Elected officials from three municipalities and the board of the Elizabethtown Area School District got briefings on regional planning, the recreation authority and on each other’s plans in a joint meeting held in the Elizabethtown Public Library.
Eight of the nine school board members and a majority of the supervisors of West Donegal Township and Mount Joy Township were present along with a majority of the Elizabethtown Borough Council members. Conoy Township supervisors were invited to the meeting but none attended. No votes were taken at the meeting held Thursday, May 31.
Elizabethtown Borough Manager Roni Ryan gave an update on the Lancaster County Planning Commission’s future plan, known as “places2040,” and gave an update on the Elizabethtown Regional Comprehensive Plan. Ryan said the next regional plan was due in 2020 and she wanted to see how much of places2040 could be implemented in the regional plan. Among other things, planning calls for growing responsibly and preserving farmland, downtowns and natural areas. (Related story, page 3.) Ryan also told those attending the meeting that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plans to close the bridge carrying North Market Street over the Conoy Creek in July so it can be rebuilt. She said some of the work will be done on a 24-hour schedule to keep the closing of that main road as brief as possible. Ryan said the most likely starting date for that work is July 6 and the road should be closed for two weeks.
Barry Acker, executive director of Greater Elizabethtown Area Recreation & Community Services, said GEARS is quite unusual in that it gets only 17 percent of its income from municipal governments; most of its money comes from participation fees and sponsorships. Acker said when he attended a gathering of recreation authority directors, his was the only agency that got less than 20 percent of its revenue from government.
Acker noted that his agency does not have multi-milliondollar facilities like some others.
“We found ways to get the job done in public recreation without that,” Acker said. Instead, GEARS uses existing buildings to provide recreation services. Elizabethtown Area School District Superintendent Michele Balliet said work on Bainbridge Elementary School is wrapping up and the school district expects to take possession of the building back from the contractor in late June or early July, then get furniture into the building and make other preparations for it to open in time for the 2018-19 school year. She said new attendance areas are being worked out for the district’s four schools serving kindergarten through third grade to ensure that class sizes do not vary dramatically from one school to another.
School board members present at the meeting were Erin M. Grosh, Craig M. Hummer, M. Caroline Lalvani, Michael D. Martin, James L. Read, Menno E. Riggleman, Terry L. Seiders, Karen R. Sweigart; one member, Michelle J. Pelna, was absent.
Mount Joy Township Supervisors Gerald G. Cole, Debra E. Dupler, Lisa S. Heilner and David W. Sweigart attended the meeting; Gerald F. Becker was absent.
Elizabethtown Borough Council members Phillip P. Clark, J. Marc Hershey, J. Neil Ketchum and Thomas A. Shaud were present; Councilors Jeffrey K. McCloud and Bill Troutman were absent, as was Mayor Chuck Mummert.
West Donegal Township supervisors Roger Snyder, Eric W. Kreider and John E. Martin II attended; Douglas Hottenstein and Philip Dunn were absent.