SWAN NEWSLETTER #95

May 5, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING

Reported by Watson Fisher

Fire Company Reports The township requested updated rosters for the LOSAP volunteer firefighters’ pension program, rosters of the fire companies’ current personal and their annual budgets. These will be completed soon. The township also needs the three companies’ annual reports.

Nims Training Final scheduling for this training program for all township employees has not yet been completed.

Cameras The concern about anyone photographing fire and crime scenes was again discussed. It was reported that on two recent occasions such private videos were taken and shown on social media or a web site and this could create legal problems. Public Safety Director David Johnson issued a memo to the police and the fire companies outlining the restrictions. Police dashboard cameras can continue to be used. This matter will be discussed with emergency personnel in neighboring municipalities.

Heat Detectors One of the fire chiefs suggested that an ordinance be enacted requiring attached garages in new houses to be equipped with heat detectors. This will be discussed with the township manager to see if such an additional requirement is warranted.

Police The National Night Out event is scheduled for August 6th in George Park. Plans for the township’s annual Police Academy are underway.

May 6, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

Reported by Watson Fisher

Winfield Street Engineering services for this storm sewer improvement project will be totally paid for by Dauphin County block grant funds under its 2013 CDBG Disaster Recovery Plan. Some of the work was necessitated by storm damage. Acceptance of the $80,000.00 grant, which will cover the township engineer’s work, was approved.

Beaver Creek Building Permits – Ordinance #14-03 Every year the township is allocated a number of building permits they can use for projects in the Beaver Creek sanitary sewer basin. In recent years there have not been many new homes built in that area but with the planned start of construction of the Shadebrook residential and commercial development project that will change. The board voted to accept the permits.

Police Radar – Resolution #14-13 Now state police can use radar to enforce speeding but municipal police can not. The concern has been that municipalities would use radar to set up speed traps to generate revenue. Proposed state senate and house bills that would change that are under consideration and are supported by the state township association. The board voted to support the proposed legislation.

Nyes Run Trail – Resolution #14-14 For some years the township’s Greenway Committee has explored the possibility of building a trail along the west side of Nyes Run from Union Deposit Road south to the township line. Parks & Recreation Department director Brian Luetchford has prepared an application for a matching $20,000.00 state DCNR grant to prepare a complete feasibility study for the project. The study would also include a possible extension of the trail north from Union Deposit Road to George Park. The board voted to approve the submission of this application.

Police Cars Included in the 2014 budget was the leasing of four new Ford police vehicles, three interceptors and one interceptor utility vehicle. The total lease cost is $102,000.00 over three years after which the township takes ownership of the vehicles. The board voted to approve the lease agreement.

Meadowview Village The proposed amendment to the revised preliminary/final subdivision and land development plan for this project was not approved. More information is needed and the plan will then be considered at the next board meeting.

May 7, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Reported by Bill Bostic

Public Comment Residents from Meadowview Village, a senior housing development located south of Union Deposit Road near the Rutherford Road intersection, showed up to comment on a plan that was not on the meeting agenda. They asked the commission to not authorize commercial uses in front of their development along Union Deposit Road when a plan is submitted for consideration.

Beaufort Hunt preliminary final subdivision plan This plan was submitted to transfer a 2-acre parcel on an 89-acre farm from the farm owner to Beaufort Hunt, a sporting club that has been using an existing dog kennels on the proposed 2-acre lot. The farm is located along Union Deposit Road near the township’s border with South Hanover Township. No new construction is planned. The commission unanimously recommended approval of the plan.

Parkway Farms preliminary final subdivision The plan was tabled because the applicant is revising it to address township comments.
Special Exception, home occupation The commission reviewed a special exception application submitted by Carol Kershner for a one-chair beauty salon at her home at 1204 Springfield Street. It was determined that the application meets all requirements and the commission voted to recommend that the township Zoning Hearing Board approve the special exception.

May 7, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE REPORT

Reported by Watson Fisher

Only three committee members were in attendance which did not constitute a quorum. Therefore this was not an official committee meeting and no action could be taken and no minutes were recorded. Items of discussion were as follows:

Darlington Trail The committee reviewed a new detailed map showing landowners who own properties along the top of Blue Mountain. The committee is making efforts to possibly reopen a portion of the old Darlington Trail through the township which long ago had been part of the Appalachian Trail. A problem has been to identify the private and public landowners that would need to be contacted.

Nyes Run The committee was advised that the supervisors approved the submission of an application to the state for matching grant money to fund an in-depth feasibility study for the development of a trail along the length of Nyes Run.

Brochure Several committee members are working to revise the trail brochure that they had developed and circulated a few years ago. It will be enlarged and updated with a bigger trail map.

5K Run Plans are being finalized for the township run scheduled for Saturday July 19th. Additional sponsors are still needed for the event to be financially successful and the deadline is quickly approaching.

Mateer Field This property to the east of Oak Park Circle contains two baseball fields and a parking area. The owner of record, the Colonial Park Community Association, apparently no longer exists and the township is investigating the possibility of acquiring the property for a park and a trail head for the proposed Oak Park Trail.

Other agenda items will be discussed at the June 4, 2014 meeting.

May 7, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Reported by Watson Fisher

There was not a quorum in attendance so this was not an official meeting.

Vacancy There is presently one opening on the board. Interviews will be held in the near future to fill the vacancy.

Koons Park Softball Field Sam Hartley from the Linglestown Softball Association reported on their project to completely redo the softball field including new concrete block dugouts with concrete floors and a new backstop. Work had been interrupted due to his health problem but he now plans to have it completed by the end of June. It may also include a storage building later. Sam was commended for his continuing single-handed effort with this project. Questions about a scoreboard and the possible naming of the field will need to be addressed.

Heroes Grove Groundbreaking for the first phase of the construction of the planned open amphitheater at Brightbill Park is scheduled for Saturday, July 5. Final construction plans are not yet completed but earthmoving can begin. There is no final solution yet to the concern for adequate parking without an agreement to use spaces at the adjacent shopping center. The township’s in-line hockey rink will be removed to provide some parking. A handicapped accessible parking area and path to the amphitheater will be included.

Discussion on other agenda items was postponed until the June meeting.

May 13, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION

Reported by Watson Fisher

Canine Unit Consideration has been given to creating a K-9 unit in the township police department. Public Safety Director David Johnson and Officer Miller presented detailed information regarding what would be involved, what the benefits would be and the estimated cost. The program would involve one dog and one full-time officer. Among the many benefits would be in drug enforcement which is becoming a larger problem and where a trained dog would be extremely valuable. Others include search and rescue and other emergency situations.

The estimated first year cost for the trained dog, the officer’s salary and benefits, a special SUV, special insurance, etc., is $115,000.00, part of which could be offset from donations, special events, etc. The dog would most likely come from Europe and would be a Belgain Malinos which is somewhat preferred over a German Shepherd for police work. The only local municipalities that have police dogs are Harrisburg and Derry Township. The supervisors will give careful consideration to this proposal.

Parking Ordinance The board considered a draft ordinance prohibiting the parking of vehicles on unpaved surfaces. It was decided that any such ordinance would be restricted to residential areas and would include a ban on vehicles parking in the front yards of properties under one acre in size. They suggested that enforcement would be difficult and would probably be needed only if there was a complaint. Many concerns were raised so the draft will be redone and resubmitted for further consideration.

Key Indicator Report Township Manager George Wolfe gave the supervisors a complete report on the township’s finances for the 2013 fiscal year. The information showed general consistency with past years and some overall fiscal improvements due in part to some growth in the economy and some areas of increased state funding mainly for road improvements.

Strategic Plan At the previous workshop session the supervisors created an extensive list of projects that the various departments should address in the coming few years. Each supervisor ranked them in what they felt was their order of importance. The lists were then compiled and the supervisors had a first look at the results. They will now use this to help establish a master list to help in future decision making.

I-83 Expansion PennDOT recently provided some information to the township on the planned project to widen the interstate to three lanes each way from the Union Deposit Road interchange north to the I-81 split. Work is planned to start in at least two years with construction at the interchanges being done first and construction of the added traffic lane each way starting a year later. They stated that no residential properties and only one commercial property would be seriously affected. It was recognized that during the years of construction the project will cause serious problems for motorists. PennDOT will conduct informational meetings before construction starts. The township could be involved with additional maintenance and snow removal responsibilities if it chooses to construct sidewalks across the new bridges this will need to be considered.

May 19, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

Reported by Watson Fisher

Vision and Mission Statements – Resolution #14-16 In 2005 the township created and adopted these statements that now appear in printed form and on the web site. At a recent workshop session the supervisors reviewed them and agreed to several minor changes to both. At this meeting they voted to formally adopt the several changes.

Dissemination Agent – Resolution #14-15 This resolution would appoint Susquehanna Group Advisors, Inc. as Township Dissemination Agent to provide disclosures to the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the township’s recent bond issue. Unfortunately the resolution was not ready for formal action and its approval was tabled until the next business meeting.

Police and Fire Radios 175 mobile radios currently in use by the police department and the three fire companies had been purchased by Dauphin County which also maintained them. Ownership will now be transferred to the township for $1 and the township will be responsible for their maintenance. This agreement was approved.

Appeal The PA Right-to-Know Office recently issued a decision requiring the township to disclose the names of people who currently have certain delinquent accounts. The township raised an objection as this could be a possible privacy breach. The township solicitor recommended to the board that the township appeal this decision to the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas on the grounds that as a privacy issue they should not be required to release the names. If the appeal fails it would be clear that the township was required to release the names under a specific court order. The board voted to follow the solicitor’s legal recommendation.