Elizabeth Twp. proposes keeping tax at zero Speedwell sediment deemed ‘clean fill’

By on November 20, 2013

Elizabeth Township’s 2014 proposed budget is available for public viewing.

The supervisors approved publication of the proposed income and spending plan on Monday. Proposed real estate taxes in the township remain at 0 mils. Most of the township’s income comes from earned income taxes.

Road work proposed for next year includes applying oil and chip on some township roads and more work along Reifsnyder Road. Office improvements include website hosting and computer software updates, as well as carpet. Park improvements include a storage shed.

An $8,000 budgeted expense new for next year is a professional audit of the township’s finances. The supervisors emphasized that there is no special reason to think that an audit is necessary, and “this is not slighting our (elected) township auditors,” but it is “just because” – it’s the right thing to do.

Although balances in the three township accounts will all remain positive, the numbers are a bit lower than last year’s. The general fund’s carryover will be about $75,000 less than last year’s carryover, with about $1,225,125 remaining in the account from year to year.

Interested residents may study the proposed budget at the municipal office during regular business hours. Call 626-4302.

In other business, supervisors approved a motion to share an intern with Warwick Township and the Borough of Lititz for four hours a week at a rate of $14.40 per hour. The position will involve data entry, mapping the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) and other tasks. “Things that we pay the Zoning Officer a rather high hourly rate to do now,” said Supervisor Chairman Brian Wiker.

The supervisors agreed to table approval of the MS4 ordinance until March. The deadline to make a decision is May 2014, and the board would like to give as much time as possible to look at the document and make revisions.

Jay Snyder of the Cocalico Creek Watershed Association contacted the supervisors this month to say that a seven-municipality consortium did not receive a grant to perform a study to be made a part of the MS4 ordinance. The study is projected to cost $20,000.

“So we could pay $20,000 ourselves, or divide it among the seven and pay $2,850,” said Wiker.

Supervisors will discuss their options in more detail at their December meeting.

Milt Lauch, secretary of Save Speedwell, sent the supervisors an update about the sediment removal project at the former Speedwell Forge Lake. The lake bed has been dry since the defective dam was breached to prevent a possible catastrophic breakdown.

An attorney has reviewed contracts, the final grant agreement was signed and the Department of Environmental Protection issued grant funds to pay for design plans and site/soil evaluations, Lauch told the supervisors in an e-mail.

The lakebed sediment has been tested for contaminants and has been determined to be “Clean Fill” that is safe for use anywhere. It has the texture of topsoil.

An application for a driveway permit for a temporary access road to the lakebed was obtained and will be submitted soon. Save Speedwell is working with several nearby landowners who might be interesting in using the sediment soil. Other options for the sediment are being explored, too.

Actual removal of the soil from the lakebed is should take place in the early spring of 2014.

In other business

Wiker opened Monday’s meeting with special thanks to all veterans on Veterans’ Day.

The Brickerville Fire Company responded to 20 fire calls and 17 fire police incidents in October. The ambulance responded to 36 calls.

The Zoning officer issued 11 permits in October for work valued at $181,380.

Supervisors responded to one complaint about a burning ordinance violation. Someone was burning after dark, which is not permitted.

Road Superintendent Glenn Martin reported that improvements are being made to the second ball field at Elizabeth Township Park. The infield has been stripped and Diamondtex has been put down. The project is spearheaded by Warwick Little League, along with Lititz Christian and Lititz Area Mennonite Schools, Flyway Excavating and the township road crew.

Sewage Enforcement Officer Amos Miller will retire at the end of 2013.

The next regular meeting of the Elizabeth Township Planning Commission will be Dec. 4, at 7 p.m.

The next regular meeting of the Elizabeth Township Supervisors will be Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. in the municipal building on South View Drive.

Community events

The monthly collection of recyclables will be on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 8 a.m. until noon at the municipal building on South View Drive. Volunteers are needed to man the station for 2014. Call the Township Office at 626-4302 for information or to volunteer.

Santa will return to the Brickerville area by fire engine on Dec. 14 beginning at 8:30 a.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will tour the local neighborhoods on a fire engine as fire company members hand out fire prevention goodies and materials. Keep your ears open for the sound of the siren that Saturday morning; it might just be Mr. and Mrs. Claus visiting your street.

Kids and parents are invited to visit Santa at the Brickerville Fire Hall on Dec. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. All good little children will receive a special treat from Santa. Parents are welcome to take photos.

The Brickerville Fire Company will offer a special evening of bingo on New Year’s Eve, from 8 p.m. until midnight. The all-inclusive package features bingo, food, decorations, special beverages and a fabulous dessert buffet.

The Lititz Library provides a free story hour for preschoolers and a caregiver on the second Friday of each month at 10 a.m. at the municipal building. No pre-registration is needed. Call the library at 626-2255 for information.

Information about Elizabeth Township is available online at co.lancaster.pa.us/elizabethtwp.

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