SWAN Newsletter #32

November 18, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

(7:40 PM – 8:30 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher, Bill Bostic and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Under New Business, the Supervisors approved an agreement with the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area, Inc. for 2009 municipal domestic animal protective services for the sum of $39,533. The vote was 5 – 0.

Ordinance 08-14 amending the Zoning Ordinance to allow a car wash as a use by special exception in the Commercial Neighborhood (CN) District was approved 4 – 1, with Bill Seeds opposing the change. The particular property involved, owned by Triple Crown Corporation, is a ½ acre lot opposite Carl’s Auto body Shop on North Mountain Road. The minimum lot size was reduced from 1 acre to ½ acre.

Ordinance 08-16, amending Chapter 137 of the Codified Ordinances as it relate to Peddlers and Solicitors was passed by a vote of 5 – 0. The changes should facilitate control of such activities by the Lower Paxton Township Police Department.

There was a budget workshop meeting preceding this meeting, as well as another meeting scheduled on November 25, 2008. A copy of the proposed budget is available to the public at the Township Office.

November 25, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY BOARD MEETING

(7:00 – 7:50 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher, Bill Bostic and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Under Old Business, the Authority approved the 2009 Authority budget by a vote of 5 – 0.

The Authority approved Resolution 08-12, increasing the sewer rates to $116/quarter beginning with the April 2009 billing.

The Authority approved Resolution 08-10 to acquire a sanitary sewer easement across the property of Park Sheesley along Colonial Road and into the Colonial Road Pumping Station by a vote of 5 – 0. Representatives of the Sheesley property and Triple Crown are continuing negotiations concerning price.

Under New Business, Resolution 08-13 amending the Open Records Policy was passed by a 5 – 0 vote. This is a result of new stipulations mandated by the State.

Resolution 08-14 for the authorization of the 50% reimbursement for the Penn DOT SR3020-005 (Union Deposit Road near Hidden Lakes) was passed 5 – 0.

December 2, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

(7:50 – 8:05 PM)

Attended by Bill Bostic, Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Under Old Business, the Supervisors rescinded the high bidder for the sale of a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria for lack of a bid bond. The Supervisors awarded the sale of this vehicle to the next highest bidder.

Under New Business, the Supervisors voted 5 – 0 to approve Change Order No. 2 for the contract for improvements at George Park by Handwerk Site Contractors in the amount of $10,969.00. This was necessary to relocate a gas line not shown on the original plans.

Resolution 08-50, establishing a Right-to-Know policy for municipal public records was approved 5 – 0.

Resolution 08-51, which sets fees for the production of municipal public records in accordance with the Right-to-Know Policy, was approved 5 – 0.

Under Subdivision and Land Development, Resolution 08-49, which accepts portions of Sir Thomas Court in the Olde English Gap as well as the maintenance agreement for the same, was approved 5 – 0.

Resolution 08-44, the Planning Module for the first phase of the Shadebrook TND was approved 5 – 0.

December 3, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended by Eric Bucher and Watson Fisher. Reported by Watson Fisher.

Mission Statement At the previous meeting the draft mission statement that Parks and Recreation Director Brian Luetchford had prepared was discussed and various changes were recommended. The revised statement was reviewed and several additional revisions were suggested and agreed to. Included in the statement was a definition of a “greenway” and several revisions were made to it.

Goals/Objectives Mr. Luetchford presented the revised statement of goals and objectives that had also been discussed at the previous meeting. This includes considering possible grant opportunities for greenway projects, reviewing the proposed Subdivision and Land Development Plan, reviewing plans for current and future projects where greenway opportunities might exist, annually evaluating and reporting on the committee’s activities, and periodically reviewing the township’s comprehensive plan and greenway plan to identify any possible revisions that might need to be considered.

The committee voted to adopt the Mission Statement, the Greenway definition, and the Goals and Objectives, and they passed a motion to forward them to the Parks and Recreation Board and from there to the supervisors for their approval.

Autumn Oaks Mr. Luetchford gave the committee an update on the planned Autumn Oaks project by McNaughton Homes located at the north end of Patton Road. The project includes a bikeway along a portion of Patton Road and a hiking trail through the development, both of which mesh with the recommendations of the Greenway Plan. McNaughton has chosen to make a fee-in-lieu payment to the township instead of donating the required amount of land in the development for recreation. That fee will be reduced by a portion of the amount they will be spending for the bikeway and trail. That reduction has been estimated at $35,000.

Miscellaneous The Township has until December 15 to apply for a grant to help fund a needed improvement. The proposed “Safe Routes to School” project was suggested but since there has been no design work done to date, that was not realistic. With increased pedestrian traffic there is a recognized need in the township as identified in the Greenway Plan for sidewalks and walkable corridors in areas where they do not exist or where there are gaps between stretches of sidewalks. Projects to address this can be planned and built as needs are identified and funds are available. It was suggested that a grant could be applied for to help begin this effort.

Related to the above, the decision was made to have the committee look at formulating a study to identify exactly where these gaps exist. In the Greenway Plan this item was addressed and there is an estimate of the amount of sidewalk that would be needed to fill the existing gaps. It was not felt that the estimate in the plan was necessarily accurate.

3 December 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Koons Park Pool At the last meeting representatives of the new operating committee for the pool presented their detailed plan to try to ensure that they have a successful 2009 season after the unsuccessful one last year. They had appealed to the supervisors for additional help to cover as much as possible of the approximately $11,000 short fall from last season and the approximately $7000 cost to open the pool this season. The supervisors at a recent meeting agreed to help as they had in the past but felt that instead of providing some cash they suggested that the group secure a bank loan, which the township would secure. Parks & Recreation Director Brian Luetchford reported that after several meetings with Centric Bank negotiations are underway for two low interest loans on different payment schedules to cover their expected needs. He stated hopes were that the effort would be finalized in the near future.

Dog Park Mr. Luetchford reported that the Dog Park Association has gotten the Conservation Corps. to tentatively agree to pay for the fencing material required at the park. They hope to open the park this May. The association hopes to install two kiosks at the park entrance, one with park rules and information and one for a list of sponsors, and they agreed to maintain the kiosks for five years. The board suggested that they be limited to one kiosk and that the board review and approve the signage as they would at any township park. The association suggested that the park be named the “Lower Paxton Township Happy Tails Park.” The board was not yet ready to approve any of the items discussed and agreed to table the matters for now.

George Park Road work at the Nyes Road entrance is not quite complete and has stopped until spring. The new DEP permit now required because of the discovery of new wetlands along the road has been applied for and should be received in the next few months. The two soccer fields have been totally redone and after spring germination will be over seeded and will not be used until 2010. The expenditure to date is almost $28,000 and the total cost is expected to be approximately $40,000. The Capital Area Soccer Association (CASA) will cover half the cost.

Park Planning At a recent Supervisor Workshop session P&R board members requested direction from the supervisors concerning future park planning. Of particular concern was what should be planned for the Wolfersberger Park tract on Wenrich Road to the east of Linglestown. If a portion of this land is not sold to CASA, as had previously been considered, it would be possible in the future to develop recreation facilities there to ease the overload at nearby Koons Park. The possibility of eventually building a township swimming pool facility at Wolfersberger Park to replace the aging Koons Park pool has also been discussed.

The supervisors requested that the P&R board undertake a study in order to make recommendations for future developments. This would include evaluating current facilities and usages, identifying unmet needs, coordinating any planning with the comprehensive plan, and exploring opportunities for increasing revenues to offset future expenses. The board recognized the scope of this effort and agreed to begin work by setting aside a significant amount of time at every other monthly meeting for this.

Miscellaneous It is expected that the revised Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance will be available at the January meeting for board review.

The P&R department has sent a letter to ten sports organizations that use fields at the parks notifying them of the changes that will be in place next year. At the present time adult organizations are charged a fee of $11 each time they use a field that they have reserved but youth groups are not charged. Beginning in 2009 youth groups will be charged half that or $5.50 when they use a field. In order to control the practice of some groups reserving fields in large blocks and not using some of the times thereby limiting other groups from being able to reserve fields, a procedure will be developed whereby the fee or at least part of it will be collected when the fields are reserved. These changes will provide some additional revenue and should allow more groups to have access to the limited number of fields available.

December 4, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Otis A. Thomas – Docket No.1253 This request was for a variance from use regulations and setback requirements regarding a small property at the corner of Beaver Road and Johnson Road in the Paxtonia area of the township. The property is in an R-2 Residential District. Mr. Thomas operates a small landscaping business and wanted to build a storage shed on the lot to store his equipment. The variance request was to be allowed to use the building for a business purpose, which is not allowed in a residential district. Also the proposed building is too large to comply with the setback requirements and a variance was requested to allow a deviation from that section of the ordinance. The variance requests were considered extreme and were denied.

Linglestown Life United Methodist Church – Docket No. SE 08-05 The existing church is located on a 16-acre lot in Linglestown on the north side of Blackberry Lane and at the very north end of North Mountain Road. The property is located in an R-1 Residential District. The existing church building is approximately 24,000 square feet in size and the proposed addition will enlarge it to approximately 50,000 square feet. The addition will house classrooms, a worship center, a hospitality area, and a recreation space.

Places of Worship are only allowed in an R-1 district by Special Exception and the request was to be given one for this project. All applicable township zoning ordinance requirements will be met and the request to extend an existing use by a Special Exception was granted.

William J. Balough – Docket No. IPMC 08-01 This appeal from the order of the zoning officer to demolish a structure has been continued at the request of the applicant.

December 9, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP MEETING

(6:00 – 8:15 PM)

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

The proposed 2009 Township budget was discussed. Some changes were proposed in Administration, Public Works, and the Police Department to bring the Township’s operating budget within $3,389.00 of being balanced. There will be no proposed tax increase. The budget will be up for approval at the Supervisors December 16, 2008 meeting.

A new policy concerning mailboxes damaged during snow removal was proposed by the Public Works Department. This should be finalized in the near future.

A discussion was held concerning the provision of towing services at the scene of vehicle accidents. Those presently providing the service will be contacted in order to try to obtain a more reasonable rate including the extras such as storage. This may be a service that will eventually go out for bids.

December 11, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SAFETY COMMISSION

(7:00 –8:30 PM)

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

This meeting started to address the apparent disconnect between the Public Safety Committee and the Supervisors. Sub-committees will be formed to address the following:
1.Mission statement
2.Fire Service and Suppression Study
3.Stricter sprinkler code
4.Distribution of administrative work presently done by the Fire Chiefs

John DiSanto led a presentation to the Committee concerning the Bishop McDevitt Campus at Page and Spring Creek Roads. All concerned promised to stay involved as more details concerning traffic and structures are developed.

December 16, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

(7:30 – 8:30 PM)

Attended and reported by Ted Robertson. (Absent – David Blaine)

Chairman Hawk presented a Life Saving Award to Megan Strine for her prompt successful response in the resuscitation of a child at the Friendship’s Center Pool.

Under Old Business, the Supervisors approved the 2009 fiscal year budgets unanimously. The budgets are balanced with no tax increase necessary.

Resolution 08-54, a report required by the Municipal Code in maintaining the administrative compensation program, was approved by a 4 – 0 vote.

The Supervisors voted 3 – 0 to approve Supplement D to the agreement between the Township and Arora Associates, P.C. for engineering services and appraisals for the Linglestown corridor improvements. Mr. Seeds abstained.

Resolution 08-52, amending the Fire Equipment Capital Fund, was approved by a vote of 4 – 0. This reduced the annual allocation from $250,000.00 to $200,000.00 as the Township moves toward establishing a Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP), which will require $50,000.00 annually.

Resolution 08-53, adopting a policy to reimburse property owners for damage to mail boxes struck by equipment performing road maintenance in an amount up to $50.00, was approved 4 – 0.

The Supervisors approved a request from DEP and the City of Harrisburg to purchase the Township’s 2004 International packer truck for $7,500.00 by a vote of 4 – 0.

Under New Business, the Supervisors approved a title transfer of a Crisis Response Team vehicle to Dauphin County by a vote of 4 – 0.

The Supervisors approved Change Order No. 1 to the contract with Doug Lamb Construction, Inc. for bridge maintenance and repairs by a vote of 4 – 0. This involves a time extension to January 3, 2009.

The Supervisors approved a request from Triple Crown Corporation for an Occasional Flowage Easement along McIntosh Road in Stray Winds Farms. Apparently DEP has stated that the proposed footbridge over the stream raises the flood plain elevation by 6 inches, making the above request necessary.

COMMENT: I am not sure I understand this reasoning, since the footbridge is at a higher elevation that the road culvert.