SWAN Newsletter #53

December 14, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP
(6:00 PM – 8:35 PM)

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

A “final” draft of the proposed 2011 fiscal year budgets was presented. There was general agreement that a 10% tax increase was needed which would raise the millage rate for Township services from .875 mils to .9625 mils or approximately a $17.50 increase annually for a property assessed at $200,000.00. Other cuts in certain capital projects will result in a shortfall of approximately $200,000.00 in the “emergency fund” for 2011. There will be a provision in the budget Ordinance to recover this shortfall over a period of several years. The budget Ordinance will have a Public Hearing on December 21, 2010.

Increases in municipal fees and charges were reviewed and generally agreed to. These include building permits, zoning fees, use of Township mulching site fees, and highway sign replacement fees.

Mr. Johnson presented a list of operational changes being implemented by South Central EMS. Questions concerning the fiscal stability and the related budget request for the Lower Paxton Township contribution for the year 2011 went unanswered since there were no South Central EMS representatives present at this meeting.

Representatives from Cider Press LLC, the Shadebrook development (TND), appeared to have resolved the last four items in question before moving for approval of the final subdivision plan at the December 21, 2010 Supervisors meeting.

December 21, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Old Business

Ordinances #10-08 and #10-09 These two ordinances will allow the board to set the amount of fees for transient merchant licenses and for parking violations by resolution instead of by the involved process of creating new ordinances. The board voted unanimously to approve these two ordinances.

Ordinance #10-06 This ordinance will amend Article 170 of the Codified Ordinances covering storm water management, drainage, and erosion control. This change to the article would bring the ordinance into compliance with the current state requirements set by the Department of Environmental Protection. The board voted unanimously to approve this ordinance.

Resolution 10-34 This resolution will adopt the proposed 2011 fiscal year budgets for the township’s General Fund, the State Aid Fund, the General Improvement Fund, the Friendship Center Operating Fund, the Authority’s Operating Fund and the Authority’s Capital Projects Fund. The proposed budget includes a 10% increase in the real estate tax from .875 to .9625 mils which for a residential property assessed at $200,000.00 would mean a yearly tax increase of $17.50. There would also be a small increase in the sanitary sewer fee. The overall budget was approved by a 4 to 1 vote.

Resolutions #10-33-1 through #10-33-14 These 14 resolutions will revise a variety of municipal fees and charges the township collects. Most of them have not been reviewed and updated for quite a few years. They include leaf waste permit fees, sign permit fees, various zoning related fees, engineering review fees, subdivision and land development fees, plumbing fees, building permit fees, solicitor’s fees, and others. The board voted unanimously to approve these resolutions.

New Business

Ordinance #10-05 This is an application from the Schoffstall Children’s Trust to rezone a seven acre tract south of Devonshire Road and across the street from Costcos from R-1 Low Density Residential to R-2 Medium Density Residential. The proposed project on the tract would be 34 units of age restricted twin dwelling units and townhouses. The rezoning request was previously approved by the Dauphin County Planning Commission and the Lower Paxton Township Planning Commission.

Schoffstall’s representative and attorney presented their case stating that the township’s comprehensive plan suggests that higher density zoning could be considered for the area and because the adjacent shopping center is zoned Commercial General the rezoning should not be considered as spot zoning. The developer of the 104 single family home Wilshire Estates project on an adjacent tract objected to the proposed rezoning because he and his attorney considered it to be spot zoning and because of concerns that the resulting higher density would compromise the sewer system he is putting in. After a lengthy discussion considering both sides of the question the supervisors voted unanimously to deny the rezoning request.

Ordinance #10-07 This ordinance would amend the police pension plan to provide for employee contributions to be made on a pre-tax basis instead of a post tax basis. The board voted unanimously to approve this ordinance.

Friendship Center and Public Works Building Change Order #2 to the contract with AP Williams for energy improvements to both buildings is a cost reduction due to the need for less insulation material than was originally thought. The change order was unanimously approved.

Final Subdivision Plan for Autumn Oaks, Phase II This second phase of the Autumn Oaks development will consist of 24 single family dwellings and 24 duplex units. It was reviewed by the planning commission at their recent meeting and the commissioners recommended approval. The supervisors at this meeting approved the plan unanimously.

Final Subdivison Plan for Shadebrook Phase I This large project will be located on a 108 acre tract at the intersection of Fairmont Drive and Cider Press Road. Phase I will consist of 71 dwelling units and 2 commercial lots. The planning commission recommended approval of the plan contingent on the township engineer’s approval of a requested alternate paving design. The engineer has subsequently agreed to the proposed design change. It was noted that a developer’s agreement would be required. The supervisors approved the plan unanimously.

Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan for Pleasant Meadows This project to be build by the Parmer Family Foundation involves the construction of a not-for-profit age restricted independent living community of 90 single family homes and 60 apartment units on 36 acres on the north side of Locust Lane across from the Vo-Tech School. Concerns had been raised at a number of previous supervisors and planning commission meetings about the proposed street widths, the amount of parking to be provided, and the lack of sidewalks. Concessions were made to comply with these concerns that satisfied the supervisors and they approved the plan unanimously.

Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan for LenMaur This project which was planned to be located on the north side of Linglestown Road and east of Colonial Road would have included a restaurant building, a day spa, and an office building. It was approved by the planning commission in 2007 but since then has not been resubmitted and has received a series of time extensions, the current one which is due to expire on December 31. On the staff’s recommendation the supervisors voted to deny the applicant any further extensions consistent with the provisions of the township’s ordinance.

January 3, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS REORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS MEETING
(7:30 PM – 8:15 PM)

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

The reorganization of the Township’s governing bodies resulted in no major changes in the key positions for 2011.

Under Old Business in the Business Meeting, the Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 11-01 appointing the firm of Zolanowski/Axlerod to audit the funds and accounts of the Township for fiscal year 2010.

Under New Business, the Supervisors unanimously approved the renewal of the license for the Hutch Junk Yard at 6861 Blue Ridge Avenue.

The Supervisors voted 5 – 0 to approve Sun Life Financial to provide group term life and long term disability insurance for the Township.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Change Order # 2 to the contract with Rogele, Inc., for road paving and storm sewer improvements for a net reduction of $167,000.00.

Under Subdivision and Land Development the preliminary final subdivision and land development plan for BA Properties 1, LLC (10-15) was withdrawn.

January 5, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Election of Officers The committee reelected Rogette Harris chairman and Priscilla St. Jacques-Glusko vice-chairman for the 2011 calendar year.

Pleasant Meadows Development The committee requested permission to formally ask the Parmer Family Foundation to grant an easement for a trail along the creek at the north end of their property on Locust Lane where they are planning to build a senior housing project. The supervisors agreed and the Parks & Recreation Department will be preparing the paperwork to make the formal request for the trail easement. The foundation had previously offered to grant the easement when it was formally presented.

Brouchure The Walking Opportunities Guide that the committee has been working on for some time has been finished and printed. The brochure shows location, length and degree of difficulty for existing trails and other walking opportunities in the township. It is available in print form and on the township web site.

Nyes Run Greenway – Kendale Oaks Easement The proposed trail along Nyes Run south from Union Deposit Road was again discussed. The trail would need to go through an area of wetlands and committee member Mike Smith contacted DEP for information on what restrictions and approvals the township would need to deal with. The response outlined what the likely restrictions would be and how the matter would need to be taken through the approval process. Also, the trail would traverse properties owned by the township, by the Kendale Oaks development, and by a private land owner. Kendale Oaks had agreed to provide an easement for the trail but the private owner has not been contacted and it will be necessary to have an easement from him. It was decided that a more detailed plan of the proposed trail would be needed before a formal request was presented to him.

Montrail Development This proposed residential development is north of Union Deposit Road and east of the CD East High School and Middle School. The plan for the development was approved five years ago but no construction work has begun. There is a partial trail through the property and the developer had indicated that he would be willing to have the trail completed. It now appears that construction might begin and committee member Jim Seidler will contact the developer again to confirm that the trail work can be included in the project. Committee member Roy Newsome who is also on the Planning Commission will check to be sure that the previous township plan approval is still valid.

Developments with Sidewalks The committee is continuing to identify and prioritize locations where short gaps in otherwise continuous sidewalks in or between developments could be filled in with minimum expense. When funds become available for such projects the supervisors would need to know which opportunities would be the most beneficial for the money spent. Committee members identified three such locations as a starting point.

January 5, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Election of Officers The board reelected Robert MacIntyre Chairman, Ken Beard Vice Chairman, and Mary Jane Hornung Secretary for the 2011 calendar year.

Eagle Scout Projects Two scouts working on their Eagle Scout badges made presentations to the board on the projects they worked on with Parks & Recreation Department director Brian Luetchford. One project was constructing a path between two levels at Brightbill Park and the other was reconstruction of the trail at Forest Hills Park. Both projects were completed successfully.

Wolfersberger/Koons Park Planning The state matching grant for park planning from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources that would provide $40,000.00 to be matched by $40,000.00 from the township was previously approved. The township’s portion is included in the 2011 approved budget. Mr. Luetchford met with a representative from DCNR to tour the park sites and discuss the planning.

The DCNR representative indicated that the state’s share would not be released until the Wolfersberger property is owned by the township free and clear. At the present time the township has not made the final payment and in the recently adopted 2011 budget it was not included. Mr. Luetchford had planned to send out requests for proposals to planning firms in the very near future to get the process started. However the supervisors prefer to delay starting anything until later in the year when they can make a decision on when the final payment can be made on the property. The board agreed to comply with the supervisors’ request. Without the grant money it is very doubtful that any planning by a consultant could be started. If there were not funds available for a consultant the board always intended to begin information gathering and some planning in house in preparation for the hiring of a professional in the future.

Greenway Committee Board member Jim Seidler who is also on the Greenway Committee gave a report on the committee meeting earlier in the evening. The committee continues to work on planning for the development of additional walking trails in the township and on related items.

January 11, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP

Attended by Tara Mead and Eric Epstein. Reported by Tara Mead.
Due to inclement weather, this entire meeting was not reported. (Refer to Report on Noise Ordinance below.) On the agenda were the following applications:
•Presentation by HRG, Inc. regarding a proposal to construct a “diverging diamond” intersection on Union Deposit Road at I-83
•Discussion regarding the need to bore under I-83 in the ARA mini-basin to complete sanitary sewer rehabilitation work
•Status report and discussion regarding the proposed noise ordinance, including threshold levels for violations
•Review of a question from the Linglestown Merchants Association regarding sidewalk and planting strip maintenance
•Introduction to the development of the 2011 to 2015 Strategic Plan
•”Otta Know” Presentation: Dauphin County Central Booking Administrative Order
•Improvement Guarantees, Development Agreements, Plan Reaffirmations, etc.
•PRIOR TO OR FOLLOWING THIS MEETING THE BOARD WILL MEET IN EXECUTIVE SESSION ON THE FOLLOWING ITEMS: Minor Township administrative matters.

Report on Noise Ordinance

After much discussion, the Board of Supervisors agreed to publically advertise the augmentation of the township’s current noise ordinance. The proposed updates to the noise ordinance includes additional specifications on allowable and prohibited noise levels, including a ban on car revving and exceptions, such as construction, public events and emergency work (such as roadwork).

The Board of Supervisors and SWAN agreed to a slight increase of five decibel points in the maximum allowable levels of noise in residential, commercial and industrial zones.

It also gives law enforcement more flexibility in determining noise violations.

Following minor adjustments to its previous version of the proposed ordinance, township officials agreed to advertise it for 30 days and post it on the township web site for public comment. A public hearing is anticipated by the end of this month.

January 13, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Nomination of Officers Matthew Hunt was elected committee Chairman and Christopher Judd was elected Vice-Chairman for the 2011 calendar year.

Codes The building inspector reported that the state requirement to have sprinklers installed in all new single family houses in now in effect. He said a lot of building permits were issued in December prior to the enforcement date for this new requirement.

Mission Statement The committee’s mission statement that they prepared last year was approved by the Board of Supervisors at their October 19, 2010 business meeting.

Linglestown Road Construction Work on the project will resume when weather permits but no road paving can be done until April 15th. The Linglestown Fire Company chief reported that because of the new curb configuration in the area of the new roundabout they are having trouble turning their big fire trucks to the east coming out of the station. It was suggested that this be brought up at the next Village of Linglestown meeting when township manager George Wolfe will be present.

1982 Pierce Arrow Fire Engine The effort to sell the old fire engine has not generated any reasonable offers. Efforts will continue since it has been taking up room in the fire house for two years. It may be necessary to donate it if no buyer is found. The engine is of course owned by the township.

PA Gaming Grant Application There has been no word on this grant application to date. A determination is expected anytime and certainly before the end of February.

Friendship Center Membership A question was raised about the possibility of fire fighters having an opportunity to get a group rate membership at the Friendship Center for their fitness training. This matter will be taken under consideration by the center’s Operating Board. One of the companies now uses Planet Fitness at the Karns shopping center.

2011 Budgets and Rosters At the beginning of the year the three fire companies and Emergency Medical Services need to submit their budgets for 2010 and the fire companies need to submit their personnel rosters for fire fighters and drivers and their rosters for LOSAP. These either have been submitted or will be in the very near future.

Meeting with the Supervisors The chiefs of the three fire companies requested that they be able to attend a meeting of the Board of Supervisors to discuss general items and to be sure that the supervisors are in agreement with their efforts and policies. The plan is for them to be on the agenda for the workshop meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 8 at 6:00 pm.