SWAN Newsletter #46

April 20, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
(7:30 – 8:15 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.
Absent: Bill Hawk and Bill Hornung.

The Dauphin County Commissioners presented Local Grant Share Awards in the amount of $500,000.00 to Lower Paxton Township for work in the Linglestown Project and modifications to Spring Creek and Page Roads described in earlier reports.

Bill Seeds gave the oath of office to two Fire Police Officers.

Under New Business: Resolution 10-13 was passed by a vote of 3 – 0. This designates Tim Houck as the authorized snow emergency agent with FEMA.

Under Subdivision and Land Development the preliminary/final subdivision plan for Best Western Hotel and Suites was approved by a vote of 3 – 0. This divides the property into two plots to create a stand-alone restaurant as reported previously.

The preliminary/final subdivision plan for Spring Creek Hollows Lots 131B, 132B, 142C, 142D, 147B, and 147C was approved by a vote of 3-0. This creates three (3) new lots, all of which meet Lower Paxton Township R-1 requirements.

April 22, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING
(7:00 – 7:15 PM)

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

Docket 1279 was an application for a variance from the 25 ft. front yard setback ordinance in order to build a three season sunroom at 5840 Longview Road. The application was approved by a vote of 5-0.

May 4, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
(7:30 – 7:50 AM)

Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.

Chairman Hawk proclaimed May 6, 2010 as Arbor Day.

Under New Business: Resolution 10-14, the Planning Module for the resubdivision of plots in Spring Creek Hollows was approved by a vote of 5 – 0.

5 May 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Firearms in Parks The ongoing question as to whether or not firearms could be legally banned from township parks was resolved by deciding that they probably could not be. The P&R department is in the process of altering the signs at all the parks by blanking out Rule #7 which had said that they were not allowed on park property.

Spring/Summer Programming A report was presented on the status of the department’s spring and summer programs at the parks and at the Friendship Center. It was stated that there were around 8000 participants enrolled in over 650 classes and that there are many other events and activities scheduled for the warm weather seasons. It was noted that there had been a bulk mailing of a guide describing the programs but that apparently not everyone in the township had received one.

Dog Park Association An incident occurred recently at the dog park when a under age puppy, against the clearly stated rules, was let loose in the large dog area and was accidentally killed by an overly playful aggressive large bulldog whose presence in the park was also against the rules. The dog owners resolved the unfortunate matter. The obvious need to always abide by the posted park rules was restated. The grass in the large dog area has been pretty well worn away from the heavy traffic and consideration is being given as to how best to address the ongoing problem in the future.

DCNR Grant Applications Two grant applications have been submitted to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. One would fund half of an estimated $230,000.00 for a project for further energy conservation measures at the Friendship Center and the other would fund half of an estimated $270,000.00 for the design work for the future development of Wolfersberger Park and Koons Park.

Wolfersgerger/Koons Park Planning The board discussed how and when they should proceed with preliminary planning for the eventual use of the Wolfersberger Park property. Even though they know that there will be no funds available to do anything in the foreseeable future they felt that it was not too early to begin considering what recreational facilities would be most needed by the growing community. To that end they decided to try to have a very preliminary meeting with the supervisors to see what their feelings were on the P&R board starting initial planning for the park.

Other Business It was noted that through the first four months of the year revenues from fee-in-lieu payments from new housing development projects were below estimates causing a shortfall in the Parks & Recreation Department’s budget to date.

May 11, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
(6:00 PM – 6:20 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.
Absent: Bill Hornung

Under New Business: Change Order #2 for the 4B/6C sanitary sewer mini-basin project was approved by a vote of 4 – 0. This order was in the amount of $623,645.00, which includes the main and laterals in Raspberry Alley west of Mountain Road as well as including laterals to 29 properties.

May 11, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP
(6:20 PM – 8:30 PM)

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

After a review of Ordinances 10-02 which accepts a portion of Raspberry Alley west of North Mountain Road, it was decided to hold a public hearing on this Ordinance at the June 1, 2010 Board of Supervisor’s meeting.

The Supervisors generally agreed to go ahead with a proposal from Parente Beard LLC to undertake an independent review of the proposed development of a solar farm on the Township’s closed municipal landfill.

There was continuing discussion regarding the BC-1 proposed storm sewer improvements and its effects on Mr. Kessler’s properties. Overhead photographs tend to dispute Mr. Kessler’s allegations. Further discussion with Mr. Kessler will ensue.

Mr. Wolfe presented an EPA Administrative Order Findings of Violation in regard to the Township’s MS4 Storm Water Program. The Findings of Violations were a result of no citations being issued by the Township for violations of the MS4 (EPA) regulations. This is despite the fact that the Township has been sampling the outfalls and sending the reports to DEP. There is an obvious disconnect between DEP and EPA. Communication between the Township and a responsible person in EPA is next to impossible.

Comment: Another fine example of bureaucratic efficiency. It should be noted that only the larger municipalities were cited by EPA. Typical government “deep pockets” syndrome.

There was a discussion of traffic control improvements at the intersection of Locust Lane and Fairmount Drive. This is a result of an upcoming plan by the Parmer Trust for the northwest corner of that intersection (Pleasant Meadows). The developers of the Shadlebrook TND have already indicated a possibility of a contribution to the improvements of this intersection.

A review of the Key Indicator Report for the first quarter of 2010 showed marked improvement over last year.

May 12, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Pleasant Meadows Independent Living Development – Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan #10-03 This project submitted by the Parmer Family Foundation Inc. involves the construction of a senior age-restricted independent living community on a 36 acre tract on the north side of Locust Lane opposite the Dauphin County Vocational Technical School. The property is zoned R-C Residential Cluster. The plan as presented for this not-for-profit project would consist of 90 detached one story cottages and a three story building containing 60 apartments. The cottages would be for sale as condominium units or for lease. The apartments would probably be lease only units. A previous submission for a senior community project on this site involving high rise apartment buildings was withdrawn.

A large number of waivers from the zoning ordinance requirements were requested. Most of them related to the streets in the development which will be private and will be maintained by the residents’ association. The waivers included narrower streets, tighter turning radii, reduced distances between intersections, and the omission of curbs and sidewalks. The Fire Department chiefs had reviewed the plan and these requests and they recorded their concerns for the ability of their equipment and emergency medical vehicles to maneuver through the development. Also there would be only one way in and out of the development.

The commissioners also expressed their concerns. It was noted that an emergency access could be made from the adjacent development as a second way in and out but it would be a hardened drive, not an open street. The narrow streets and the lack of sidewalks and street lights were felt to be a safety concern for senior citizens. No vehicle access was shown to allow fire equipment to get to the rear of the three story apartment building.

The driveway entrance from Locust Lane is shown being opposite the entrance to the vo-tech school. The developer felt that if traffic lights are needed at this intersection and/or at the nearby Locust Lane/Fairmont Drive intersection they should not need to contribute to the cost since they would be adding only a small number of daily trips.

The commissioners voted to table the project to give the developer time to address the comments and concerns.

Business Improvement District The commissioners will continue to work on the preliminary plan for the BID project and will next meet at their workshop session on June 14.

Wind Energy Subcommittee This subcommittee will report about their work to the commissioners at the next regular Planning Commission meeting on June 9.

May 13, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING
(7:00 PM – 7:40 PM)

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

Under Community Development Codes, a discussion of the painting of fire hydrants and the use of fake fire hydrants for lawn decoration took place. A review of fire and safety codes will be done to try to resolve this issue.

Under Old Business: The final draft of the Mission Statement will be submitted to the Supervisors for approval.

The Model Fire Suppression Ordinance and the Fire Services Study remain on hold for budgetary reasons.

As a result of the Linglestown Construction Project, the Memorial Day Parade route has been revised. Watch for notices.

Fireworks will be continued at Koons Park.

The Linglestown Fire Department engine will be re-advertised in the PA Fireman’s Magazine.

The PA Gaming Grant application for funds for the Linglestown Fire Company is moving forward.

Under New Business: A revised list for traffic signal pre-emption equipment has been submitted.

The Night Out for Public Safety has been designated as Tuesday, August 3, 2010.
May 17, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
(7:25 PM – 7:45 PM)

Attended by Ted Robertson and Watson Fisher. Reported by Ted Robertson.
Absent: Bill Hornung

UNDER OLD BUSINESS: Chairman Hawk appointed George Wolfe and Dave Johnson as alternate representatives to South Central EMS.

The Supervisors unanimously approved a proposal from Parente Beard to review and comment on the assumptions and components of the Township proposed solar farm project in an amount not to exceed $12,000.00.

The Supervisors unanimously approved the low bid of A. P. Williams in the amount of $171,861.00 for energy improvements to the Friendship Center and the Public Works building. A grant of $185,200.00 for this project was received from EECBG.

UNDER NEW BUSINESS: The Supervisors unanimously approved three members to the Greenway Committee and one to the Parks and Recreation Board.

Change Order No. 1 to the contract with PSI Pumping Solutions, Inc., for improvements to the Linglestown Road Pump Station in the amount of $3,418.00 was approved by a vote of 4 – 0.

May 20, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP SEWER AUTHORITY PUBLIC MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

This meeting was held to give interested residents of Linglestown information about the work the township will be starting in the next few days to replace the sewer line in Raspberry Lane on both sides of Mountain Road. This is part of the planned project to replace the old sewer lines in the Paxton Creek Mini Basin area. It was moved ahead on the schedule so it could be done soon enough to allow the alley to be paved and in use to provide access to properties on Linglestown Road during the major portion of the large road reconstruction project.

Sewer Department Director Bill Weaver made a power point presentation to the approximately two dozen residents attending the meeting to explain the details of the project. In addition to replacing the sewer line in the alley the township will be replacing the entire private lateral sewer connections from the line to the residences and commercial buildings affected at no cost to the property owners. The project will start immediately and is scheduled to be completed by September.

Property owners will need to sign an agreement to allow Ronca, the township’s contractor, to go on private property to replace the laterals. The existing sewer line and laterals are forty years old and the Department of Environmental Protection has mandated there be an ongoing project to upgrade them.

May 20, 2010
VILLAGE OF LINGLESTOWN COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Project Update A representative from Leon Wintermyer, the contractor for the Linglestown Road improvement project, gave a status report on the work that is underway. She reported that work on the first two phases of the three phase project was currently somewhat ahead of schedule.

Phase 1 is primarily work at the western end of the project including construction of the Blue Mountain Road Bypass. Phase 2 is primarily the reconstruction of the southern (eastbound) lane of Linglestown Road the entire way through the village and the reconstruction of both lanes of North Mountain Road a short distance south from the square. Phase 3 is the reconstruction of the northern (westbound) lane of Linglestown Road and completion of the work on North Mountain Road south of the square.

She said that they expect to be able to start Phase 3 in August or September and could possibly have the reconstruction of both lanes done before winter. No one from PENNDOT attended the meeting. The representative from the design engineer, Arora and Associates, reported that following the last meeting when concerns were raised about the trees that had been specified by PENNDOT work was being done with the township’s Shade Tree Commission to resolve what was felt to be poor choices of species and locations of trees shown on the original plan.

Merchants’ Association A number of the local merchants present expressed a variety of concerns regarding the effect the construction phase of the project is having on their businesses. Among the main concerns were the difficulty in accessing the businesses on the south side of Linglestown Road and the lack of adequate signage directing traffic through the area. They complained that PENNDOT’s detour signs throughout the area give the impression that the public should be discouraged from trying to get to the businesses during construction.

The association has set up a meeting with PENNDOT, Representative Ron Marsico, the township police, and the contractor to see what might be done to improve the situation. The contractor has agreed to be more flexible in setting up traffic patterns and to provide better information to the merchants regarding scheduling details. The merchants plan to install more signs to show how businesses can be accessed. They also hope some way can be found to indicate that the Linglestown businesses are open during the construction period.

May 25, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING
(6:10 PM – 8:30 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.
Absent: Bill Hornug and David Blain.

UNDER NEW BUSINESS: Resolutions 10-11 thru 10-17 authorizing the sanitary sewer easement condemnations for the PCIA/1C project were approved by a vote of 3 – 0.

A discussion concerning replacement versus lining options on the PC1A/1C bid opening was held. It was agreed that the contract would be replacement with lining options done with work orders at a contract price not to exceed 3.9 million dollars. Action will be taken at the June 1, 2010 Supervisor’s meeting.

The Authority approved an agreement with Triple Crown Corporation (TCC) for the sanitary sewer easement in the PCIA/1C project, (Stray Winds Farm), by a vote of 3 – 0.

The Authority approved a PENNDOT agreement for the Nyes Road project with the correct contract prices by a vote of 3 – 0.

Under Township Reports, without going into a lot of detail, there are no present or future “horror stories” in the picture.

May 27, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING
(7:05 PM – 8:00 PM)

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

Docket # 1280 was a request for a variance from the front yard setback requirement of 25 feet for a building addition which would intrude by 5 feet. This was at 6226 North Highland Court (Heatherfield) and must be approved by the architectural board in the community. Neighbors were contacted and had no problem with this addition. The variance was approved by a vote of
4 – 0.

Docket #1281, a variance from sign requirements, was tabled so that the owner of Gilligans at 10 N. Houcks Road could modify the request for changes to an already non-conforming sign.

June 1, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
(7:30 PM – 8:35 PM)

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

Under the Manager’s Report, Mr. Wolfe reminded everyone that the fireworks are scheduled for July 5th at Koons Park at dusk.

Under Old Business, the Supervisors voted 5 – 0 to approve Ordinance 10-02 accepting Raspberry Alley west of North Mountain Road as a public right-of-way. During the public hearing three residents made presentations. Two favored the Ordinance and one opposed the Ordinance. The prime concerns were the disposition of storm water run-off once the street is paved, and the narrow constrictions along this section of roadway.

Resolutions 10-15-01, 02, and 03 were approved unanimously by the Supervisors. This authorized the condemnation of road right-of-way for a portion of Raspberry Alley west of North Mountain Road. One foot of right-of-way for a distance of 706 feet is needed to bring ROW width to the minimum 15 feet required.

Under New Business, the Supervisors approved the low bid not to exceed $3.9 million dollars from Liberty Excavators for the PCIA/1C sanitary sewer mini basin by a vote of
5 – 0. This involves the replacement or relining of the sanitary sewer lines at the intersection of Linglestown Road and Colonial Road extending south on Colonial Road and east on Linglestown Road.

The Supervisors approved Change Order No. 3 for the PC4B/6C sewer improvement contract with Michael F. Ronca and Sons for additional depth classifications in the amount of $100,000.00. The vote was 4 – 1 with Bill Hornung voting no.

June 2, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

New Members After one committee member resigned and the supervisors approved the increase of the number of committee members from five to seven the Parks & Recreation Board chose three new members and the supervisors then approved them. These new members are Jim Seidler, Rogette Harris and Michael Smith. They were seated at this meeting.

Update The new members were given an overview of the major items the committee has been addressing. These include the updating of items in the SALDO planning ordinance regarding trails, the preparation of a brochure on the existing trails in the township, the planning for marking these trails and trails heads, the identifying of locations throughout the township where the development of paths or sidewalks could connect existing developments, the potential walking opportunities within Wolfersberger Park, and the possibility of having trails connecting that park to Koons Park to the west and to the high school to the east. It was noted that at the present time there are no township funds available to build new sidewalks or trails but with the possibility of future grant money for such projects it was stated that it would be wise to continue the planning process. The new members were also given a copy of the committee’s Mission Statement and the list of the committee’s goals that had been previously adopted.

Nyes Run A strip of land along the western side of the southern part of the run that had been donated by an adjacent developer could be the site for the beginning of a north south trail in the eastern portion of the township. The committee decided to make a trip to the location to evaluate how feasible it might be to plan a trail here understanding that part of it is a wetland area. They will examine the area as the first part of their July 7th meeting.

2 June 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Paintball Operations at Wolfersberger Park Don Heintzelman operates the Linglestown Paintball facility on approximately 39 acres of land he leases east of Wenrich Street. Early in 2011 this land will become township property and will be part of Wolfersberger Park. He came to the meeting to inquire as to whether or not he would be able to continue his operation next year by leasing the land from the township. He was told that the solicitor had investigated the situation and a lease or license agreement was possible and would be considered. He was also told that any park improvement by the township would most likely be some years in the future.

Heroes Grove This project proposed by a local group is to build an outdoor amphitheater on the eastern side of Brightbill Park. Fundraising has begun but any development of the project has been at a standstill for some time. Now Parks & Recreation Department director Brian Luetchford reported there is an opportunity to get the construction started using fill material donated by the contractor for one of the sewer projects underway in the township. This material can be used to do rough grading for the proposed amphitheater following the preliminary plan that was developed for the project. The board raised some concerns about this project on township park property regarding its need, location, maintenance, security, etc. It was hoped that these concerns would be addressed before work got too far along.

Firearms in Parks Rule As previously directed, signs at all parks have been altered to remove the rule banning firearms from township parks. This has been done by covering the rule on the signs with reflective tape. At some point in the future the signs themselves may be replaced.

Wolfersberger/Koons Park Planning Mr. Luetchford reminded the board that he will be submitting a grant application to DCNR for funds to do the planning for the development of Wolfersger Park and related improvements to Koons Park. If approved the grant would provide $115,000.00 to be matched by $115,000.00 from the township. The board discussed that even if the grant is not approved at this time and even if it is approved and the township is not able to provide the matching funds, it would be wise for the board and the department to begin their own information gathering and initial planning. To this end the board will be meeting with the supervisors at their next workshop session to explain their position and request their approval so preliminary planning can be started.

Greenway Committee The board was updated on the recent meeting of the committee at which time new members were seated and their ongoing projects were reviewed.