SWAN NEWSLETTER #98

August 4, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher

Night Out for Public Safety Public Safety Department director David Johnson reported that this annual event will be held at George Park on Tuesday, August 5 beginning at 5:00 p.m. He said that along with the usual display of fire department, police and ambulance equipment Governor Corbett has announced that he will be in attendance.

Electronic Devices The state has approved a new set of regulations regarding the use of hand held electronic devices by fire and police personnel. The regulations will take effect the end of August. The content of the new regulations themselves were not discussed.

Committee Members’ Reports The Colonial Park Fire Company reported that there was clarification on the need for a classroom trailer that was placed at the VoTech School to be equipped with sprinklers. The ruling was that sprinklers for the trailer were not required. They also mentioned that there had been a problem regarding the recent demolition of the Rite Aid building at the corner of Route 22 and Devonshire Road. They had used the vacant building for training purposes and damaged windows and other things before whomever had hoped to salvage them could do so. The South Central Emergency Medical Services director reported that his organization was having trouble with billing and payments for services covered by the Affordable Care Act.

August 5, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING – reported by Watson Fisher

The supervisors’ business meeting that was scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 5th was cancelled due to the annual Night Out for Public Safety being held at the same time. The supervisors met at 7:00 a.m. that morning with the only agenda item to approve the payment of the bills of the Township and the Township Authority.

August 6, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING – Reported by Bill Bostic

Old Business

Revised Preliminary/Final Land Plan for Phases 6 & 7 of Huntleigh This plan was reviewed last month by the commission as a proposed subdivision on an undeveloped, 22-acre parcel located along Lyters Lane and Conway Road that would be divided into five housing lots (map: http://goo.gl/maps/hpcTt). The parcel previously had been approved for 32 building lots in the Huntleigh development.

After meeting with township staff, the developer, Fine Line Homes, revised the submission to be a revision of the Huntleigh development plan that was approved about a decade ago.

The plan was unanimously approved with the two waivers: (1) no pedestrian path will be required along Lyters Lane, and (2) the developer will pay a fee in lieu of widening Lyters Lane. The approval also calls for the developer to work with township staff on a possible fix for poor sight distance caused by a roadside slope at a curve on Lyters Lane.

Preliminary/Final Minor Subdivision Plan for Parkway Farms Inc. The plan was tabled because the property owner made last-minute changes to the parcel of land that would be transferred to the developer, McNaughton Homes, for a residential development.

The 114-arce property is located on both sides of Parkway West and is in the Agricultural Residential zoning district. The proposed development would only cover a portion of the property west of Parkway West, and would be located east of McNaughton’s Autumn Oaks development and west of Harrisburg Christian School (Map: http://goo.gl/maps/vy9uk).

A family’s closely held corporation owns Parkway Farms.

August 6, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher

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

Mateer Field The township is continuing to explore the possibility of acquiring this existing two field property east of Oak Park Circle to become a township park. The property ownership is recorded as the Community Club of Colonial Park which no longer actively exists and the township solicitor is working to see what would be involved to acquire it. He determined that the club membership could now be considered to be the current residents of a designated area around the property and that a significant number of that group could make a decision on the future of the property.

A public meeting has been scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 6 at the township building to allow the residents of that area to be heard and to consider if they wish to retain ownership or possibly deed the property to the township. Failing the involvement of a number of the local residents, the last resort would be for the township to condemn the property. Members of the Parks & Recreation Board will attend the September 9th supervisors’ workshop meeting to present this information to them. The supervisors plan to view the property on their fall road tour.

Bike Club A local bicycle club advised the township that they plan to begin work to create a county plan that would identify a system of potential safe bikeways. They will be issuing letters to municipalities and other clubs to gather information for their plan. The committee indicated an interest in this effort.

Sidewalk and Crosswalk Connections The committee reviewed their previous listing of locations where the addition of relatively short sections of new sidewalks can complete walking opportunities and improve pedestrian safety. Also they reviewed the listing of intersection locations where crosswalks need to be adequately striped to be clearly identified. The two lists were prioritized, so that when improvements can be made the most important ones can be addressed first.

Meeting Date The committee’s September meeting will be held on Wednesday the 10th instead of the previous Wednesday the 3rd.

August 6, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher

Interviews Vacancies existed on the P&R Board and the Greenway Committee. The board interviewed two applicants who had submitted resumes for a position on the board, one of whom was interested in serving on either board. Both were considered well qualified and the board filled the two openings by approving both for five year positions.

Hodges Heights Park A park neighbor who had previously served on the P&R board attended this meeting as well as the previous one. She had asked that the board consider park improvements needed to make it usable again by the local residents. The board then requested that she develop a list of repairs and improvements she considered necessary. At this meeting she presented her list which was broken down into short term and long term needed improvements. The board scheduled an on-site meeting for 6:00 p.m. Wednesday September 10th and she agreed to meet before that with neighbors to get further input.

Brightbill Park Baseball The PHR Baseball Association continues to make major improvements to fields at the park always with previous approval by this board. They recently finished a home team dugout, a storage building and erected a flagpole at the main field. Their leader now requested approval to construct a visiting team dugout at the main field matching the other one. The board approved that project. He indicated that next year they planned to build dugouts at the multipurpose field. Concern was raised that the wood dugouts at the main field were enclosed to the degree that needed surveillance was difficult. This will be addressed when plans are submitted next year for those new dugouts.

Miscellaneous Reports were submitted on the recent activities of the Arts Council, the Greenway Committee and the Community Engagement Committee. It was reported that the recent first 5K run to raise funds for the parks had over 50 runners and raised over $1,000.00.

August 12, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION

Reported by Watson Fisher

Hurley Fields The scheduled discussion regarding the request from three athletic organizations regarding their use of Hurley Fields at the township’s Public Works site was postponed until the board’s September 9th workshop session.

School Buses Previously the board had received several complaints from citizens about the parking of large school buses during the day on residential streets. At the last month’s workshop session the board formulated language for an ordinance restricting this in residential zones and they brought it up for final discussion at this meeting. Representatives from the Central Dauphin School District school board attended the meeting and explained that most of the buses involved were not their buses but those of a private contractor. They said they were aware of the situation and that they would address it immediately. They requested that the board not take any action at this time. The board agreed to this request.

Heroes Grove Many organizations and individuals are involved with this project but the township is the entity that is legally responsible for the construction of the amphitheater in Brightbill Park. The board reviewed a license agreement and temporary access easement to allow construction vehicles to cross the adjacent shopping center property. The board agreed to execute the agreement but not until it was signed by the shopping center’s owner. The board also approved an agreement with H. Edward Black engineers for the preparation of the Phase 1 construction documents that include site preparation and initial construction work.

Wolfersberger Tract The township received bids from seven contractors for excavating and placement of clean fill on the southern half of the future park property on the east side of Wenrich Street. The fill will be generated from the sewer authority’s four new projects that will be active in the next eighteen months. The low bid was below the engineer’s estimate.

Grant Applications The board approved the township’s applications for Dauphin County Local Share Grants. Their list of requested project grants were ranked in order of importance as follows: 1) Public Works Building expansion, 2) Senior Center floor replacement, 3) Lights in the Friendship Center Natatorium, 4) Contact Help Line, 5) Partnership of Hope non-profit, and 6) Dauphin County Planning Commission projects.

Strategic Plan Township manager George Wolfe presented the annual township strategic plan regarding the General Fund budgets for the next five years. It was very extensive tracking forty budget items suggesting the probable need for some slight increase in revenue over the period. An item of concern was the fair number of veteran employees who will be eligible for retirement in the next three to five years.

Verizon The company wishes to be granted a lease agreement to locate small cellular telephone antennas to light fixtures and/or traffic signals in the township. Such an agreement would have to be bid and the solicitor has prepared the necessary legal documents. The township would not be obliged to award a contract.

Property Maintenance Code The board has been working on a revision to the requirements relating to the cutting of weeds and grass on large tracts of land adjacent to small residential lots. They finalized the wording to require mowing of a ten foot wide area from the property line in addition to the other requirements in the ordinance. The provision will be advertised for adoption at a future business meeting.

2015 Budget The board scheduled a special meeting to begin work on next year’s budget for 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 19th, prior to the regular business meeting.

August 19, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION

Reported by Watson Fisher

Lifesaving Award Recently two members of the staff at the Friendship Center were responsible for saving the life of an individual at the center who was having a heart attack. They were publically honored for their timely and expert response to the emergency situation.

2015 Budget The purpose of this special meeting was to begin the decision making process required to develop the township budget for next year. Previously the supervisors had developed a list of forty improvements they wanted to consider making during 2015 which became the basis for a strategic plan. These were then listed in order of importance. At this meeting they began to analyze these items one by one starting at the top of the list and to take a consensus of the board members on each item’s importance.

The items discussed and their ranking in the list of forty suggested improvements were:

1) Police Department The addition of four police officers to bring the staff up to full complement. This was supported.

4) Public Works Department The hiring of a middle management type individual in the Public Works department. The board wanted a detailed job description for this person before this hiring could be supported.

6) Administration Making information technology improvements in the Administration Department. This long term cost saver was supported.

7) Parks & Recreation Placement of clean fill from sewer department projects for grading of playfields at Wolfersberger Park. This was supported.

8) Fire Department A study by professionals regarding the real need for new fire apparatus now and in the future. This would provide badly needed guidance. This was supported.

9) Parks and Recreation The replacement of extensive aging park equipment throughout the system and improvements to meet ADA requirements. This was supported.

11) Police Department The addition of police K-9 services including a dog, an officer and a vehicle. Some financial help for this kind of move often comes from the community. This was supported.

This effort by the board will be continued at another special budget meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 26.

August 19, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

Reported by Watson Fisher

Appointments The board voted to appoint individuals to fill vacancies on the Friendship Center Operating Board, the Parks & Recreation Board and the Greenway Committee. It also voted to rescind the appointment of an individual previously appointed to the South Central EMS Board of Directors.

Dauphin County Local Share Grant Applications The board authorized the submission of applications requesting county support for the following five projects, listed in their level of importance as agreed to by the board: 1) Rehabilitation/expansion of the Lower Paxton Township Public Works Building, 2) Friendship Senior Center flooring replacement, 3) Replacement of the Friendship Center natatorium lights, 4) Support for the efforts of Partnership for Hope for its efforts to provide services to homeless families, and 5) Support for the Dauphin County Planning Commission for updating the County Comprehensive Plan. It was noted that a submission for support for Contact Helpline was approved by the board at their meeting in July.

Wolfersberger Park Seven bids were received from contractors for the placement of clean fill from sewer projects to be used for the grading of future playfields. This is the first step in the development of the park and involves only the southern half of the park property which will be developed first. The low bid was below the engineer’s estimate and the contract was approved.

Heroes Grove The board approved an agreement with H. Edward Black and Associates for engineering and design services for Phase 1 of the amphitheater project to be located in Brightbill Park. The township will handle the transfer of funds for the design and construction of the project but the money will come from fund raising and various grants.

Bicycle Study – Resolution #14-27 This request is to indicate support for a Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Connectivity Grant Application for a feasibility study regarding safe bicycle routes on highways in the county. There would be no cost to the township for this study. The board voted to support this effort.

Wexcon, Inc. Change Order No. 2 covers additional work required to close out this sewer project in the PC-1G/1H sanitary sewer mini-basin. The board approved this change order.

M.F. Ronca and Sons, Inc. Change Order No.2 covers additional quantities in the sewer project in the PC-2C/2D sanitary sewer mini-basin. The board approved this change order.

Sewer Project Bids Seven bids were received for a sanitary sewer project that includes work on the Trunk G sanitary sewer mainline and the decommissioning of the Springford Village sanitary sewer treatment plant. The low bid which was below the estimate was submitted by M. F. Ronca and Sons, Inc. and the board voted to award the contract to that firm.

Tree Cutting Three bids were received for tree cutting services for work in the BC-3AB mini-basin. The contract was awarded to the low bidder, Stoner Tree Service.

The Townes at Galway This proposed project consists of 17 town houses on a 2.3 acre tract located along Summerwood Drive in the R-3 Medium High Density zoning district. It was recently approved by the Planning Commission. However, at this meeting a variety of concerns for the plan were expressed by the Colonial Park fire chief and the Fire Marshall regarding access and adequate turning radius for fire trucks. The board requested a further review of the plan by township officials before it is resubmitted for approval.

Flood Plane The property at 4220 Linglestown Road at the intersection with Colonial Road is shown to be partly in the floodplain. An engineering study has determined that the current floodplain map is incorrect and a new map with a hydrologic and hydraulic report has been developed for FEMA. This could benefit the property owner. The board approved the submission of this new material to the state.

August 26, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION

Reported by Watson Fisher

2015 Budget At the special workshop session the previous week the supervisors began to evaluate a list that had been prepared for their consideration of forty suggested improvements to be included in the township budget for 2015. These were listed in what was thought to be the order of their importance. At that meeting they got through the first twelve and indicated six of those they thought had merit. At this meeting they completed their review of the remaining items and reevaluated a few of the ones they had considered favorably at the previous meeting. These decisions are preliminary and final budget decisions will be made later in the year.

The items discussed at this meeting and their ranking in the list of forty suggested improvements were as follows:

13) Fire Department The Capital Replacement Plan for new equipment was pushed back two years.

18) Parks & Recreation The completion of George Park was pushed back several years.

19) Administration Enhanced use of the PEG television channel was supported.

20) Public Works Improvements to Colonial, Devonshire and Valley Roads were pushed back to 2018 and 2019.

23) Parks & Recreation Implementing the Greenway Plan was pushed back to 2018 or 2019.

24) Public Works Traffic signal equipment upgrade was pushed back to 2018 or 2019.

25) Administration Early Retirement of Non-uniformed employees will be considered. It is not thought to be a cost savings.

30) Community Development The Comprehensive Plan update was delayed.

31) Police Department Equipping Police Officers with tazers was delayed or possibly omitted.

32) Public Works North Mountain Road and Blue Ridge Avenue road projects were pushed back one year. The township’s share of the cost could be 20% of the total.

34) Administration The re-codification of ordinances was delayed.

38) Parks & Recreation Wolfersberger Park development was delayed.

Fire Equipment Study After further discussion, item 13 above and the Fire Services Study item 8, proposed at the previous meeting were reconsidered. It was decided that the fire companies should make the equipment decisions and that the professional study considered regarding equipment should be removed entirely from the budget plan.

Parking The opportunity of providing needed additional parking at Koon’s Park with the possible purchase of land from Carl’s Automotive was mentioned. It was agreed that this should be pursued. It was noted that since this would not be an improvement to the park itself it might be possible to receive a government grant for some of the cost.

August 26, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING

Reported by Watson Fisher

Public Comment Eric Epstein representing SWAN brought up the previously mentioned possibility of building an underground gray water storage facility on Triple Crown Corporation’s Stray Winds Farm property. He asked that SWAN be advised when any discussion or meetings on this item occurs. The remote possibility of a meeting with Harrisburg and Susquehanna Township was mentioned. He was assured that SWAN would be included if and when this matter goes any further.

Draft 2015 Authority Budget The sewer department’s director William Weaver presented the proposed budget which was generally unchanged from the present year’s financial situation. The sewer rate will not need to be changed and the delinquent account is expected to be the same as this year. The authority will continue to receive payments from this year’s settlement with the city of Harrisburg. Some major equipment purchases or equipment rentals will be needed. Expenses will be similar to those of the current year.

Condemnation Procedures Resolutions #14-10-1 through #14-10-60, authorizing the condemnation of temporary and permanent easements in the BC4-A/B/C mini-basin, were prepared to be used in case any of the property owners are not willing to sign the release. The resolutions were approved.

Sewer Billing An individual who with her brother inherited the house at 5613 A. Akron Drive wishes to sell the house. However they have found that sewer bills in the amount of $9,750.00 going back to 1972 when the house was built were never paid and the house can not be sold until they are. Since apparently no bills were ever sent, she is asking for full or partial relief. The bills in the full amount are legally due, even though they were never sent, but the authority members discussed granting some possible relief as has been done occasionally in the past. They tabled the matter until their next scheduled meeting which will be on November 25th.

Department of Environmental Protection Mr. Weaver reviewed the report he gave at the township’s annual meeting with the department. It included an update on all the sewer projects, metering the flow at all the different mini-basins, and the wet weather events during the year.

Engineers’ Report Representatives from GHD, the authority’s engineers, gave a detailed report on the status of the many sanitary sewer projects they are responsible for in the township. Regarding the possibility of building an underground water storage facility as noted above, the firm suggested that they could meet with representatives from Susquehanna Township and possibility Harrisburg at some time in the future.

August 28, 2014

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING

Reported by Watson Fisher

Elliot and Laurie Komaroff – Docket #1359 This application was for a variance from the rear yard setback requirement for their residence at 6696 Springford Terrace in the R-3 Medium-High Density Residential District. They wish to replace a rear yard deck with a smaller enclosed porch. Their back yard faces a street so there is not a dwelling behind them that would be affected by the project. The two adjacent neighbors and the homeowners association approved the plan. The board approved the request for a variance.

Troy D. and Dorothy Hess – Docket #1360 This request was for a variance to build a 1536 square foot accessory building on their property at 5545 Old Locust Lane in the R-1 Low Density Residential District. The code limits the size of an accessory building in this district to 1000 square feet on a property of less than two acres and this property is just under one acre. The building will house the applicants’ recreational vehicle. The intent of a variance if approved is to allow the minimum amount of relief needed. Based on the size of the vehicle the board suggested that a 1250 square foot building would be reasonable. The applicant agreed and the amended variance was approved.

Pinnacle Health Hospitals – Dockets #1361, #1362 and #1363 The hospital organization submitted these three related variance requests together regarding the Community General Osteopathic Hospital. They involve Pinnacle’s desire to legally subdivide the hospital facility into three separate properties. The three are the Bloom Building, the Medical Sciences Building and the entire remainder of the facility. No physical changes to the entire campus are involved. The requests if approved would allow the pre-existing code nonconformities and allow the ownership of any or all of the three properties to change. Many legal questions were raised and many possible future problems were mentioned. The requests were denied on a split vote of the board members. The matter will most likely come up again and will address the problem issues.

K&T Enterprises – Special Exception #14-04 This company is located at 6332 Flank Drive in the BC Business Campus Zoning District. It manufactures metal fabricating equipment. In 2004 a zoning change LI Light Industrial meant that the use of the property was considered legal nonconforming and a planned addition to the building would be allowed only by Special Exception. The proposed one story 3,625 square foot addition was considered acceptable and the parking would be adequate by code. The board approved the request.

Rite Aid – Docket #1364 The Lititz Sign Co. requested a variance for the exterior signs proposed for the large new Rite Aid store to be located at 4999 Jonestown Road at the intersection with Devonshire Road in the C-G Commercial General Zoning District. The signs include two tall freestanding pylon signs and many identification wall signs and directional signs. The many wall signs are considered necessary because of the corner location including identifying the store name, the pharmacy, the food mart, the GNC product line and the drive thru entrance and exit. The variance request for the wall signs was approved but for the pylon signs it was denied. The company will plan a resubmission addressing the size of the proposed pylon signs