June 14, 2016


Reported by Watson Fisher

PennDOT  A representative from the state and one from township engineers, HRG, gave a status report on the planned road widening project on I-81, from the I-83 split to the Mountain Road interchange. The plan is to build a third lane in each direction on the median side of the roadways, which will allow the two lanes of traffic in both directions to remain open during most of the time the construction is going on.

The schedule is to start work this fall, with completion of the project in June of 2018. The state engineer said the existing roads will need only a few repairs: there will be new overhead signs installed, crossover guide rails in the median, and no new sound walls built.

Colonial Road  An engineer from HRG presented a follow up proposal regarding the fees for  their work to apply for state grants for the proposed short term improvements at two of  the road’s intersections. The one intersection is with Crums Mill Road and Devonshire Road and the other is with Valley Road and Winfield Road. The expectation is that the engineers should be able to acquire grants totaling in the $50,000.00 range, which would be as much as 50% of the project cost. After several previous unsuccessful presentations regarding their fees for work with the state, the board voted to approve the latest engineers’ fee proposal.

Friendship Center  A report was given on activities at the center. Revenues are up from last year, expenses are down, but the center is not yet operating in the black. Memberships are up, but most of the increase is from insurance company contracts. Planning is underway for renovations to the public area in the center. They include changing the reception desk area, eliminating the pool table and social area behind the desk, which don’t create revenue, and extending the fitness area into those spaces, building a climbing wall at the back of the fitness area, and renovating some of the programming rooms to make them more flexible.

The estimated cost for all this work is $650,000.00. Bids for the contract will be opened on July 8 and the board may take action to award a contract at their meeting on July 12. There will be separate bids for some of the different work items.

School Crossing Guards  At two previous meetings, the supervisors considered a proposed agreement with All City Management Services company, headquartered in California, to provide the township with a number of school crossing guards starting this fall. This company currently supplies guards in three nearby municipalities. The board previously delayed taking action until a representative of the company could attend a meeting, and assure them that there would always be guards at the specified locations.

An officer of the company attended this meeting. She said that no company could promise that there would never be a single missed assignment but that her company had been sure that there never was a problem. She gave the supervisors her assurance that there would always be a backup or two. The board decided that they would include a thirty day opt out provision in the agreement and that they plan to act favorably on the contract at their next business meeting.

Earl Drive Culvert  Another engineer from HRG gave the supervisors an overview of their proposed design work to stabilize the banks of the stream running east to west between residential properties along the south side of Earl Drive. This work is a small part of the overall state mandated waterway improvement projects covering Lower Paxton and Susquehanna Townships and the city of Harrisburg.

The engineer gave the board her firm’s estimated cost of $90,000.00 for the five phases of their design work, which could take over a year and an early estimate of the final construction cost would be $300,000.00. The project would affect fifteen owners of properties along the stream and would help protect their properties but it would not decrease the high water in the stream during major storms. She said that the property owners have not yet been contacted with specific information about the project.

Township’s Anniversary  The committee organizing the township’s 250th year celebration submitted three options for the logo for the event and asked the supervisors to name their preference. The supervisors agreed on their first and second choices but officially gave the committee members back the final say on the selection.

Public Notifications  The board reviewed the state requirements regarding the township’s making certain notifications. This involved primarily posting certain information in the   newspaper. They discussed early planning for possibly making a major overhaul of the township’s web site to post much more information for the public regarding township codes, requirements, activities, etc. The board asked manager George Wolfe to investigate options and look at next year’s budget. They plan to discuss this at their next workshop session and consider ways to make the site easier for the township to disseminate information than they can do presently. They noted that there had been complaints about the difficulty in locating pertinent, correct and complete information on the township’s current web site.

Trash Collection  A representative from Waste Management discussed the problem that exists with the timing of morning trash pickups. There were complaints from people in residential areas about the noise of pickups before the 6:00 AM agreed to start time. The representative explained that all the crews meet for their safety briefing at 4:00 AM and after that they dump their loads from the previous day and are then ready to go out. There now is no problem with the crews starting pickups before 6:00 AM in commercial areas, but if they can’t start until 6:00 AM in residential areas, they would interfere more with people driving to work and with school buses. He requested the board consider amending the ordinance and allowing residential pickups to start at 5:30 AM.

The board had mixed responses to his request. One board member supported the request saying most residents are up early and they would be more likely to be able to put their trash cans away before they leave for work. Another board member said that retired people are awakened early enough now and moving the time back by a half hour would add to their sleep problems. The board considered a compromise that would be to move the start time in residential areas to 5:45 AM. They agreed to discuss the matter and consider whether or not to amend the ordinance and   revise Waste Management’s contract.

The representative from Waste Management noted that their contract would be coming up for renewal soon and the board would need to discuss with him at that time, a possible change in their equipment. That change would be to go to the newer equipment consisting of larger containers and automated curb side pickup. Any changes could affect the cost to the residents.

Strategic Plan  At several recent meetings the board has been discussing possible future projects. At this meeting they again discussed involving medical professionals in considering plans for the development of assisted living and long term care facilities in the township. They also noted that they were still working on arranging a meeting with residents in the Hodges Heights area regarding their township park. And they tentatively agreed to allow the filming of games in the township parks.

Construction Easement  The contractor doing the storm water project in the area of Devonshire Road and North Houcks Road needs a staging lot near their work area. The board approved giving them a temporary construction easement for a half acre parcel of land along North Houcks Road between the Turkey Hill market at Devonshire Road and Smith Street for a fee of one dollar.

June 15, 2016


Oak Park Trail – Several Committee members, along with Supervisor Seeds, recently walked the trail. The Committee discussed the draft trail access agreement. Members should each review the document and note any details that should be added, changed, or deleted from the final version of the agreement. Numerous ideas were discussed, including the following:

  • We need to consider possible liability issues.
  • If bikes are not allowed, we should post signs saying “Foot Traffic Only.”
  • Should the path be wheelchair assessable?
  • There will be no trashcans.
  • We need to plan where people can park. One area is between Oak Park Drive & the cemetery.
  • We’ll need “Caution” signs posted near parking areas.
  • Since the southern end of the trail meets Pinnacle land, we should talk up the trail to employees.

Project Priorities – A list of project action items has been compiled.

High priority: crosswalks, sidewalk connections (short-term), George Park trails, Oak Park trails (long-term), publicity, Nyes Road sidewalk and Stray Winds path (on-going).

Medium priority: Autumn Oaks trail, trail planning/development guidelines, Shadebrook development plans (short-term), Darlington trail from Hocker Park to Boyd’s (long-term), trail maintenance, trail walks, fund raising (on-going).

Low priority: Spring Creek Road (short-term), Nyes Run trail, Wolfersberger Park plan (long-term), Safe Routes to School walk ability study (on-going).

June 21, 2016


Stray Winds Farm  Township solicitor Steven Stine presented a Stipulated Consent Order regarding the housing development project currently underway along McIntosh Road. He recommended that the board approve the agreement pending the settlement of all appeals. The board voted to approve it.

Grant ApplicationResolution #16-26  This resolution was to authorize the submission of grant application to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Financing Authority for a Greenway, Trails and Recreation Program Grant in support of the Heroes Grove project. Cristine Hunter, from the engineering firm that designed the outdoor amphitheater at Brightbill Park, reported that there should be a response from the authority regarding the grant after their September meeting. The supervisors approved the submission of the grant application.

Liquor LicenseResolution #16-22  Action on this resolution would approve the transfer of state restaurant liquor license No. R-9583 to Giant Food Stores, LLC. The license would be for a store they plan to build at 5005 Jonestown Road in the KIMCO shopping center. The required public hearing was held, at which time an officer from the company explained Giant’s plan to include a café in the store which would serve food and beer for in-store consumption and for takeout. A similar request for a liquor license transfer made by Weis Stores for an existing nearby store had previously been approved. The board voted to approve this request for the liquor license transfer.

Building PermitsOrdinance #16-03  Every year since 1995, the government has given the township an additional allocation of building permits for projects in the Beaver Creek sanitary sewer drainage basin. Currently the township already has extra permits available for projects but they have been offered 35 more this year. The supervisors voted to accept the additional permits.

Doli Construction  This company is doing a sewer replacement project in the PC4-C/E sanitary mini-basin. Change Order #1 to their contract is a decrease of $1,260.00 if they could bore a portion of their work instead of digging an open trench. The board approved the change order.

Colonial RoadResolution #16-27  This resolution is to approve HRG Engineers’  submission of a grant application to the government for approximately $60,000.00 to help fund Phase 1 of the project that would improve the road’s two signaled intersections, north of the Colonial Park Mall. The resolution was approved.

Beaufort Hunt, Inc.Resolution #16-10  This group, located in Mechanicsburg, owns a  property at 6660 Union Deposit Road where they have a kennel and yard for their hunting hounds. The property is 2.01 acres in size which is just slightly larger than that is allowed by ordinance for their current use. They are requesting to be allowed to adjust the lot line of their property so it will be in conformance with the regulations. Earlier in the year, the Zoning Hearing Board gave their approval to the property line change and at this meeting the supervisors voted also to approve it.

June 23, 2016


BRM Associates, Inc.Docket #1385  At this board’s May meeting, this firm’s application for a variance from the maximum sign height and area regulations was heard.  The proposed free standing sign for Hornung’s Hardware and Rental Center is to be located on Blue Bird Avenue, replacing an existing sign at the same location. There was a minor error in the required public notice for the variance request, so at that meeting the board voted to table action on the request until it could be re-advertised correctly at the required time before this June board meeting.

At this meeting, the board again heard the request. The new sign would be slightly smaller than the existing one, but would be twenty feet high, the same height as the existing one, but still higher than the current ten foot height limit in the Commercial General zoning district. There are other free standing signs higher than ten feet in this generally commercial area facing a busy highway.

The applicant said that the plan was that the proposed sign would be very near the location of the existing one and would be lighted internally with the light on from 7 pm until 7 am. After a lengthy discussion the board voted to allow the sign to be erected but   with the condition that the light could only be on from 7 pm until 10 pm.

Seltzer Properties, LLCDocket #1386  Last year, this company purchased the small vacant lot at 911 North Mountain Road. This lot is adjacent to the property at 909 North Mountain Road they also bought which is the location of the existing Beauty Works Salon. They requested a variance to be able to consolidate the two small lots into one property so they can build a larger parking area accessed from Mclhenny Street which is behind the salon. Both properties are in the CND Commercial Neighborhood District.

The proposed new parking lot would consist of two regular parking spaces, a handicapped parking space and an adjacent handicapped access aisle leading to the rear entrance of the salon. The additional parking area would accommodate more patrons if and when a second stylist is brought on board. It was noted that the small property was not well suited for other commercial uses and its development would vastly improve what is now a deserted and unattractive lot. The board voted to approve the variance request.

July 5, 2016


Wolfersberger Park  JVH Excavating, Inc. has the contract to do preparation work at the large property on Wenrich Road that will eventually become Wolfersberger Park. Change Order #4 would be a decrease in their contract in the amount of approximately $29,000.00 due to the engineers’ proposal to revise the scope of their work. The supervisors approved the change order.

PACT Construction, Inc. The board voted to approve a Settlement Agreement and Mutual Release regarding the completion of a construction contract the township had with this company.

Winfield Street Storm Water Improvement Project  The township engineers requested that the supervisors approve the purchase of permanent and temporary easements at 4500 Coventry Road. The property which has a house on it is at the northwest corner of the Winfield Street intersection with Devonshire Road across the street from the Northside Elementary School. The easements were required as part of the upcoming sewer project. The supervisors approved the purchasing of the easements.

Possibility PlaceResolution #16-29  The play surface of the large recreation facility at George Park is in need of replacement. This resolution would authorize the submission of an application to Dauphin County for a grant to help pay for the project. The estimated cost of the project is $175,000.00 and the grant application is for $125,000.00. Local volunteers will help with the project in the spring which will take about three months to complete. The board voted to submit the grant application.

Key Indicator Report  George Wolfe, township manager, presented a report on the township’s fiscal situation at the end of the first quarter of the year. He said there was little change from the previous quarter. He noted that the general fund balance was slightly above the 25% of expenditures target, revenues were up slightly, borrowing has been done for sewer projects, most of the many township funds are up from last year, and allocations from the state for repair projects will be expended by the end of the year. He finished by saying he would be closing the books on the second quarter report fairly soon.

Sewer Pump StationResolution #16-28   Action on this resolution would authorize the closing of the Gateway Corporation Center pump station. It is no longer needed since flow from this location can now go into Beaver Creek. The board approved the removal of the pump station.

July 6, 2016


Commissioner Steve Libhart was absent.

Conditional Use for Forest Hills Commons, 4220 Linglestown Road –  Eric Kessler, president of Vanguard Realty Group, presented an overview of his request for a conditional use to construct a strip mall that exceeds 50,000 square feet of retail space on a 12.9-acre tract in the Commercial-Neighborhood zoning district. The undeveloped land is located west of the Weis store on Colonial Road and behind the Sheetz store on Linglestown Road. He said the plaza would have boutique shops and possibly a bank and a few restaurants. The parking lot would be sized for 500 cars, which is about double the size of the Weis store’s lot, according to Kessler. He said that he is working with an engineer and PennDOT on a traffic-impact study, and his engineer is working on a stormwater management plan.

Residents from the Forest Hills development and nearby neighborhoods packed the meeting room and everyone who commented on the application spoke against it. The overwhelming issue was the additional traffic that the shopping plaza would bring into the Colonial and Linglestown road corridors.

Some residents expressed concerns about stormwater issues because the land was marshy prior to it being filled in. Also, a tributary of the Paxton Creek runs through it. Kessler said an underground stormwater facility would be used to detain water, and he insisted that his project does not encroach on a flood plain.

SWAN Chairman Eric Epstein suggested that the commission table a decision on the conditional use requested by Kessler until a Route 39 corridor study is completed in about a year.

The commission voted to not recommend approval of the conditional use request because Kessler failed to demonstrate that his project would not negatively impact traffic and would not cause stormwater problems.

The township supervisors will hold a public hearing on Kessler’s request on Aug. 2, 2016.

Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan for Hoffman Ford’s building expansion The commission recommended approval for a small extension to the dealership’s existing main building at 5200 Jonestown Road.

Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan for CVS Pharmacy  The commission recommended approval for a pharmacy to be built on a 1.61-acre lot located at the intersection of Jonestown and Devonshire roads, which is in the former Gander Mountain plaza’s parking lot directly across from the Rite Aid pharmacy at the same intersection.

Final Subdivision Plan for Amber Fields, Phase VILLAS  The commission recommended approval for 17 single-family homes to be constructed on a 14.26-acre tract in the Residential-Cluster zoning district. The housing development is located south of Devonshire Heights Road between Devonshire and Nyes roads.

Comprehensive Plan  The commission finalized a list of tasks to be included in a request for proposals that will be advertised for a consulting firm to assist with revising the township’s comprehensive plan.

July 6, 2016


Hodges Heights –  There is no suitable parcel available for a new park, but there are some viable options for improving the existing park. One possibility is to add exercise stations. The picnic area can be improved. A walking trail could be developed to join neighborhoods. Mr. Banks, the president of the H.H. Community Organization, will talk with the majority of residents about these ideas and solicit suggestions.

Heroes Grove – Approximately 200 people attended the ribbon cutting ceremony. The first summer concert kicked off on 6/17. To fund phase TWO, $558,000.00 will be raised.

Park Improvements – Brightbill & Kohls have had pavilion improvements. There is new playground equipment at Forest Hills. Tennis courts and fence upgrades have been done at Koons, and softball dugouts will be completed this month.

Parks & Recreation Signage Ordinances – Draft ordinances were distributed. Board members will e-mail their comments. Supervisors need to indicate their concerns to the board.

Arts Council: The council is working to post activities on the township website.  There will be another photography contest this year. On July 22nd, the movie “Arsenic and Old Lace” will be shown at the Friendship Center. The council is looking into sponsoring an upscale craft show next year.

Greenway Committee: Members of the committee walked the proposed Oak Park Trail from Oak Park Circle to the hospital. There are concerns about parking and the part of the trail that would cross Locust Lane. So far there is only a handshake agreement. The committee is working on a written agreement between the township and the owner of the land.

Community Engagement Committee:  The committee is gearing up for a 5K event fundraiser next September 16th.

July 12, 2016


Earl Drive Culvert   A representative from the township’s engineers, HRG, gave a follow up on their presentation at the previous month’s meeting regarding their design work for the planned stream channel improvement project upstream from the culvert under Earl Drive. This is the first of a series of projects that the township will be required to do to comply with new government regulations regarding the control of storm water that will eventually empty into the Chesapeake Bay.

The engineers are preparing a feasibility study, preliminary drawings and estimated costs for the project that will be submitted to the government agency. They will prepare applications for grant money from the government. An effort will be made to get volunteers from the public and from civic organizations, along with help from township staff to assist with the stream improvement project. The engineers estimate that the design cost for this pilot project will be approximately $100,000.00. Because of possible legal issues, the board agreed not to request that affected homeowners contribute to the cost of the stream project along their properties. Action on the acceptance of the engineers’ work plan and estimated fees will be scheduled for the supervisors’ next business meeting.

Neighborhood Dispute Settlement   The leader of the new recently organized local non-profit group working under this name presented information to the board about their services. The organization consists of twenty volunteers working under one paid leader to help township citizens with any number of issues including property line disputes, noise control, landlord problems, etc., without charge. The organization will apply for county grants and for help from local civic organizations to help with their efforts. They will provide information about the work of their group to the township to be included in the regular township newsletter.

Trash Collection  At the previous workshop session, the board discussed Waste Management’s request to allow them to begin picking up trash fifteen minutes earlier than their current 6:00 AM starting time. The supervisors were divided on the matter and they tabled action on it. At this meeting they still were not able to come to an agreement on the requested change and any decision was again postponed.

Friendship Center  Township manager George Wolfe reported on the planning for the proposed project to make indoor improvements at the center. The planned work would include a new reception desk, the elimination of the present pool table area behind the reception area,   extending the exercise area into that space, and behind that building an indoor climbing wall in the area at the rear of the building. Included in the project would be new lighting fixtures for the indoor pools, converting two classrooms into one large active recreation area, and other new electrical repair work.

He reported that he and the center’s leaders realized that no single contractor would be able to do all the various items of work under one contract at a reasonable cost. He suggested that they divide the work into around four specialized bid packages and hire architect Harrison Bink to handle the bidding and oversee the work. Mr. Bink’s fee for that would be about $40,000. 00. This proposal will be considered at the next supervisors meeting.

Grant Applications  Mr. Wolfe reported to the board on the Dauphin County Local Share Municipal Grant Application process. He listed a large number of township projects for which applications for grants were submitted and the few which the township was successful in getting grants for. He also mentioned a number of applications that were in line to be submitted in the remainder of this year and on into 2017. These many projects include the replacement of flooring at the Possibility Place play facility in George Park, new fire trucks and equipment for the township’s three fire companies, completion of the Heroes Grove amphitheater project at Brightbill Park, preparation of the township’s comprehensive plan, and the Earl Drive stream project.

Medical Marijuana  The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission has prepared a model ordinance that municipalities can chose to use regarding the sale of medical marijuana. The township can amend the zoning ordinance to include regulations as to where these pharmaceuticals can be grown and sold. The legal issues involving this item will need to be addressed. The procedure will be to prepare a draft ordinance and send it to the Planning Commission and the Zoning Hearing Board for their review before the board takes any action on amending the ordinance.

Executive Summary  Mr. Wolfe presented the required township 2015 Annual Report. He summarized the document that reviewed the activities of all the township boards and departments for the year. The fifteen page document can be read on line and down loaded from the Lower Paxton Township’s web site.

July 19, 2016


Municipal RecordsResolution #16-09  The state requires that the authority retain certain records for seven years before they can be destroyed. The authority board voted to approve the destruction of some of these records which have now been kept for that period of time.

Shared Inter-Municipal Hydraulic Model Agreement This agreement between Susquehanna Township and Lower Paxton Township is to allow the two staffs to work together to develop a strategy to address the government required implementation measures regarding wet weather management. GHD engineers work for both townships and this agreement would help protect the Lower Paxton Township authority from future problems. Two board members wanted Susquehanna Township to sign the agreement before Lower Paxton Township, did but the motion to approve the agreement was voted on and passed on a 4 to 2 vote.

New Enterprise Stone and Lime, Inc.  This company has the contract for earth removal for the project underway to remove the Elmerton Avenue bridge over Interstate 83. The bridge span itself has been demolished and the supporting structures and the earthwork beyond it will now need to be removed. The proposed agreement is to have the company deposit the clean fill that needs to be carried away from the work site to a location in Commerce Park which is just north of the intersection. The question was raised whether some of the fill could be used to help with the grading underway at the site on Wenrich Avenue for the future Wolfersberger Park. The engineers stated that enough fill from the many sewer projects has already provided almost enough for the park project.

The engineers estimate that the company will need to move approximately 65,000 cubic yards of fill. PennDOT needs to approve the fill removal project to insure that it complies with the new government storm water regulations. The engineers will be responsible to monitor the work to be as sure as possible that no contaminated material goes into the landfill. They were directed to also install a fence and gate at the site to control illegal dumping. The board voted to approve the earth removal contract with the New Enterprise company.

July 19, 2016


Public Safety  David Spotts, Public Safety Director, reminded everyone that the annual Night Out for Public Safety will be held on Tuesday, August 2, at George Park. The evening event will feature the first responders which are the three Fire Departments, the Police Department and the Emergency Medical Services unit. As always there will be many stands for refreshments, amusements, information, etc.

Also Mr. Spotts spoke about the recent mass shooting events across the country and he assured the township that their police department is aware of the problem and its risks and has been trained and ready to respond if any such event should happen here.

Earl Drive Culvert   A representative from HRG Engineers was scheduled to report on the improvement project being planned for this location. That item was tabled until a future meeting.

Weber Murphy Fox   At a meeting earlier this month the board considered retaining an architect to manage the hiring and supervising of four separate contractors to do the   extensive improvement project planned for the Friendship Center. This came after bids were received from contractors to do all the planned work under a single contract were considered to be too high. As noted before, the improvements will include a new smaller reception desk area, an extended exercise area behind that, an indoor climbing wall, new lighting over the indoor pools, converting two adjacent classrooms into one large recreation room and some electrical work.

At this meeting, the board discussed a change in the original plan which would be to hire the Weber Murphy Fox company to manage the project. They would prepare bid specifications for the four contracts, manage the bidding and be on site full time to oversee the work. Their proposed fee would be $40,211.00. The construction cost of the project was estimated to be $500,000.00. The board voted to approve moving ahead with the project.

Jonestown Road Bridge ProjectResolution #16-30  This resolution would approve a Federal-Aid Reimbursement Agreement with PennDOT for funds for the construction of a new bridge on Johnstown Road over Beaver Creek. The bridge spans the creek which separates Lower Paxton and West Hanover Townships. The supervisors approved the agreement.

Winfield Street  There are four private properties in the area of this project where HRG Engineers request that the township execute easement agreements to allow the necessary sewer work to be done on the properties. The board voted to approve the four agreements.

July 20, 2016


Oak Park Trail – The committee reviewed and discussed the temporary trail access agreement. The document states that the trail width would be 3′ with a tread width of 2′ to 3′ which is much too narrow. This should be changed to a trail width of 5′ with a tread width of 3′. Language should be added that names the specific entity responsible for trail maintenance. In the document, the township agrees to close the trail for a 24 hour period, annually. (This is a legal practice that establishes “ownership” of the trail.) It was decided to extend the closure period to 1 week each year, and that it would be the first week of February.

Also, the committee discussed approaching individuals whose land closely borders the proposed trail (and possibly overlaps slightly) to seek their cooperation with the project. Is it possible to offer a tax incentive to the land owner if the township does not purchase the land, but maintains it? This question will be researched. Trail users would have to cross a section of Pinnacle’s land at the south side of the trail, so we should try to establish a “handshake agreement” with Pinnacle.

Grants  for Greenways – The committee is currently looking for additional sources for grant money.