Lititz Borough Council adopts 2019 budget

By on January 2, 2019

Lititz Borough Council approved its 2019 Lititz Borough budget that holds the muncipal real estate tax rate at 2 mills.

The 2019 general fund budget, approved at council’s Dec. 18 meeting, has a projected revenue of $5,781,976, with expenses projected at $6,595,261. The reserve balance is $2,493,616.
A few of expenditures in the 2019 budget include the Route 772 traffic study, renting the ice house at fair market value, Lititz Police Department lobby lighting and body cameras for police officers, a tax incentive for firefighters, Venture Lititz donation, an additional public works employee for half the year, Lititz Run rail trail path and sign at Oak Street, and an increase in the transfer to the Storm Drainage Fund.

Sidewalks were also on the agenda at the meeting rescheduled a week early because of the Christmas holiday. One is a sidewalk on West Fourth Avenue that will allow local residents who use wheelchairs and those who are out walking their dogs to access the area more safely The other is a proposed sidewalk along Juniper Lane, where a new entertainment, art gallery and craft brewery business is underway.

After two years of planning and meetings, the first phase of the Shirt Factory construction finally began in October.

Lititz Borough Council approved the request of residents of West Fourth Avenue and nearby residents to vacate a portion of West Fourth Avenue. By removing the never-been-opened portion of the road, the residents hope to construct a sidewalk that will provide better accessibility. Attorney Bill Cassidy represented Mike and Karen Healy and Joan Clair, who are neighbors who hoped to remove the unopened portion of the road from the borough’s maps, making it a private road.

They received support from other neighbors, including the nearby Wittenberg family. neighbors Jeff and Babs DiFrank and Tom Arnold also expressed their support.

“Mike and Karen Healy and Joan Clair are wonderful neighbors, who meticulously care for the property even though it is not theirs,” said Jeff DiFrank, noting that at least two persons using wheelchairs had trouble navigating the stretch because there are no sidewalks. Arnold said he agreed “100 percent,” because the area gets muddy and difficult to pass through especially in snow or rain. Another neighbor reported that it was hard to safely walk her dogs without a sidewalk.

After borough council approved the request, Mike Healy thanked borough planner Elijah Yearick for his help in coming up with a solution for the sidewalk-less stretch of West Fourth Avenue.
Tom Solyak of TONO Group also appreciated Lititz Borough Council’s approval of a sidewalk and six-inch curb along Juniper Lane. Solyak is currently working on design, remodeling and construction to the brick building at 5 Juniper Lane. The plan is to maintain the historic integrity of the building, using original materials such as floors, wooden beams, and stone walls in the basement that will be restored or repurposed.

A view from inside 5 Juniper Lane. Jim Hoffer, a Lititz native and resident of New York, has invested in the Shirt Factory project.

The renovated building is expected to be The Lititz Shirt Factory, a mixed-use business that will feature live entertainment, craft beer, and art to the local community. Lititz native and New York resident Jim Hoffer has invested in the project, and contracted TONO to refurbish the existing windows and repoint the original brick facade, replacing the roof and bringing the building up to current safety codes.

In order to make the entertainment venue workable, developers requested that a portion of Juniper Lane from South Broad Street to Raspberry Lane be made into a one-way street. At last month’s borough council meeting, it was suggested that the one-way street run east to west. Lititz Borough Police Chief Kerry Nye agreed that the portion should be one-way, but suggested that it run from west to east.

Nye was concerned that drivers would be caught off guard if they tried to enter Juniper Lane from Broad Street and found it to be one-way going the other direction. That would requite drivers to have to back up onto Broad. There were also concerns about traffic entering onto Broad Street at that location, which is usually crowded and backed up from the traffic signal at Broad and Main.
Borough Council agreed with Nye, and approved the one-way stretch to run west to east from South Broad on Juniper Lane to Raspberry Lane. One-Way/Do Not Enter signs would be posted at Raspberry Lane, so that drivers would travel on Raspberry Lane to East Orange Street. A curbed sidewalk would be installed to provide better safety for pedestrians on Juniper Lane, along with additional lighting. A spring 2019 opening is the target for Lititz’ new entertainment venue.

5 Juniper Lane.

In other business, council approved a number of special events and activities, including a film shoot by Inspiring Films on Jan. 3, with a rain date of Jan. 4, on East Main Street from Broad to Water Streets and the Epiphany Burning of Greens at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 200 W Orange Street on Jan. 6 at 6 p.m.

The Lititz Pretzel Fest on May 4 was approved, as well as the Kiwanis Kids Day in the Park on May 11. Other events include the Pretzel Twist Half Marathon on June 1 and the Lititz recCenter Triathalon on Aug. 4, with a rain date of Aug. 11. Kleine Lane is scheduled to be closed from now through the end of May 2019 during construction.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the Record Express. She can be reached at 

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