Pax disrupts life in Manheim borough

By on February 20, 2014

Snowy walkways led to a decrease in shoppers and many stores closing early. Photos courtesy of Manheim Downtown Development Group

Snowy walkways led to a decrease in shoppers and many stores closing early. Photos courtesy of Manheim Downtown Development Group

Snowstorm Pax (a named derived from the Latin word for “peace”) was anything but peaceful when it dropped an average of 12 inches of snow on Manheim last week.

A snow emergency was declared by Borough Manager Mark Stivers on Feb. 12. During such times, those residents who park their cars along snow emergency routes are required to move them.

See Snowstorm Pax Slideshow

“In the end a few tickets were issues and we ended up having to tow only 6 to 7 vehicles. All the snow emergency routes are clear of vehicles and we will be using our large snow blower today and a fleet of dump trucks to move the snow from the roads to Logan Park here in town.”

As in many communities, finding a place to put shoveled and plowed snow is often a problem. Parking spaces became sacrosanct, and tempers flared from time to time. Thankfully, community spirit won out.

“We do ask that all property owners and residents get out there and clean off their sidewalks. When doing so, we strongly ask that the snow is not thrown back into the street. That will only refreeze and make a dangerous situation,” Stivers added. “If you live along a snow emergency route, you are invited to put your snow where the plows have piled as that will be hauled out and removed from the roads. But again, keep the snow in the piles and not out into the travel lanes. It is also important for residents to clear the fire hydrants and stormwater inlets located near their property.”

Borough personnel went above and beyond the call of duty this winter, Stivers said.

“Our crews are doing a great job and working hard,” Stivers said. “It is a team effort between the Borough public works, Borough Police, and the Borough Authority staff. Please encourage these workers as they are working hard to keep the roads safe.”

Thanks to Mother Nature, students got an extra-long five day weekend over Valentines Day. The Manheim Central school district has already had nine canceled school days this year due to inclement weather. Even if there are no further missed days this year, students will be attending classes until June 17.

“We are exploring other potential revisions to our calendar in an effort to ensure that we establish the most ideal end-of-year plan for our students within the State’s requirements,” said a note on the district’s website calendar. “We appreciate the understanding and flexibility of our school community as we continue to make revisions in response to this atypical winter weather.”

Meanwhile student athletes, scholars and musicians continue to strive to stick to their prescribed schedules. The cast of “The Music Man” has been hit hard by the weather.

“The weather has put us behind with all of the school and rehearsal cancellations,” said Cindi Dinger, when spreading publicity for the musical, set to be staged March 6 through 9. “We will all certainly bask in springtime when it finally does come.”

Business owners also felt Pax’s sting.

“The snow was fun and exciting at first, but now we are looking forward to spring,” said Jesamy Orozco, proprietor of Split Ends Salon. “Split Ends has tried to stay open regardless of the conditions outside, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we have customers that want to travel in the mess. Subsequently our sales this winter have dropped significantly.”

There is, however, a small ray of hope for those who may have had property damaged by Pax and other recent occurrences of ice and snow.

“There may be opportunities for state and federal funds through this storm,” said Doreen Ober in an e-mail to Manheim Downtown Development Group. “ Please take photos and send them to our Borough Manager, Mark Stivers at mstivers@manheimboro.org. And look at the bright side… all this snow will be great for our local farmers. Snow will melt and it will help boost the soil mixture.”

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