adopted a work plan for 2015.

I-83 Project Planning for the upcoming project to widen the interstate from Union Deposit Road to I-81 is well underway. The committee expressed concern that the planning might not include adequate safe sidewalks over and under the widened highway. They suggested that the township pursue this question before plans are finalized.

Sidewalk Connections The supervisors have budgeted $10,000.00 for the committee in 2015 to start a project to build short sections of sidewalks needed to fill in existing gaps. The discussion indicated that there were many issues involved in the planning for this, including legal and construction concerns. The members decided to begin planning immediately to identify the best locations for them to consider as starting points.

Mateer Field Parks and Recreation Department director Brian Luetchford reported that the Community Club of Colonial Park, the owners of the property with two baseball fields that the township would like to acquire, are definitely interested in transferring ownership. However, there are enough legal issues that need to be resolved before that can happen. They proposed to enter into a short term lease agreement for a year or two to allow the township to use and maintain it until the actual transfer can take place. The supervisors will now need to review and approve the agreement.

Walking Opportunities Brochure Committee member Angela Sedun is continuing to work on creating an updated version of the Walking Opportunities Brochure. When finished and ready for distribution it will identify and locate all the walking trails in the township that the Parks Department and the school district maintain.
December 3, 2014
LP TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher

Due to the small number of members present no official action was taken at this meeting and only several agenda items were discussed.

Hodges Heights Park Planning Parks & Recreation Department director Brian Luetchford reported on his further investigation into possible repair work at the park located along Conway Road in the southeastern corner of the township and which is located on a land fill. He found that the ways to construct park facilities in this situation are expensive and he suggested that the better answer is probably to start over at another location.

He felt that another meeting with the residents from the area of the park would be helpful. They have had good input at previous board meetings. Any new residential developments in this portion of the township could result in available land the township could use for a new small park.

Miscellaneous Mr. Luetchford mentioned that the small improvement projects at Possibility Place were almost complete. He stated that the siding project at the building at Kohl Park is underway. He also reported on the lease agreement that will be executed for the township to use the Mateer Park fields prior to their final acquisition by the township. He mentioned the extensive planned activities at Koons Park as part of the Linglestown anniversary celebration next year and his concern that the park may not be large enough for some events which will require big areas. Finally he reported on current vacancies on the Arts Council, the Greenway Committee and the Friendship Center Operating Board.