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Supervisors prep park for new season
By: STEPHEN SEEBER Record Express Staff, Staff Writer
Considering the unseasonably warm temperatures this week, it seems only fitting that the collective mind of Elizabeth Township’s supervisors would be on the new public park.
During Monday night’s monthly business meeting, they discussed updates on pavilion plans, bathroom facilities, the cost of lawn mowing and the need for some dog owners to be more responsible.
Supervisor Rodney May pointed out that a private donor is helping to defray the cost of a new pavilion, which has been constructed but concrete still needs to be poured. May and his fellow supervisors, Chairman Brian Wiker and Jeff Burkholder, cut back on the overall cost by eliminating some unnecessary concrete work from the plan.
Additional savings, possibly as much as $3,100, may be in store if the supervisors decide to pass on storm spouting. A final decision hasn’t been made on this element as the supervisors gather professional input prior to their April meeting. If spouting is added, significant infiltration trenches will be required, along with an estimated 200 tons of stone.
Road superintendent Glenn Martin said last year’s rainfall total was about three feet above average, suggesting that the decision shouldn’t be based solely on a soggy 2011.
The township is still waiting for its new park bathrooms to arrive, so discussion on those facilities were tabled until April.
After some discussion, a park lawn mowing contract was awarded to low-bidder Mike Miller of Loop Road. The township will pay Miller $165 a week to mow the park during the summer. Miller is also reportedly contracted to mow fields used by the Lititz Youth Soccer Association, $130 per week. Local soccer teams will use the Elizabeth Township fields throughout the summer, so in a sense the league is offsetting the mowing cost for township taxpayers.
Martin expressed some concern about the contract, but Wiker later said ultimately it saves local taxpayers money.
The supervisors also granted a weed control contract for the park, for $5,735 for the season, to low-bidder Todd Miller. Bids received ranged from the awarded amount to $15,400.
May wrapped up discussion on the Elizabeth Township Community Park, which is located just off of Route 322 in Brickerville, by expressing his concern that some dog owners aren’t doing their duty.
He said while most dog owners are responsible, he has noticed that some are not cleaning up after their pets; and with soccer season approaching, players and parents shouldn’t have to worry about where they’re stepping in a public park.
"I just hope people start cleaning up," he said, suggesting that if the problem persists the township will have to consider options to curtail the irresponsibility. "I’m sure these people clean up after their dogs at home … at least I hope they do."
In other township news:
Elizabeth may team up with Clay Township to share the cost of new radios for their public works departments, but as of Monday Elizabeth’s supervisors had not hear from Clay on their commitment to the idea.
If Clay is not interested, the Elizabeth supervisors are prepared to purchase nine radios, at a total cost of $5,760. These would outfit all of the township’s vehicles as well as the Brickerville Fire Company.
Elizabeth Township received an official report, which was discussed during a recent meeting at the Warwick Middle School, on the Speedwell Forge dam from the PA Fish and Boat Commission.
This Emergency Action Plan outlines the potential impact flood waters could have on 80 homes downstream from the drained lake.
May said state officials are monitoring the cracked dam during all rain events.
Meanwhile, local efforts to raise the money needed to repair the dam continue.
A township request to have the speed limit on Route 501, from the Brickerville crossroads to the Lebanon County line, reduced from 50 to 45 mph was denied by the state. A speed study was done, according to correspondence read by May, and the state determined that there would be no way to monitor a speed reduction.
Elizabeth Township received a copy of the county Drug Task Force’s annual report for 2011. There were no incidents involving the task force in Elizabeth during the year. The township makes an annual donation to the task force. Last year, $2,000 was budgeted.
Elizabeth supervisors agreed to put up $6,666 to form a partnership with Lititz Borough and Warwick Township for a joint comprehensive plan, which is in the early stages of creation. The collaboration will increase each municipality’s access to valuable grant money for a variety of projects.
Wiker pointed out that the plan, when completed, will be sectioned into the specific needs of each municipality.
The township will seek bids, to be opened next month, for summer road work, including about 60,000 square yards of oil and chipping. The cost for material, according to Martin, ranges from $1.25 to $1.50 per square yard and the fluctuating cost of oil will be factored into the township’s long range plan for purchasing. The cost will come out of the township’s Liquid Fuel Fund, which receives money from the state.
A March 11 vehicle accident at Hackman and Brunnerville roads knocked out power for nearby residents for about 45 minutes.
May expressed his thanks to PPL for trimming trees near power lines, which ultimately is a benefit to local firefighters who are called to the scene of downed wires during storms. He said PPL has budgeted up to $4 million to continue the tree trimming program.
The interest on employee pensions will be split 50/50 between a municipal account and individual employee accounts. Interest is a minimal amount and has been zero, due to the market, for the past three years. As a result, the township’s three employees — road superintendent Martin, assistant secretary and treasurer Rita Snavely and road laborer Tim Shreiner — will not see much in their retirement funds from the distribution. The highest excess interest amount in recent years, according to Snavely, was $167, half of which would be split between the three employees.
Fire Company Report
It was reported that the Brickerville Fire Co. responded to seven calls in February. Brickerville Ambulance took 26 calls for the month, and fire police logged seven incidents. More ELIZABETH TWP., page A7