East Earl forced to deal with unfunded mandate

“We may have to increase the taxes 1/10 of a mil to help to pay to fix the wastewater problem in Goodville,” said Supervisor Joe Shriver at the November 13 meeting of the East Earl Township Board of Supervisors. “It is an unfunded mandate. We have to do it. The tax would generate about $45,000 per year. It would add about $10 to every $100,000 of property value.”

“We have to reply to (a consent letter received from) the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection by December,” said Chairmen Dave Zimmerman.

The unfunded mandate could cost up to $750,000.

“We have 180 days to show how it will be done,” said Shriver. “We are considering three different proposals. The costs of operating the system over a 20 year period are being considered. We are looking for a block grant.”

“The basic concept for dealing with the situation is due in June,” said Supervisor Earl Kreider. “We are looking for ways to negotiate. After a certain date we will be fined so much a day. The project is very costly (and the) people of Goodville need help to foot the expense. They are looking for us to do something. They want a plan.”

“We asked representatives from D.E.P. to come to a public meeting but the response was they are not obligated to do so,” said Kreider.

Goodville is not included in the Comprehensive plan and was not an area where development was considered, said Zimmerman.

”We have several options” said Shriver. “There are several thoughts in mind. We would pick the most affordable plan.”

An Inter-Municipal Public Works Assistance Ordinance was adopted. East Earl Township and Terre Hill Borough will assist each other and cooperate on such things as snow plowing and public works such as water and sewer.

County Commissioner Craig Lehman said he will be visiting all of municipalities in Lancaster County. He welcomes all comments from residents he has gotten at the county level. A new county morgue has been completed under the authority of the county coroner.

“We are making great improvements on a county wide emergency radio communications system,” he said. “We have it planned to be operating by 2014. It will improve public safety by integration the police and Emergency Services communications.”

He added that it has been a challenging time in putting together the county budget for 2013.

“The regional cooperative project between Caernarvon and East Earl Townships in developing a Transfer Development Rights system is very dear to my heart… …cooperation brought this to fruition. It is the (first project of its kind) in Pennsylvania.”

Kreider, Shriver and Zimmerman thanked Lehman for visiting East Earl. Zimmerman said he “thoroughly appreciated what the Commissioners are doing.”

Lehman said reassessment was planned for2013 but it will be put off until 2017.

“We thought property values would increase by 2014. We have been in the middle of a recession. It is better to delay a reassessment until the economic and real estate situations improve. It is always a controversial project,” he stated.

“We adopted the T.D.R. sending program in November with the cooperation of Caernarvon Township,” said Zimmerman. “Corrections will be made and a vote will be done in December. We have found another way to preserve farmland.”

“We are no longer a small agriculturally oriented county,” said Lehman. “There are 523,000 residents. We still have to preserve agriculture and control sprawl. It will be well served by generations in the future. Agriculture is a legacy to the county.”

Lehman said he also appreciates the designation of the Conestoga Ridge Scenic Byway from Route 322 to Morgantown as a heritage byway.

East Earl Chief of Police Kevin McCarthy said Officer Courtney Delaney has completed her probationary time. She is now a standing officer and is doing well.

During October the East Earl Police Department received 163 calls for service. They investigated 15 traffic accidents and conducted 19 criminal investigations. There were 22 calls for service from Terre Hill Borough. A traffic accident was investigated and there were 5 criminal investigations. The department issued 92 traffic citations and arrested 6 individuals for crimes codes violations.

“No one was injured and there were no serious problems,” said Zimmerman while referring to Hurricane Sandy. “Some roads were closed temporarily and two trees fell.”

There has been some repair work on about 750 feet of road which had been in Earl Township. Pot holes were filled on Toddy Drive and Ranck Road, and ditches were cleaned along Weaverland Road.

In October Zoning Officer Shawn Seymour issues 16 permits and there was a permit renewed. There were 16 occupancy permits issued.

The Safety Committee met at the Maintenance Building on October 23. Kreider said the township saves 5 percent of the cost of workers compensation for having an active Safety Committee.

Jeff Bologa thanked the supervisors for their donations and support to the Welsh Mountain Community Center. They are all volunteers and do the most they can to be self-supporting. They want to replace some playground equipment. He added that the Penn Dutch Gun Club has been a great help and that the park is an asset to the community.

‘We are working with the Dog Warden to care for strays,” said Zimmermann. “It is working well. There may be ten or less strays a year. The Dog Warden takes care of the problems relating to dog bites. In 2013 the Humane League of Lancaster County will become a no-kill shelter.”

The Goodville Fire Company celebrated an anniversary on October 13. Everything went well. The merger of the Goodville Fire Department with Terre Hill is coming along well and it will be effective on January 1, 2013, said Bill Shirk. There will be a good mix of officers from each company.

Storm water management plans were reviewed for Paul Leinhauser, David and Deanna Dickson, Titus Reiff, Dwight Martin, Robert Moorhead and Justin Martin.

An amendment was made to the Water and Sewer Connection Ordinance. All dwellings within 150 feet of public water and sewer in East Earl and Terre Hill will be required to make connections. East Earl Secretary/Treasurer Connie Gross said since there has been more development in the Terre Hill area, they had to clarify issues and concerns.

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