SWAN Newsletter #49
August 24, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING
(6:05 PM – 9:15 PM)

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

Under New Business: Mr. Weaver reviewed the 2011 Draft Budget and alternative sewer rate increases for future years. The Authority appeared to lean toward smaller increases ($4.00 – $5.00) over the next several years, rather than maintaining the present rate next year (2011) and having to impose a much larger rate increase the following year.

The Authority approved Resolution 10-21 for the mandated destruction of certain records.

Under Township reports, a review of the DEP Annual Meeting presentation and the DEP Annual Consent Decrees report was presented. It appears there are no major issues forthcoming with the exception of the “Harrisburg Situation.”

A review of projects in the construction and design phases was presented. All projects appear to be proceeding on schedule and within cost estimates.

August 26, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING,
(7:00 PM – 9:00 PM)

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

Docket #1283 was an application by Ken Schaffer on behalf of Gary Dobrinoff of 3920 Jonestown Road for a variance from front yard setback requirements in connection with proposed renovations at the above property. Apparently the renovations have already been done, and have been found at fault, structurally, by the Township building codes inspector. The application was denied by a vote of 5 – 0.

Docket # 1286 was an application by Sergey Akimov of 4844 Peterbrough Road for a variance from use regulations to maintain pigeons on a lot containing less than one acre in a residential zoning district. Several neighbors testified to oppose the application on the grounds that such a use produces a significant health hazard. The application was denied by a vote of 5 – 0.

Docket # 1285 was an application by Don and Kim Harnsberger for variances from the maximum number of accessory buildings and total area allowed, and the maximum height of an accessory building allowed in the proposed building of a 2½ story garage on their property known as 16 Rutherford Road. Since the garage was to be built on sloped ground with the second floor at grade with Rutherford Road, there was some question as to the measurement of the actual height of the building. Also, since the old garage was being torn down, the number of accessory buildings remained the same. The variances were approved by a vote of 4 – 1.

Docket # 1284 was an application by the Holy Name of Jesus Parish of 6150 Jonestown Road for variances from minimum rear yard set back requirements and from storm water landscaping requirements in connection with new construction on the property. Since the back of the new construction faces an I-81 ramp and some “shrubbery” exists in the storm water management area, the variances were approved by a vote of 5 – 0.

September 7, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
(7:30 PM – 7:45 PM)

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

Under Old Business: The Supervisors approved the high bids for various Township used vehicles by a vote of 5 – 0. The Supervisors approved the low bid of Petroleum Traders Corporation for the purchase of vehicle fuels by a vote of 5 – 0.

September 7, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP
(7:50 PM – 8:30 PM)

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

There was a discussion concerning the status of the proposed solar farm project. In light of opposing views by lenders and the group who proposed the project, ESI, concerning the acceptance of net metering, and an uncertainty of the value and longevity of the Renewable Energy Credits, the Supervisors are leaning toward terminating the project. There will be a presentation by ESI at the next Supervisors’ Workshop at 6:00 pm on September 13, 2010.

September 8, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Paintball The board has been working to create a formal licensing agreement between the township and the longtime operator of the Linglestown Paintball facility at Wolfersberger Park. This lease agreement would allow the business operator to continue to use 39 acres of the park for his operation after the township becomes the owner of the park property in January 2011. A final draft of the agreement was presented with the only remaining question being the proposed amount of the rental fee. The previous property owner charged a fixed fee of $200.00 a month over the last 15 years. The proposed agreement and a suggested more reasonable fee will be reviewed with Don Heintzelman, the facility operator, and will then be presented to the supervisors for final approval.

Wolfersberger/Koons Park Planning At last month’s meeting it was decided that the board would conduct an initial public meeting to indicate that, while no actual park planning had been started, the supervisors had given approval to begin and the first step which would be an initial information gathering open meeting. It was announced that the meeting would be held on Wednesday, November 17th at 7:00 pm at the township building.

P & R Budget The planning process for the 2011 department budget is well underway and director Brian Luetchford presented a variety of planned measures to increase revenue and decrease expenditures. These included eliminating several staff members, reducing exterior lighting at the Friendship Center and changing some of the remaining lights to LED, eliminating the unused pay phones at all the parks, selling used gym equipment, and seeking grants from some local businesses. He reported that Highmark Blue Shield is planning a number of new wellness classes and programs at the Friendship Center.

September 9, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING
(7:05 PM – 7:55 PM)

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

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

The ordinance to identify buildings using light weight trusses in construction has run into some difficulty. Apparently the State authority responsible for the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) must approve such an ordinance. This could take months. There were some other changes recommended for this ordinance which will be addressed.

It was reported that the contractor for the Linglestown Project stated that Route 39 in Linglestown will be open for two-way traffic by the end of October.

The submission for Gaming Grants for the Linglestown and Colonial Park Fire Companies are proceeding.

A submission for a Gaming Grant for pre-emptive signalization is in process.

Under other business, it was reported that West Hanover residents are being billed for emergency response in West Hanover Township even if the responders are from Lower Paxton Township. The writer can provide more details on this item.

September 14, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP
(6:10PM – 8:45 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.
Absent: Gary Crissman

Mr. Bova presented a proposal to refinance a portion of the existing Township debt. This would result in a one time saving of $264,000.00 net in 2011, or it may be spread over several years. The Supervisors agreed to have this on the agenda for the October 19, 2010 meeting.

There was a lengthy discussion of the waivers requested for the preliminary/final subdivision plan for Pleasant Meadows, the Parmer Trust development north of Locust Lane across from Dauphin County Vo-Tech. Approximately twelve (12) residents had questions concerning the development. Many of the questions were related to traffic increases on Locust Lane and traffic safety within the development since pedestrian traffic will be on delineated walkways on development roadways. Since there are no assisted living or skilled care facilities in this development, a question was raised concerning a plan for those residents who might eventually need such care. The response was that the developer was going to make arrangements with other facilities providing such care to take these residents. (Comment: Since this is a “low income retirement community”, the residents would not be able to afford levels of care provided by others in this area. Also, the status of Medicare and Medicaid is far from a given at this time). The neighbors also asked the Supervisors why, after putting so much time, effort, and money into developing a Township Zoning Ordinance and SALDO, they would allow so many waivers and variances.

John DiSanto presented the proposed development plan for the Holy Name of Jesus Church. This involves the construction of a 1400-seat sanctuary north west of the existing sanctuary on church property. This was an informational presentation.

There was a discussion of the proposed changes to the Storm Water Management Ordinance (DEP-MS4). This is an upgrade of the MS4 Plan and, hopefully, will provide more uniformity among the entities involved.

There was a discussion regarding the proposed BC-1 storm sewer system improvement at the west end of Linglestown. All residents except one have agreed to the plan. The Township will proceed to obtain the necessary easement for this plan.

Under “Otta Know”, FEMA has come up with a new Flood Plain Management Ordinance which will have to be adopted by the Township. This should better define flood plain delineation and will probably revise existing flood plain delineation in the Township.

September 16, 2010
VILLAGE OF LINGLESTOWN COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

The project manager for the contractor, Leon Wintermyer, reported that their work on the Linglestown Road replacement project has been moving along very fast ahead of the approach of bad weather. Their plan is that if at all possible all the paving work on both lanes including the final wearing course will be completed by October 15 which is PennDOT’s cutoff date in the fall for road paving. The contractor has filed for an extension of that deadline until October 31st and he hopes to have that request approved.

Their plan would also include completing all the curbs and sidewalks this fall. Wintermyer plans to go to two shifts if necessary to get the curbs and sidewalks finished before winter. They also intend to work through the winter as weather permits on other items including street lights, benches, and repair work as needed. The expectation is that the installation of the two roundabouts and the flagpole in the square will need to wait until spring. Ideally the trees would have been planted this fall but the change order to use trees the Shade Tree Commission recommended instead of those that were standard for PennDOT has only recently been approved so it is expected that the tree planting will not occur until next spring.

The committee and the merchants association formally praised Wintermyer for the way they have executed the project so far. The work is ahead of schedule, the cooperation between the contractor and the residents and merchants has been very good and there have been very few serious problems or complaints.

Related paving work in Raspberry and Blackberry Alleys that will be done by the township will start soon and will be completed in October.