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Linden Hall senior newest borough council member Also, Lititz phases out fire police program
By: GARY P. KLINGER Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer
Lititz Borough Council has sworn in its second junior council member, Linden Hall senior Anna Workman.
Councilman Doug Bomberger has been instrumental in developing the junior council program. After collecting and screening essays from interested local students, he was enthusiastic about introducing Workman during Tuesday night’s council meeting.
The daughter of Mark and Nora Workman, Anna sees this as a way to learn first-hand how local government works. She also felt it was a good way to serve the community. After completing her five month term on council and her senior year in high school, she plans to attend college and major in graphic design and psychology.
Workman succeeds Aaron Graybill, who recently graduated from Warwick High School.
The junior council program is a statewide initiative sponsored by municipalities to encourage youth education and youth participation in local government. The program was established in 1999 by the Pennsylvania Boroughs Association as a means of involving a high school junior or senior borough resident to take the oath of office and contribute in a meaningful way to council deliberations.
Junior council members are not able to vote or to attend executive sessions, but they are encouraged to attend committee meetings and to meet with other council members for additional insight into the inner workings of the local governing body.
"It is my honor and pleasure to swear in Anna Workman as our second junior council person," commented Mayor Ron Oettel in prior to the swearing-in ceremony, which was attended by Workman’s family. From there she was escorted to her official seat at the council table.
In other borough council business, flood control committee member Nate Baum updated council on the flood control program he is working on along with Jimmy Kreider. He sought council approval to move forward with the next phase of the project, which would utilize some of the $15,000 in grant funds obtained through State Rep. John Bear’s office. This first part of the project would cover the design and some rip-rap containment of the flood prone area where Lititz Run intersects with Oak Street. According to Baum, homeowners have been contacted regarding the project and are excited to see things moving forward.
Once completed, the design phase will give Baum a better idea of what the project will actually cost to complete.
"We have $15,000 in grant money, but this will likely be a $30,000 to $50,000 project. Are we going to move forward even before we have final funding," questioned council member Kevin Zartman.
Baum said that was the plan.
"Yes, this $15,000 is to design the project and for rip-rap stabilization of the area," Baum explained. "Once done, that will give us some idea of what the actual final cost will be and (we can) begin securing those funds."
Baum said the first phase of the project would be the smaller phase. He looks to secure both public and private funds to carry out the rest of the work. At the earliest, the project could get under way by this fall, but more realistically it could be early to mid spring 2012 for a start date.
Council also approved a community paper shredding event to be held Saturday, Oct. 15 in the east parking lot of Susquehanna Bancshares. The event is free of charge to the public. People are encouraged to bring up to three boxes of outdated personal files to the event to be shredded. Traffic flow for the project is designed to allow participants to drive in one portion of the lot with their boxes of material and drive out the other side once their boxes have been disposed of.
Streets committee chair Kevin Zartman informed council that he had fielded some questions about the Cedar Street bridge being overrun and in need of replacement. Borough manager Sue Ann Barry said she has already spoken to the county planning commission about the project and asked that it be put on the list of bridges to be replaced. It is now a top priority.
Council president Karen Weibel said that the borough would be foolish to not move forward once approval goes through. With 80 percent of the cost covered by a federal grant and another 15 percent covered by state funds, the borough could afford to replace the bridge having to only pay 5 percent of the total project.
Council discussed the future of the Lititz Fire Police program, which is being phased out.
"We’ve dwindled down to two people and one is barely active," noted Mayor (and fire chief) Oettel. "We are working diligently to sustain just the volunteer fire service which is withering on the vine nationwide. We have reached out in numerous ways to increase our fire police, but to no avail. Therefore, we made the painful decision to remove the fire police from bylaws and fire company so that we can now focus on our core mission. We don’t have the time or energy to continue working on that part of it. There are outside companies available to do what the fire police have traditionally done for races or other events. Going forward, groups wanting to host events will have little choice but to employee such services since we will no longer have fire police available."
Weibel weighed in on the topic, saying that local events would continue but that going forward those sponsoring such events would need to hire outside services to assist with traffic and crowd control. More LITITZ BOROUGH, page A3