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New Mount Joy Borough Park Built on Site of Gasworks

Mount Joy Borough Council has accepted a Deed of Dedication from UGI Utilities, Inc. and PPL Electric Utilities to establish Old Standby Park.

The property at 225 W. Main St. was home to a manufactured gas plant constructed around 1879 and operated until about 1951 by PPL. The plant heated coal or oil to make gas for street lighting, heating and industrial uses. It was locally known as “Old Standby” for its reliability in keeping the lights on during severe weather conditions.

At the Borough Council meeting on Monday, Oct. 2, the borough accepted UGI and PPL’s offer to construct a public park on the site as a beneficial public reuse alternative to provide environmental benefits including preserving plant and animal habitat. The newly completed park contains handicap ramps, stamped asphalt throughout, park benches, park lighting, trash and dog receptacles and landscaping to create an inviting environment. Landscape architects David Christian and Associates assisted with the design of the park.

To ensure the suitability of the site, UGI and PPL jointly conducted an interim remedial action soil and groundwater assessment under oversight of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection from 2012 to 2015. Resulting remedial site decontamination activities included removal and off-site treatment and disposal of approximately 4,095 tons of soil and demolition of a single family home located at 223 W. Main Street adjacent to the site.

The Kiwanis Club of Norlanco-Rheems has agreed to provide routine maintenance of Old Standby Park with volunteer staff. UGI Corp. will continue to operate a natural gas regulation and distribution facility for the borough on the property with access via a driveway to Hopewell Street under a council-granted utility easement.

“This is a beautiful green space in the center of town,” Mayor Tim Bradley said.

Other business transacted by borough council included appointing John Hiestand to the Mount Joy Borough Authority the fill the unexpired term through 2017 of member Robert Golicher, who resigned. Council also voted to modify The Borough Code of Ordinances to limit vehicle weight on South Barbara Street between East Donegal Street and New Street to 13 tons (26,000 pounds) and to limit parking on sections of Main Street and South Lemon Street.

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