SWAN NEWSLETTER #110
July 21, 2015
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING -Reported by Watson Fisher
Magisterial District Justice Office Two legal agreements between the township and the Dauphin County Industrial Development Authority were acted on. They were in regard to the planned MDJ Office to be located on the township’s property on the south side of Locust Lane. This tract is the location of the township’s Public Works Building and two baseball fields. The first was the agreement of sale of approximately one acre of township land fronting on Locust Lane to the authority to be the location of the county’s new planned MDJ office building. The second was a cost sharing agreement regarding the cost of building a new baseball field to replace the two existing fields that will be lost and of a needed new storm water easement. The board approved the two agreements.
Compost Facility The board acted on a proposal from J. W. Enterprises to analyze the excessive noise from the operation of the township’s compost facility and to make recommendations for possible remediation. The noise that mainly comes from trucks and other equipment is an ongoing issue for the neighborhood and the detailed engineering study should provide a recommendation for dealing with the problem. The cost for the testing, analysis and recommendations is $5,574.00. The supervisors voted to approve the consultant’s work.
Fireworks As part of the Village of Linglestown’s 250th Year Celebration this year on October 9th through the 11th , the fire department requested permission to have fireworks at Koons Park on Sunday the 11th. The same company that did the 4th of July display this year would be doing this one. The board approved the request.
PennDOT Two representatives from PennDOT presented information regarding the I-81 highway widening project scheduled to begin in the summer of next year. The project will add a third lane of traffic in both directions on I-81, from the I-83 split east to the Mountain Road intersection. The third lanes will be added on the inside of the existing roadways so there will be no bridge work required and two lanes of traffic in each direction will be open at all times during construction.
2014 Storm Sewer Project This large sewer project by Michael F. Ronca & Sons has been completed and Change Order #8 was submitted for approval. It covered increased excavation work needed to locate buried utilities, which were not where they were indicated to be on the old plans, additional street paving, and other extensive additional improvements requested by the township over the course of the project. The change order in the amount of $367,000.00 was approved.
Sanitary Sewer Project Change Order #2 to the BC-3A/3B sanitary sewer mini-basin contract with R-III Construction, Inc. was submitted for approval. It covers the need to replace sewer laterals in the Darlington Village neighborhood where the old PVC laterals and joints have failed. The change order in the amount of $156,400.00 was approved.
Winter Maintenance Agreement This 5 year agreement with PennDOT is a renewal, covering the snow removal by township crews from a number of state roads in the township. The board approved the agreement which involved a payment of $27,257.00.
Arts Advisory Council – Resolution #15-15 The board approved the request to rename this organization the “Arts Council” but it noted that even with the name change it would remain an advisory board.
Sertoma Estates – Resolution #15-10 This Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan was for a 55 acre tract on Parkway East which will be sold to Triple Crown Corporation and will be subdivided the into four lots, one for Arc of Dauphin County and the other three for single family dwellings. It was noted that curbs and sidewalks will not be required. The plan was approved.
August 3, 2015
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher
This abbreviated meeting was attended only by Acting Public Safety Director Police Lieutenant Mark Zerbe, the chief of the Colonial Park Fire Company, and Jason Campbell, Director of the South Central Emergency Services Company.
Night Out Acting Director Zerbe reported that all plans are in place for the annual National Night Out for Public Safety on August 4th from 5 to 8 pm at George Park.
Linglestown Celebration A meeting with the Public Safety Committee and Polly Murphy from the 250th Linglestown Celebration Committee will be scheduled for either September 2nd or the 4th. At that meeting, they will finalize plans for the police and fire departments’ activities during that large special event to be held in October.
New Fire Department Equipment Lieutenant Zerbe reported that former Public Safety Director David Johnson had prepared a memo regarding recommendations on the purchase of new equipment for the fire companies. He noted that the supervisors plan to discuss the matter at their regular workshop session on September 8th.
Public Safety Director The committee was informed that candidates for the vacant position of Public Safety Director are currently being considered by the supervisors.
Fire Police Lieutenant Zerbe reported that the township has recently hired two new Fire Police officers.
Abandoned Houses The committee received an update on the new list of abandoned houses that the township has to deal with and the number of permits being issued for the demolition of some of those houses.
August 4, 2015
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING -Reported by Watson Fisher
Police Officers Three new police officers were sworn in by Board Chairman William Hawk. These were two men and one woman. The department is still slightly below their mandated complement of officers.
School Crossing Guards A representative from the Central Dauphin School District and their solicitor presented a proposed Memorandum of Understanding between the township and the school district regarding the possible hiring of an outside national company, All City Management Services Inc., to furnish the crossing guards that work for Lower Paxton. It was noted that there had been a problem last fall with township hired guards calling off at the last minute. The proposal was to have this company be responsible for furnishing all the guards, most of which would probably be local experienced people.
Board members expressed many concerns about their agreeing to a contract, with an unknown outside firm, this close to the beginning of the school year. After a long discussion about the concerns, the board directed Township Manager George Wolfe to contact the firm, get detailed information from them, discuss a possible contract, liabilities, and address other legal issues as soon as possible. The board voted to table the matter until that information is available, hopefully for possible action at a meeting in the very near future.
Linglestown Road – Resolution #15-16 This resolution was to authorize the approval of an addition to the ongoing agreement with PennDOT regarding improvements to Linglestown Road. It was specifically to allow the placement of the Rotary Club clock at the Linglestown Square. The resolution was approved.
Local Share Grants – Resolutions #15-17-01 through #15-17-10 These resolutions are to authorize the submission, by the township to Dauphin County, of Local Share Grant applications for county gaming funds for the following projects:
01 – From the township to update the Comprehensive Plan to install noise abatement measures at the compost facility.
02 – From the township to install a sidewalk along Nyes Road serving George Park.
03 – From Bishop McDevitt HS for facilities to serve baseball and softball.
04 – From Devon Manor Pool for needed repairs and upgrades.
05 – From Koons Pool for various projects.
06 – From Penn Colonial Pool to upgrade equipment.
07 – From the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg for resident IPads.
08 – From Barak, Inc. to support a youth arts conference.
09 – From the Partnership for Hope for equipment and maintenance funds.
10 – From Central Dauphin Area Basketball Association for activity expenses.
Before submitting these to the county, the supervisors must rank them in what they consider to be their order of importance to the township, and to do that, they will need more detailed information on many of the requests. They gave the applicants until Friday, August 14th to submit that information before the supervisors act on them at their August 18th business meeting.
4600 Jonestown Road The board needed to make a decision on action on a Stipulation and Joint Motion for Agreed Upon Order in the Berks County Real Estate Association assessment appeal, regarding the property at 4600 Jonestown Road. This property is just east of the Colonial Park Mall. No information was given on the details of this appeal. At solicitor Steven Stine’s recommendation the board voted to approve the appeal.
2015 Paving Project Additional work on the project along Crums Lane in Paxtonia, near the Post Office, was required after some storm water repairs were completed. The additional cost was still within the project’s budget. Change Order #1 in the amount of $58,041.00 for this additional work was approved.
Sir Thomas Court The Planning Commission recommended the approval of the land development plan for the building of a new medical office building on Lot 5C on this street. The supervisors voted to approve the plan.
August 5, 2015
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING – Reported by Vera Stuchinski
Hodges Heights – The Supervisors have indicated that they are considering moving the park to a different location, instead of investing more money into this one. A search will begin for a nearby, suitable location.
Sidewalk Connections – (Nyes Road: George Park to Paxtonia Elementary) No more money has been allotted for this project. However, the township can submit applications for a certain number of gaming grants, and the supervisors have agreed that this will be one of them.
George Park/Lamplight Park Connection – Many generous donations have been made, in memory of the late Mrs. George, to the fund for the beautification of George Park. That work will soon begin.
CASA Equipment Shed and Concessions – CASA (Capital Area Soccer Association) is anxious to build their concession stand/equipment shed at George Park. It is important that it be well-built and harmonious in design with the other buildings in the park, and it must not interfere with the planned walking pathways.
Arts and Parks 5K Run Report – It was a good turnout. Close to 150 people registered. There were plenty of volunteers. No negative feedback was received. About $3,500.00 was raised.
Walking Brochure/Photo Contest – Submissions are all in, but the judging has not been completed.
Other Business – Numerous repairs are needed at Possibility Place. When the playground was built approximately 11 years ago, it wasn’t handed over to the township, so Public Works has not been responsible for its maintenance. The original committee members will meet and coordinate with the Rotary Club to plan and to organize a community work group.
On 8/29 a volunteer work group will be repairing trails at Lingle Memorial Park from 9 to 1.
August 5, 2015
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS AND RECREATION MEETING – Reported by Vera Stuchinski
CASA Storage -The President of CASA (Capital Area Soccer Association) spoke about plans for the concession stand/equipment shed at George Park, but he did not have specific architectural details beyond stating that it will be a wood frame building with siding. Building materials have already been donated, and CASA is flexible (within reason) on its’ site. The Association will be responsible for maintenance. Much discussion followed. The Committee needs to get the exact dimensions and CASA’s preferred location for the building. Members will meet at the park and consider the details, then will put the Committee’s recommendations to the Supervisors in writing.
Recognition of Eagle Scout – Danny Beeck was recognized and presented with a plaque of appreciation for his Eagle Scout project at Possibility Place: power washing, sanding, painting, erecting shelters for benches, and planting ornamental trees and grasses.
Hodges Heights – The Supervisors have no plans to put more money into this park. Instead, they plan a search for nearby available land to purchase and develop for local residents.
Hurley Fields/Public Works Building Expansion – Nothing to report. Mateer Field is being used.
250th Linglestown Celebration – The celebration (October 9 – 11) will be centered around Koons Park. There will be numerous activities, including fireworks on Sunday night.
Heroes Grove – Dirt is being delivered. Concrete will be poured this month.
Dog Park – There has been a request for an agility course to be added.
George Park Beautification Project – Mr. George shared a drawing of the plan. There will be a bench set up on pavers, with a background planting of perennials, ornamental grasses, and trees. The walkway will soon be started. It will be wheelchair assessable.
August 11, 2015
LP TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION – Reported by Watson Fisher
Public Comment Eric Epstein, the chairman of SWAN, the local citizens’ action organization, presented a document to the supervisors addressing a number of topics regarding the planning of future developments and improvements, mainly along and around Route 39 in the township. It included a statement of the organization’s concerns about land use, zoning and traffic, a copy of a previous transportation and land use study, and a copy of a traffic study regarding the Stray Winds Farm property. The two professional studies are about ten years old and he indicated that SWAN plans to work to prepare updated studies. The township added that their Comprehensive Plan will be upgraded next year.
Blue Ridge Country Club The scheduled presentation of a conceptual development plan by Triple Crown Corporation for the Blue Ridge Country Club property was not ready and was withdrawn until a later date. It was noted that in the sale agreement with Triple Crown the golf course would have to remain open for another five years from this current date.
Township Anniversary Bill Minsker told the board that two years after the Village of Linglestown’s 250th anniversary celebration this year, Lower Paxton Township will be having its 250th year anniversary in 2017. He suggested that they could help mark the event by acquiring two local historical landmarks along the south side of Linglestown Road as historical sites. These are the house just east of Colonial Road, that was Fort Gilchrist at the time of the French and Indian War around 1760, and is still standing, and the nearby huge sycamore tree just west of Patton Road, that is identified as being the second largest such tree in the state. The board responded that they have limited funds for such acquisitions but would consider his suggestions.
Blackberry Alley This single lane alley runs west to east, one block north of Linglestown Road from Blue Mountain Parkway to Margaret Avenue. The land to the south of it is zoned Village and the land to the north of it is zoned R-1 Residential. A homeowner on the north side of the alley wants to build a garage which would require a variance and this sparked a previous suggestion that the supervisors consider a zoning change extending the Village Zone further north along the length of Margaret Avenue and possibly beyond. The supervisors favored this change and suggested that it go before the Planning Commission and be brought up before the Linglestown Civic Association prior to any action taken by the board.
Susquehanna Ale House This business on the north side of Route 22 has closed and M&T Bank proposes to tear down the building and construct a branch bank on the site. An engineer presented information about the proposed project, which would require a zoning variance. The board seemed favorable to the project and suggested that he proceed with the formal variance request.
Township Vehicles Township Manager George Wolfe requested that the board consider a policy regarding the sale of township vehicles to its volunteer fire companies. He said it was legal to sell or give surplus vehicles to the companies, but the township should establish a fair policy. He felt that the Public Safety Committee should be consulted and he suggested that a price could be set at 40% of the current Kelly Blue Book value of the vehicle at the board’s direction. It was agreed that he would put this item on the agenda for the next supervisors’ business meeting.
Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce Mr. Wolfe suggested that the township might consider becoming a formal member of the chamber, even though he and several board members have been involved with the chamber in the past. The annual cost would be $1,000.00. The board discussed the advantages of becoming a member and directed Mr. Wolfe to apply for a membership with the understanding that it would be on a one year trial basis.
August 18, 2015
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher
Township Vehicles – Resolution #15-18 At the previous week’s supervisors’ workshop session the board agreed on a policy to offer to sell used township vehicles to the three township volunteer fire departments at 40% of the vehicles’ current Kelly Blue Book value. At this meeting they voted to formally approve that policy with the department chiefs signing the sales agreement and with the proviso that if more than one company wants to buy the vehicle the sale would be settled by drawing lots.
Local Share Grants – Resolutions #15-17-01 through #15-17-10 At the Board of Supervisors meeting on August 4th they discussed the ten applicants applying for gaming funds from the Dauphin County Local Share Grants program. The county requires the township to rank the ten in what they judge to be their order of importance. The five supervisors each made a list and the lists were then tallied with the following results:
1 Township application to update the Comprehensive Plan
2 Application from Koons Pool for various projects
3 Application from Devon Manor Pool
4 Township application to install a sidewalk along Nyes Road serving George Park
5 Application from Penn Colonial Pool to upgrade equipment
6 Application from Bishop McDevitt HS for facilities to serve baseball and softball
7 Township application to install noise abatement facilities at the compost facility
8 Application from the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg for resident IPads
9 Application from Barak, Inc. to support a youth arts conference
10 Application from Partnership for Hope for equipment and maintenance funds
The township will forward these rankings to the county but no dollar amounts for the resulting grants were known.
2010 Pennvest Loan The board approved the final amortization payment under the agreement with the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority. This final payment by the township for funds for sanitary sewer projects was less than had been expected.
Gale Drive Pump Station As part of the recent sewer project this pump station just south of Linglestown Road was taken out of service. Eight bids were received for the demolition of the structure and the low bidder was J P Environmental LLC in the amount of $26,325.00. The low bid was below the engineer’s estimate and the board voted to award the contract for the demolition and site repair work to that company.
Key Indicator Report Township manager George Wolfe gave the supervisors his regular detailed quarterly financial status report on the many township departments, funds, pension plans, and the sewer authority. As he had reported previously, the township’s general financial situation has improved since some years ago, and the current increase in new construction appears to be continuing for the time being.