Tuesday, April 13, 2010

West Hempfield Township Police reports

Dergon Spickler, 50, of Columbia, has been charged with harassment as the result of a domestic dispute in the 2200 block of Oak Hollow Drive at 8:20 p.m., April 10.

Veronica Rivera of Allentown, reported the theft of music equipment from her vehicle parked in the 300 block of Primrose Lane at 9:28 p.m., April 10.

Corey White, 53, of Manheim, was charged with driving under the influence, as the result of an incident on Stony Battery Road at Route 30 at 1:24 a.m., April 12.
A 14-year-old boy from Mount Joy was charged with simple assault, terroristic threats and criminal mischief as the result of an incident in the 4000 block of Laurel Lane, Mount Joy, involving his parents, at 9:27 a.m., April 9.
Albert Shaub of the 3600 block of Hempland Road, reported the theft of a GPS unit from his vehicle at 3:57 p.m., April 9.
Matthew Timblin, 30, of Washington Boro, was charged with driving under the influence, careless dri ving and disorderly conduct, as the result of an incident in the first block of College Avenue, Mountville, at 2:37 a.m., April 10.

Arbor Day is planned

The Columbia Borough Shade Tree Commission and the Columbia Tree Society will hold their 19th annual Arbor Day celebration on Friday, April 30 at Locust Street Park, located at Fifth and Locust Streets, starting at 6 p..m.

Andy Ohrel, president of the Old Columbia Public Grounds Company, which maintains and oversees the park, will serve as master of ceremonies. Rev. Dominic DiBiccardo of St. Peter’s Catholic Church will offer the invocation and benediction. Columbia Mayor Leo Lutz and Council Vice-President Mary Barninger will make remarks. Rick Hartlieb, representing the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will present Columbia with its 18th consecutive National Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA Award.

Local citizens will be recognized for their contributions to the Shade Tree Commission in 2009, including the presentation of a Life Membership to Jack and Robin Gamby.

Three $25 cash prizes will be awarded to second grade students from Columbia’s three elementary schools as winners of the tree coloring contest. A $25 gift card will be awarded to the winner of the “My Favorite Tree” photo contest.

Musical selections will be provided throughout the ceremony by the Columbia High School Music Department under the direction of Rick Jensen.

Columbia High School Senior Hillary Marie Glenn will recite Joyce Kilmer’s poem Trees. Hillary is the daughter of Kerry D. Glenn and the late Melissa A. Glenn. She plans to attend Millersville University and although her major is undeclared, she is hoping to become either a secondary school history or a translator. Her studies at Columbia High School this year include English with Harrisburg Area Community College, French IV, Anthropology, Psychology, Chorus and Music Appreciation. Since the age of 10 she has sung soprano solo’s at the Columbia United Methodist Church.

Hillary was the Columbia Rotary Club’s Student of the Month for January and will be reciting the Gettysburg Address following the annual Columbia Memorial Day Parade in May. She has been volunteering in her community since she was a child, starting with Columbia Pride Day and now volunteers regularly at events sponsored by the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce in honor of her mother.

Her hobbies include writing, singing, reading, supplementary French, and cultivating her musical palate.

Members of the Columbia Borough Shade Tree Commission are Mike Beury, Jr Chairman, Tom Mimnall Secretary, Mark Zeamer Treasurer, Kerry Glenn and Ronald Fritz.

Fire talks take a new turn

Calling it a hiccup along the road, Columbia Borough will first look at a consolidation of its three fie companies before pursuing the regionalization of services.
 Mary Barninger, who chairs the council's safety committee, made the announcement at Monday's borough council meeting, upon questioning from resident Ron Fritz.
Barninger said the borough is still looking to regionalize services, bit was told by at least two fire companies, Mountville and West Hempfield, they would consider regionalization, but not until Columbia had a plan to consolidate its three departments into one.
Fritz, a 48-year member of the Susquehanna Fire Company, said he was caught off guard by the consolidation effort after attending last week's safety committee meeting.
He said no letter was ever sent out to neighboring fire companies to gauge their interest and there was only positive verbal contact made concerning the regionalization.
"I don't understand whywe are going back (to consolidation)," Fritz said.
Fritz' comments upset Barninger.
"It amazes me you come here tonight and act like you  don't know what is going on," Barninger said.
She continued by saying consolidation and then regionalization of the fire service is needed for many reasons.
She said the effort to regionalize will still happen but only after Columbia gets its act together and consolidates its three departments and that the current three Columbia companies couldn't agree on how to get to the table on regionalization.
The local consolidation before regionalization, Barninger said, was a recommendation from the state's Department of Community and Economic Development as well as two of the neighboring fire departments interested in a regional effort.
"Mountville and West Hempfield indicated they will not come to the table until Columbia Borough has its act together first," Barninger said. "When potential partners say you don't have a plan, yo get one."
"The borough has no abandoned regionalization because that is where we need to be. We want to get a plan together first on how we will consolidate and this is what we will do," Barninger said.
"It is sad that our mutual aid companies have this opinion of us and we have to get our sandbox together first," Barninger said.
"This is not council's doing, this is just a hiccup in the road," she said.

Woman to sue borough

The borough of Columbia is being sued.
Chris Leonard of Second Street during a 20 minute address to borough council Monday night announced the borough has violated her civil rights and will file a law suit in federal court.
Leonard claimed Monday night that the borough violated her civil rights by not assisting her in claims she made against Borough Manager Norm Meiskey and Code Enforcement Official Jeff Helm, saying they didn't assist her in problems she had with her landlord and others.
"You can defend this in federal court," Leonard said to the council.
The Columboa woman, who has filed numerous requests with the borough under the Right to Know law, lives in an apartment building in the Second Street area and has numerous cats and has also caused numerous problems not only for the borough but other organizations in town over the last year.
Monday night she claimed as far back as last August she addressed borough officials that her landlord violated property maintenance laws by not properly addressing heating problems in her building. In December, she claimed a gas leak in her building was not properly fixed on at least two occasions and even after an inspection by the state Departent of Labor and Industry.
During this time, Leonard said she filed numerous requests under the Right to Know law to see what the borough had done with her multiple requests for information.
"There were two serious gas leaks that may have killed someone," Leonard told the council Monday night.
She also said she filed another RTK request to get copies of inspections the borough ade of the vacant store fronts on Locust Street and also wanted to see under another RTK request the outcomes if disruptive conduct reports filed by the borough.
She also told the borough to go ahead and "threaten her and video tape her" because she will not stop.

The residents speak

Here is a sampling of what residents who spoke to the borough council on Monday night spoke about and the responses they got.

The citizen comment portion took two hours at Monday's meeting.

Frank Doutrich, a former member of the council, addressed the council concerning the status of the boat access area at the River Park; why Police Chief Joe Greenya doesn't stay at council's safety committee meeting; why council waited until the final "minute" at meeting last month to determine it needed to purchase two police vehicles; who does maintenance on borough vehicles and how the borough came to consider those who were appointed to a Bulding Code of Appeals.

Council President Mary Wickenheiser said the Thursday before Easter, borough employees were working on an access area to the river at Union Street and there is adequate parking until River Park opens May 1.
Wickenheiser also told Doutrich the information on the police vehicle purchase was not done at the final minute and the purchase will be reviewed at the next meeting of the council's property committee.

Vern Detz, another former member of the council, wanted an update on the settlement of the property at Third and Linden streets, site of the planned Turkey Hill Experience; whether or the non-uniformed workers and police have signed their new contract; the status of 12 hour shifts for the police department; requested financial reports and wanted to know if Columbia ever had a deputy tax collector.

Herbert Spiese thanked the council for its use of Roberts Rules of Order when running a meeting and said he was down at the River Park recently and doubts if it will be done by May 1.

Council President Wickenheiser said things are moving forward at the park and it should be ready by May 1.

Heather McDonald asked the council is they could re-arrange the street sweeping schedule in the 100 block of Locust Street and if the borough could help change the look of that area because there is a chain linked fence around a business that takes away from the area.

Detz and Doutrich, along with Spiese and other residents Shirley McBride, Ron Fritz, Chris Leonard and Howard Stevens commented on other issues at the meeting on issues involving the Market, the fire service and code enforcement issues, which will be posted in three other stories.

What is the status of police regionalization?

Last week, according to the York Newspapers, Wrightsville Borough apparently is backing away from police regionalization talks with several municipalities in Lancaster County. Earlier this month, it was also reported that other muncipalities in western Lancaster County aren't too keen on the idea.
But at Monday's borough council meeting, Mayor Leo Lutz said its full speed ahead with the regionalization of police services, despite the setbacks.
"Wrightsville is still considering it," Lutz said Monday night,
The mayor said Wrightsville wanted to get information to those involved in the regionalization effort that certain things such as radio frequencies and courts are different in York County.
Lutz said he gave Wrightsville a copy of an agreement between Columbia and Wrightsville that was in place from 1999 through the early 2000s tnat answered those questions.
"We don't know how many will join," said Lutz.
Lutz said the only information given to those involved has been a leter of intent to do a feasability study at no cost to those involved.
"There might be two, three, four, five or six who might sign the letter of intent," Lutz said.
Lutz said those involved in the talks will meet again in May and are also discussing joint services and purchases. He said recently, Columbia shared s speed enforcement detail with West Hempfield and truck weighing with West Hempfield and East Hempfield.
"We don't know where it is going to end up but in the next two months to move forward on a feasability study," Lutz said.
"We are going to continue to look at regionalization," Lutz said.

Mayor signs proclamations

At Monday's borough council meeting, Mayor Leo Lutz signed the following proclamations:
* Friday, April 30, Arbor Day.
* April 18-24, National Volunteer Week.
* Saturday, April 24, Earth Day.
* May 2-8, International Compost Awareness Week.

Borough Council also approved the following facility requests:
* The Columbia United Veterans Council, Sunday, May 23 for the annual Memorial Day Parade.
* The Risk Watch Safety group for its annual Bike Event on Poplar Street between Sixth and Seventh streets, Saturday, May 22 from 9 a. m.-noon.
* The Columbia Consolidated Fore Department for its annual July Fourth Carnival and Firewoeks, July 13-17 for streets near the department.
* The Ashley Tabernacle Church and the Mount Zion AME Church for street closures in conjunction with the Juneteenth celebration.
* The Susquehanna Valle Chamber of Commerce for use of the Market House fro 8 a.m.-9 p,m., Saturday, Sept. 21 for its annual Business Expo and Job Fair.

Borough Council also:
* Approved the use of a $500 debit/credit card to be used by Georgianna Schreck, Ron Miller and Joseph Greenya.
* Announced the trademark for the Market House logo has been approved.
* Approved the loaning of two Keeley Stoves presently in the Market House to the Columbia Historic Preservation Society.
* Removed borough owned properties at 21 South Third St., 27 South Third St., 29 South Third St., 70 South Market St. and 106 Locust St. from borough tax rolls to make way for future parking lots.
* Appointed Borough Manager Norm Meiskey as agent regarding any financial assistance the borough would receive from the Robert T/ Stafford Disaster Relief Fund in connection with the 2010 snow storm.
* Received word the borough received the Governor's Award for Local Government Excellence for its River Park expansion project.
* Appointed Steve Wise, William Sauders, Barney Aston, Mark Goodman, Chris Stover and Dan Laird to the Property Maintenance Code Appeals Board.
* Appointed Janet Wood as deputy tax collector.
* Approved a title search by the solicitor for the title of Cedar Street East.