SWAN NEWSLETTER #108
June 2, 2015
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher
5K Run Township Manager George Wolfe reported that the 2nd Annual Arts & Parks event including the 5K run sponsored by the township’s newly formed Community Engagement Committee will be held on Saturday, July 18th of this year starting at the Friendship Center. With the committee’s efforts, this year’s fund raising event has already received a good list of corporate sponsors including last year’s prime sponsor, Conrad Siegel Actuaries.
Pinnacle Health An agreement was reached between Pinnacle Health and the township, providing for a payment to the township in lieu of real estate taxes on the Community General Osteopathic Hospital for the next six and one half years. The payment for the first year and a half will be $70,000.00 and for the following five years it will be $48,000.00 per year. The supervisors voted to approve the agreement.
Beaver Creek Pump Station Bids were received for a needed sewer project to upgrade pumps and control panels at the Beaver Creek pump station. The low bid was submitted by Blooming Glen Contractors, Inc. in the amount of $197,712.00. The firm has done satisfactory work for the township in the past and the bid amount was below the engineer’s estimate. The board voted to award the contract to Blooming Glen.
Stray Winds Farm Site preparation work is underway for the first phase of the new Triple Crown Corporation’s housing development project along Crums Mill and McIntosh Roads. Several of the township’s requirements for the beginning phase of the project, including the phasing plan, the building permits and the improvement guarantees were approved by the supervisors.
June 3, 2015
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING – Reported by Vera Stuchinski
Brian Luetchford reported that after his departure, there will be two individuals hired: a Manager for Parks and Recreation, and a Manager for the Friendship Center.
The meeting agenda was a recap of all items currently before the Parks & Recreation Board. There was little change in details between last month and this month.
Bathroom Availability at Koons Park: At this point, this is not a widespread concern. It may be a good idea to craft a policy statement for all parks in the near future.
Mateer Field: The 1 year lease is renewable. The Parks & Recreation Board will need to meet with the owners to discuss future plans. A multi-year lease might be desirable, or the Supervisors may wish to acquire the land
Hodges Heights Park: The public input meeting will be held at the Township Building on Wednesday, June 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Parks and Recreation Plan: The goal is to have 10 acres of park land for every 1,000 residents.
Greenway Committee Activities: Volunteers are needed for 5K Family Fun Walk in July.
Note: There is no Greenway Committee meeting report for the month of June, as I was unable to attend that meeting
June 9, 2015
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION – Reported by Watson Fisher
Crimewatch Dauphin County District Attorney Edward Marsico made an in-depth presentation describing the online crime information service which is now up and running. The website DAUPHIN.CRIMEWATCHPA.COM provides timely information about current criminal activity in the area, wanted persons, emergencies, etc., and provides a site for citizens to report criminal activity. He suggested that Lower Paxton could consider participating in the service. The supervisors were interested and will discuss that at their next business meeting.
Fire Apparatus Public Safety Department Director David Johnson presented a report on his recommendations regarding the future purchasing of new fire trucks by the three fire companies. There have been no new large pieces of equipment bought for some years and the companies have needed to repair some pieces to keep them running. The township allocates funds for the companies to help buy new trucks when needed. He reported that there is no urgent need for new equipment presently, but plans should be made for some significant purchases in the not too distant future. He suggested that the three fire chiefs meet with the supervisors and noted that it usually takes most of a year from the time a truck is ordered until it is delivered.
Penn Waste Representatives from the company that collects and processes recyclable waste materials in the township stated that their cost to provide that service has increased dramatically since their seven year agreement with the township, which began in 2008. That agreement will expire at the end of June. The supervisors stated that they will probably entertain proposals from Penn Waste and other companies in the immediate future leading to a new agreement for continuing service.
Friendship Center The center’s Operating Board had planned to present a proposal regarding an improvement project at the center, but due to the severe weather they were unable to meet and will make their presentation at a supervisors’ meeting in July.
Shadebrook Construction of the large residential and commercial development project located south of Locust Lane and north of Union Deposit Road, around the intersection of Fairmont Drive and Cider Press Road, will begin as soon as a number of final approvals are obtained and agreements are finalized. If all of these are in hand in the next week, the supervisors could act to approve the start of construction at their next business meeting.
Public Works Facility Final planning for the expansion of the garage and office space, at the facility on the south side of Locust Lane and west of the Vo-Tech School, is underway. GHD Engineers submitted a proposal to provide design services for the project and the supervisors will act on that at their next business meeting. They will also act on a plan for a new Babe Ruth League baseball field, replacing the two existing fields that will be lost because of the Public Works project and the planned county Magisterial District Justice Office, to be located on the same site fronting on Locust Lane.
June 16, 2015
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher
Tapping Fees – Resolution #15-10 This resolution was to amend resolution #98-01 regarding the charge for a non-residential building to connect to the township’s sanitary sewer system. Also the resolution changed the number of gallons per day in discharge from residential properties that are involved in determining the amount of their sewer bill. The resolution was approved.
Treatment Facility Agreement After lengthy work, a final inter-municipal agreement regarding the Swatara Township Sewer Treatment Facility has been resolved. It involves Hummelstown and the townships of Swatara, South Hanover and Lower Paxton. It reflects minor changes in the total cost for needed repair work at the plant. The authority voted to approve the agreement.
Sewer Rate Projections Representatives from township engineers GHD and from Susquehanna Advisors Group discussed sanitary sewer repair projects planned for future years and the suggested timing of bond issues to pay for the projects. The expected increase in interest rates in the next year suggests that needed borrowing should not wait too long. It was agreed that the consultants will monitor the bond market and meet with the authority in August to again discuss the timing of the borrowing. The authority restated their plan to carefully manage the borrowing to minimize the need for sewer rate hikes and to integrate its impact on the township’s 2016 budget.
June 16, 2015
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher
PublicWorks Building At the supervisors’ workshop meeting the previous week, GHD engineers presented a proposal to provide architectural design services for the estimated $4,000,000.00 planned addition to the building on Locust Lane. At this meeting the supervisors voted to approve the $168,000.00 design fee which represented 4.2% of the estimated building cost. Design fees normally are in the 6% range but include oversight services during construction which this one does not.
Municipal Records – Resolution #15-13 The supervisors voted to approve the legal destruction of certain old records.
Verizon Wireless The township has a master lease agreement, approved, a year ago to allow Verizon Wireless to install certain electronic facilities on the township’s traffic signal standards. The supervisors voted to approve new supplements to that agreement for seven new installations
Paving Program Bids were opened for the 2015 roadway paving project. There are only two contractors in this area who can handle this type of project and of the two bids received, only Pennsy Supply’s was a responsible bid. Their base bid of $843,000.00 was below the engineer’s estimate. The project will involve the cost saving recycling procedure of removing the existing paving material, grinding it up and remixing it, replacing it as the new base course, and laying down new material for the wearing course. The board approved awarding the project to Pennsy Supply.
Treatment Facility Agreement At the authority meeting, just prior to this meeting, the authority approved the amended inter-municipal financial agreement regarding the Swatara Township Sewer Treatment Facility. The agreement involves Swatara, South Hanover and Lower Paxton Townships and Hummelstown Borough. The supervisors approved this final agreement.
Key Indicator Report Township manager George Wolfe presented a delayed report covering the township’s financial information for the fourth quarter of the 2014 fiscal year. The report covered revenues, expenditures, and road, sewer and infrastructure improvements during that period.
Shadebrook Planning is finished and construction is ready to start on this large residential and commercial project located south of Locust Lane on Fairmont Road. The final paperwork including the developer’s agreement was approved and the township agreed to acquire the needed property right-of-way for the location of the new traffic signal.
June 24, 2015
HODGES HEIGHTS PARK MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher
This public meeting was the latest of several open meetings where representatives from the township’s Parks & Recreation Board gathered information of interested citizens from the neighborhoods around Hodges Heights Park as to their wishes on how best to repair and improve the facility.
The small township park is located along Conway Road, in the southeastern corner of the township, on two acres adjacent to the township’s busy landfill and compost facilities. It now contains a small baseball field, some playground equipment, a basketball court and a small pavilion with picnic tables. There are no lights. The small park appears to be well maintained by the township.
The park was built on a landfill area and over the years the ground has settled and some of the facilities have had to be repaired or removed. Efforts were made to repair the area but some damage from ground movement continued. Plans have been discussed for a number of years as to what could be done but funds were not available and a reasonable solution to the ground settlement problem was not found. There are also serious concerns about the safety of neighborhood children using the park from constant heavy traffic with large trucks going in and out of the township’s adjacent facilities.
Citizens attending the meeting expressed frustrations with the lack of improvements at the park and made suggestions as to what facilities they would like to see provided. The board members responded that they understood the requests and they would evaluate them and prepare a presentation to the supervisors at the earliest possible date. They added that with the needed improvements at some of the larger parks and the planned development of the new Wolfersberger Park the supervisors need to carefully decide on when they can fund other park improvement projects.
June 25, 2015
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher
Dale A. Auer – Docket #1372 The applicant is the owner of the Zimmerman/Auer Funeral Home and Crematory’s two properties, the funeral home located on the south side of Walnut Street bordering the on-ramp to Interstate 83 to the east, and the service building located on the north side of Walnut Street extending north to Ash Street. His request for variances involves his property on the north side of Walnut Street.
The service building is a one story structure with vehicular access from both Walnut and Ash streets. Mr. Auer wants to build a one story garage addition on the south end of the building and a small storage addition on the east side of the building. He also wants to widen the driveway to the building from Ash Street on the north side. Small portions of the garage addition and the driveway will encroach beyond the required building setback lines. The encroachments are minimal and the closest neighbor had no objections to the proposed additions. The board voted to approve the variance request.