SWAN Newsletter #77

December 13, 2012

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARK PLAN MEETINGS

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher

Two meetings were conducted on this date by the planning firm of Simone Collins as part of their ongoing development of a master plan for the future upgrading of Koons Park and the development of Wolfersberger Park. The township committee that is working with the planners met with them first followed by the public meeting with the interested neighbors of the Wolfersberger tract.

Plan Study Committee Meeting #2 – This committee is made up of the members of the township’s Park & Recreation Board and other citizens to work as a liaison with the planners. At their first formal meeting the committee members discussed their wish list for facilities they would like the planners to consider in their planning of the two parks. At this second meeting the planners focused only on Koons Park and they submitted three alternate concept plans showing possible locations for the various athletic fields and for parking lots, playgrounds, paths, restrooms, pavilions, etc.

Their initial suggestion was that Koons Park be oriented more toward fields for the younger groups rather than trying to accommodate all groups at this one park. They suggested eventually relocating facilities for basketball, tennis, volleyball, etc. to Wolfersberger Park. They also discussed concerns at Koons Park about the serious problem with field drainage and the need to avoid having park activities negatively impact the adjacent residential areas. They felt that with the recent improvements the existing swimming pool facility should not be disturbed.

Neighborhood Focus Group Meeting – This public meeting was to provide neighbors of the Wolfersberger Park property to express to the planners their interests and concerns about the future project. Their overwhelming concern, shared by everyone, is the vehicular access to the park from Wenrich Street. The narrow road is straight but very hilly with bad sight distances and it has become a speedway for young drivers. Also it is too narrow for pedestrian traffic. Unfortunately it provides the only current access road to the park property and major improvements to it would be needed for any safe park entrance to be created along it. The planners have a traffic engineer who will address this problem.

The other item addressed was what the neighbors felt the park should contain. Of course there will be play fields and courts but they also favored planning for passive activities such as hiking, a dog park, a pavilion, possibly gardens, educational areas, etc. It is expected that the paintball operation will continue, possibly at a smaller scale, and a skateboard facility was suggested.

December 18, 2012

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING – (7:30 PM – 8:40 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher, Betty Miller and Ted Robertson; Reported by Ted Robertson

OLD BUSINESS:

The Supervisors unanimously approved an agreement with South Central EMS to provide emergency medical services to the Township for a period of two (2) years. The Township contribution will be $27,500.00 per year. SWAN supported the selection of South Central EMS.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 12-28 which adopted the 2013 fiscal year budgets. The operating budget is $18.34 million. The total of all Township budgets is $47.5 million which includes Authority expenditures. The budgets are balanced with NO tax increase.

The Supervisors unanimously approved agreements with AFSCME Clerks and Custodians and Sewer Department employees. The agreements provide no pay increase in 2013 and a 1.5% pay increase in each of the following three (3) years.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Ordinance 12-09 amending the non-uniformed employees plan to change the retirement age for new employees and increase employee contributions.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 12-36 accepting the final recommendations and sun setting the Village of Linglestown Committee.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 12-37 authorizing the submission of an application to the Civil-Military Innovative Training Program on behalf of the Heroes Grove Project.

NEW BUSINESS: Subdivision and Land Development

The Supervisors unanimously approved a Declaration of Consolidation of lots for Michael and Nancy Swank (2-27). This combines three parcels into one 1.23 acre parcel.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 12-32 accepting portions of Creek Crossing Drive and Lyters Lane in Spring Creek Hollows/Kendale Oaks II.

January 7, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS REORGANIZATION MEETING (7:30 PM – 8:05 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson

The Township management organization remains essentially the same as it was in 2012. One exception was that David Blain was elected Vice Chairman of the Board of Supervisors as a tribute to his years of service as a Supervisor. David will be leaving the Board of Supervisors at the end of the year.

January 7, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson; Reported by Ted Robertson.

OLD BUSINESS:

The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 13-01 appointing Zelenkofske Axelrod LLC to audit the accounts of the Township for the 2012 fiscal year.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 13-02 accepting the proposal of Boenning and Scattergood to serve as Underwriter in the Issuance of General Obligation Bonds.

NEW BUSINESS:

The Supervisors unanimously approved the annual renewal of the Hutch Junk Yard License.

The Supervisors unanimously approved the low bid of Wexecon Inc. in the amount of $1,010,815.00 for the installation of an interceptor in the PC-1G and PC-1H mini basin areas in Forest Hills. There were eleven (11) bids submitted for this project.

The Supervisors approved the Second Amendment to the Second Consent Decree and Settlement Agreement with DEP for sanitary sewer facilities.

The Supervisors approved a proposal from Zelenkofske Axelrod LLC to provide audit services to the Township and the Authority for fiscal years 2013, 2014, and 2015.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 13-03 authorizing the adoption of a Premium Only Plan for group medical insurance benefits.

January 7, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING – (8:30 PM – 8:40 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson; Reported by Ted Robertson.

NEW BUSINESS:

The Authority unanimously approved Resolution 12-01 authorizing a request to PADOT for reimbursements and incorporation of work for the Linglestown Road project east of Linglestown.

The Authority unanimously approved the Second Amendment to the Second Consent Decree and Settlement Agreement with DEP.

January 9, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

There were only two committee members present for the meeting so the planned agenda was not followed and no official action could be taken.

Nyes Run – Parks & Recreation Department director Brian Luetchford presented detailed aerial photos showing Nyes Road and Nyes Run from Union Deposit Road south to the township line. These will help the committee with the initial planning to locate the proposed walking trail that would run along the stream south from Union Deposit Road. Funds for the required wetlands delineation and the detailed planning for this proposed project could be included in a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) grant application that the township would submit.

Public Works Department – Sam Robbins, the township’s Public Works Department director, attended the meeting at Mr. Luetchford’s request to discuss a possible coordination with the Greenway Committee on road work and other matters. The committee identifies locations where minor repairs to sidewalks or streets including stripping could be made to improve pedestrian traffic. When these locations happen to coincide with scheduled sewer projects it could be possible to include street and/or sidewalk work in the project. Mr. Robbins agreed with this suggestion. He noted that the township is installing a very sophisticated computerized pavement management program which will identify and prioritize all road repair projects in the township. This could assist the committee in selecting possible future sidewalk projects.

Other items discussed included the creation of a new trail along the sewer right-of-way from Oak Park Circle south to the Osteopathic Hospital and the possible use on existing trails of some of the excess mulch Public Works has accumulated. It was agreed that communications between the two departments on these and other matters would be beneficial.

Park Planning – The committee was reminded that the long range planning process for the upgrading of Koons Park and the development of Wolfersberger Park is moving into its final phase with a series of wind up meetings over the next few months. Therefore it would be important for this committee to provide input regarding walking opportunities at the two parks and between them before the planning is completed.

January 9, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION REORGANIZATION (7:00 PM – 7:05 PM)

Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.

Officers of the Planning Commission remain the same for 2013. The meeting dates for the Planning Commission will be the first Monday of the month for 2013.

January 9, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING – (7:05 PM – 7:35 PM)

Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.

NEW BUSINESS:

Representatives of Copperstone Estates for Ionni Properties/Deaven Woods LLC presented a Preliminary Subdivision and Land Development Plan. This property is zoned AR and consists of 13.3 acres on which six single family units will be constructed. This property is located north of Union Deposit Road and west of Copperstone Road. There is no pubic water or sewer. After some discussion concerning Staff and HRG comments, it was decided to table this plan until the March 2013 meeting.

January 9, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

2013 Officers – The board re-elected Robert MacIntyre as Chairman, Neal Johnson as Vice-Chairman and Mary Jane Hornung as Secretary.

Arts Council – The board interviewed Deborah Delgado for the vacant position on the council and later in the meeting voted to appoint her to that position. At the council’s February meeting they will establish their priorities for this year’s activities. They were reminded that both the Linglestown borough and the township’s anniversaries will be coming up in a few years and it is not too soon for the council to begin planning for those special events.

Heroes Grove – Parks & Recreation Department director Brian Luetchford presented a draft document titled “Heroes Grove Amphitheater Agreement” which would establish in detail policies and procedures between the Heroes Grove Committee and the township during the construction and operation of the amphitheater. He also reported that the supervisors agreed to have the National Guard provide labor for earthmoving during the project’s initial phase. They also agreed to the submission of a grant application to the state for funds for the project possibly in combination with funds for energy improvements at the Friendship Center. The board again expressed its concern for the township’s long term need to provide maintenance for the new facility if it in fact is built.

Action Plan – Mr. Luetchford presented his 2013 plan to the board showing a detailed list of items they should undertake during the year. He does this yearly and it helps the board to plan their efforts for the year.

Fundraising – The Community Engagement Committee was organized to centralize fundraising for park and recreation projects. The committee’s work is intended to avoid the duplication of approaches to contributors. The work of the committee has now been approved by the supervisors and it has already begun.

January 10, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Reorganizational Meeting – The board reelected Richard Freeburn to serve as Chairman and Gregory Sirb to serve as Vice-Chairman.

Lamar Advertising – Docket #1327 – This request for a variance was to be permitted to replace an existing outdoor billboard located at 4201 Linglestown Road with a new smaller billboard. The property is zoned Commercial Neighborhood and is in the Linglestown Road Overlay District. Signs are not allowed in this zoning district but many exist in this primarily commercial area and were in place prior to the zoning district change.

The existing sign is located on the south side of Linglestown Road 100 feet west of Colonial Road in the 100 year floodplain. The existing sign consists of two connected double sided billboards, each of the four billboards being approximately 250 square feet in size. The proposal is to remove the two double sided connected billboards and replace them with one double faced billboard with each of the two new signs also being approximately 250 square feet in size. The proposed new sign would be a changeable copy electronic message sign on the side facing east and would be a standard fixed sign on the side facing west.

The board voted to approve the variance request with the stipulations that the new sign would not be any higher than the existing signs, that each changeable message would appear for a stipulated period of time and would not have animation, and that the issue of the sign being in the floodplain would be successfully resolved.

Freedom Automotive – Docket #1328 This variance request involved the maximum number and area of wall signs at the Freedom Toyota auto dealership at 6060 Allentown Boulevard in the C-1 Commercial District. The dealership is adding more Chrysler lines and needs to revamp their wall signs to reflect this change.

They plan to remove 11 of the existing exterior wall signs and replace them with 8 new signs identifying their new lines. The change would eliminate 763 square feet of existing wall signs and replace them with 328 square feet of new wall signs. That would reduce the number and area of wall signs and improve the property’s appearance along Allentown Boulevard. The board voted to approve the variance request.