SWAN NEWSLETTER #91

December 10, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION

Reported by Watson Fisher

Shadebrook Development Final approvals are being acquired for this large residential and commercial development to be built around the intersection of Fairmont Drive and Cider Press Road south of Locust Lane and north of Union Deposit Road. At this meeting the developer requested a design waiver regarding the proposed location of buried sanitary sewer lines in three private paved alleys affecting 21 homes. The supervisors agreed to the request to be allowed to locate the sewer lines in these locations with the condition that the homeowners affected would have legal notice of this situation up front and that the homeowners association would be financially responsible for any needed sewer repair work to these lines in the near or distant future.

Fire Equipment Capital Fund The chiefs of the township’s three fire departments were asked to discuss their requests for the purchasing of new equipment. This matter had been reviewed at the most recent Public Safety Committee meeting and the decision was made to review it directly with the supervisors. The request was for one new piece of new equipment for each company but the cost for this would exceed what the companies and the township together could currently afford. The township makes yearly contributions to the companies and the companies do fundraising to help meet equipment maintenance costs. The supervisors agreed to increase their contributions somewhat due to inflation and the chiefs agreed to work together to come up with a downsized request. The possibility of having an independent study done if an agreement was not forthcoming was discussed.

Stormwater Authority The supervisors have been considering whether or not to form a municipal authority to handle their storm water facilities, similar to the existing authority that administers the sanitary sewer system. Representatives from the township’s engineering firm, HRG, advised the board of some of the legal matters that would be involved in creating this authority that would be different from the existing one. A major difference would be how the storm sewer work would be funded. Consideration of this matter will continue.

Wolfersberger Tract The township will be going forward with their plan to deposit clean fill from the many sewer construction projects on the western half of the Wolfersberger Tract. Steve Fleming from HRG presented a grading plan he had prepared showing how the fill should be placed to start the preparation of the land for the future playfields in the park. He is completing the required permitting process so they can begin to bring fill onto the site by the middle of 2014.

Jonestown Road Bridge Township manager George Wolfe reported that the PennDOT review phase for this replacement project for the bridge which Lower Paxton and West Hanover Township jointly own is almost complete. It will then go to the contract and design phases and construction is expected to be completed in 2016.

Friendship Center All the current members of the center’s Operating Board attended this meeting to discuss the center’s and the board’s future. The supervisors had recently made the decision to retain ownership of the center and to charge the Operating Board and the center’s management to make changes toward improving revenue. At this meeting the board members all agreed to continue to serve and the supervisors, some of whom had considered looking to restructure the board, agreed to have the existing members remain. It was also agreed that Operating Board members would attend each month’s supervisors’ workshop meeting to report on what changes they intended to make.

Transportation Funding Bill Mr. Wolfe reported that the transportation funding bill recently passed by the state will provide money for some local road and bridge projects. Also the recent increase in the prevailing wage requirement for public construction projects from $25,000.00 to $100,000.00 should reduce the cost of some smaller municipal projects.

December 17, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING

Reported by Watson Fisher

2014 Authority Budget At their meeting on November 26, the sanitary sewer authority agreed to a proposed budget for the coming year. At this meeting the authority formally approved the budget which included a $5.00 increase in the quarterly sanitary sewer rate for residential customers. They also outlined the projected borrowing that will be needed over the next 20 years to fund the projects in the extensive corrective construction plan that is underway to repair a large portion of the sanitary sewers in the township. The projected long range funding plan is felt to be conservative and to represent the worst case situation. Most times in recent years the actual expenditures have been lower than those budgeted. The members voted to approve the authority budget for 2014 as presented.

Sewer Rental Rates – Resolution #13-16 The authority formally voted to increase the sewer rate for residential customers from $120.00 to $125.00 per quarter.

Settlement Agreement This agreement is to formalize the repayment to Lower Paxton and several other townships of sewer overcharges by the City of Harrisburg. The authority voted to approve the repayment agreement subject to its approval by the other municipalities involved.

December 17, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

Reported by Watson Fisher

David Blain This was Mr. Blain’s last meeting after 12 years on the board. He was formally thanked for his dedicated service.

2014 Budgets – Resolution #13-47 – Township Manager George Wolfe made a thorough presentation of the proposed budgets for all of the township’s departments and the Friendship Center. Expected expenditures in almost all departments were little changed from the current years. He noted that the township’s real estate tax would remain at 1.3 mils. The budget package for the 2014 fiscal year was approved as presented.

Friendship Center – Resolution #13-48 – At recent workshop meetings the supervisors made final decisions to continue to own and operate the Friendship Center and to retain the current Operating Board members. They also agreed to extend their financial commitment from the current 12 year period to 20 years and to reduce the outstanding debt with a General Fund loan which would be a simple transfer of township funds. The board voted to approve these changes.

Heroes Grove Grant – Mr. Wolfe reported that the grant in the amount of $200,000.00 in support of the Heroes Grove Memorial Amphitheater project to be located at Brightbill Park has been approved by the state. The board voted to accept the grant.

Sewer Plan Amendment – Resolution #13-46 – This amendment to the township’s Act 537 sanitary sewer facilities plan is a result of a state consent order regarding proposed changes to the sewer treatment facilities. The board voted to approve the amendment.

Sewer Project Bids were received for the planned Paxton Creek and Beaver Creek sanitary sewer mini-basin replacement project. The low bidder was J. O. Bradly Construction Co. in the amount of $3,860,665.00 which was below the engineer’s estimate. The board voted to award the work to the Bradly firm.

Autumn Oaks, Phase 1 – Resolution #13-49 – This resolution to accept the roads in this phase was withdrawn. The road work is not yet complete.

January 6, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

Reported by Watson Fisher

Annual Reorganization Meeting This state required meeting on the first Monday of the year included the appointment of various township officers, individuals and organizations to serve for the coming year. Robin Lindsey was sworn in as the new supervisor replacing David Blain, William Hawk was elected Chairman of the Board, Gary Crissman was elected Vice Chairman, William Hornung was elected Secretary, William Seeds was elected Treasurer and Robin Lindsey was elected Assistant Secretary/Treasurer. Also George Wolfe was reappointed Township Manager, Steve Stine was reappointed Township Solicitor and the firm of HRG was reappointed Township Engineer.

The supervisors made a number of other appointments included one additional Township Authority member and representatives to Capital Region Council of Governments, PSATS State Convention and the Dauphin County Tax Collection Committee. They also appointed members of the township’s Arts Council, the Audit Committee, the Community Engagement Committee, the Friendship Center Operating Board, the Greenway Committee, the Parks & Recreation Board, the Public Safety Committee, the Shade Tree Commission and the Zoning Hearing Board.

Business Meeting The board voted to approve Resolution #14-01 appointing the certified public accounting firm of Zelenkofske Axelrod to audit the funds and accounts of the township, the township authority and the Friendship Center for the 2013 fiscal year. They approved the yearly renewal of the Hutch Junk Yard license. They approved an agreement with the Municipal Capital Finance Company to lease exercise equipment for the Friendship Center for three years after which they would own the equipment. They approved the Violent Crimes Task Force Grant Agreement with the county commissioners providing for financial assistance in the township’s acquisition of a computerized management system. And they approved Resolution #14-02 providing for the increase in the number of members of the Township Authority from 5 to 7.

The supervisors announced that beginning this month their regular monthly workshop meetings will be moved into the large meeting room and will be televised on the same channel as their business meetings currently are. The supervisors said this will give the residents a better opportunity to follow the discussions leading up to their formal actions on township matters. The workshop meetings start at 6:00 PM the second Tuesday of each month.

January 8, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING

Reported by Watson Fisher

Election of Officers The committee voted to have Jim Seidler serve as Chairman and Angela Sedum to serve as Vice Chairman for the 2014 calendar year.

Linglestown 250th Anniversary Polly Murphy representing the task force planning the Village of Linglestown’s 250th year anniversary celebration gave a presentation of the extensive list of activities being planned for the event. It is scheduled for October 9, 10 and 11, 2015. Many committees have already been formed and funds are being raised. The Greenway Committee suggested activities they could consider organizing as part of the celebration.

Trail Planning/Construction/Maintenance The committee will proceed with planning for the possible new Oak Park Trail which has become the committee’s first priority for new trail development. It would extend south from Oak Park Circle to the Osteopathic Hospital. They will ask solicitor Steve Stine to determine what easements are needed in order to create a formal trail on private property along the existing sewer line. They will also check the condition of the recently constructed Autumn Oaks Trail and its signage.

Safe Routes to School The grant application for funds to improve pedestrian safety at the Linglestown Elementary and Middle Schools has been submitted to the state. The committee will continue to evaluate the possibility of grants for similar projects at other district schools.

Project Action Items The committee will review the long list of project action items carried over from 2013 and will list them as short term, long term and maintenance items. This will then be presented to the Parks & Recreation Board for their review and suggestions. Added to the list were possible trail projects at the soon to be started Shadebrook project, at the Kohl and Lingle Parks which are adjacent to each other, and at the Montrail project, if planning for it should be restarted.

Miscellanous The Community Engagement Committee, which is the Parks & Recreation fundraising organization, will meet on January 15th with representatives of the various groups to coordinate their ongoing efforts. The P&R article for the upcoming township newsletter has been finished and submitted. The committee is considering sponsoring guided walking tours on some of the township trails beginning in the spring. They also plan to consider ways to improve signage identifying existing trails.

January 8, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Reported by Watson Fisher

The January board meeting was cancelled. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 5, 2014.

January 8, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION

Attended and reported by Bill Bostic

Election of Officers: Fred Lighty was re-elected Chairman. Other officers elected were Dennis Guise as Vice Chairman and Roy Newsome as Secretary.

NEW BUSINESS

Revised Final Subdivision & Land Development Plan for Shadebrook, Phase I #13-22: Shadebrook is a Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) to be constructed on a large tract of land bordered by Fairmont Drive and Cider Press and Union Deposit roads. The project roughly includes 261 residential lots, 2 commercial lots, 22 condo/apartment units over commercial spaces and 9 open-space areas.

The commission’s review of the plan focused on several minor issues that will be hashed out when the developer and township finalize a development agreement.

The commission recommended that curbing be installed for a temporary cul-de-sac to be constructed on a residential building lot because there is no firm timetable for building on the lot.

The plan was unanimously recommended for approval with the above condition and 17 waivers needed to comply with TND requirements under the land-development ordinance.

The developer’s engineer, Jeff Staub of Dauphin Engineering, said construction is expected to start by late spring 2014.

Appointment of New Commission Members – Robin Lindsey and Ernest Gingrich need to be replaced. The commission will interview applicants on file with the township during their next meeting on February 5, 2014.

January 9, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING

Reported by Watson Fisher

Appointment of Officers Richard Freeburn was reappointed Chairman and Greg Sirb was reappointed Vice Chairman for the 2014 calendar year.

Steven M. Graehling – Docket #1349 – This request is for a variance to be allowed to conduct an assembly operation in his building at 806 Crosby Street in the R-2 Medium Density Residential Zoning District. Assembly or finishing of products is not permitted in this district.

Mr. Graehling built this commercial use building in 1999 when the site was zoned C-1 Commercial. His previous tenant ran a delivery service and had been there since 1999. He had 12 employees and there was fairly constant truck traffic. The proposed tenant will have no more than 8 employees and almost no traffic. The operation which involves the assembling of small electrical devices will be clean and noise free and will be limited to weekdays during daylight hours. A neighboring homeowner testified that he had no objection to the proposed usage. The board voted to approve the variance request.