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West Donegal Rethinks Length of Recreation Authority Agreement

While discussing the budget for 2019, West Donegal Township supervisors brought up the possibility of changing the automatic renewal of an agreement with other municipalities for a recreation authority.

As it stands, the agreement for Greater Elizabethtown Area Recreation & Community Services automatically renews for a 10-year period unless one of the parties to it gives notice to withdraw or to change it. In addition to West Donegal Township, GEARS currently serves Mount Joy Township and Elizabethtown Borough. Conoy Township had previously been a partner in GEARS, but has withdrawn.

At the township supervisors workshop on Monday, Sept. 24, Supervisors Chairman Roger Snyder suggested seeking a shorter renewal cycle. Township Manager John O. Yoder III noted that the agreement with West Donegal Township for the Northwest Lancaster County Regional Police Department has a three-year renewal cycle; Snyder said a three-year renewal for GEARS is also a possibility.

Any of the three municipalities must give notice that it wants to change the agreement by Feb. 28, 2019, to stop it from renewing automatically at the end of 2019.

“We’re on the hook for next year,” Yoder said, noting that the township must pay an estimated $113,500 to the recreation authority in 2019, but that things could change for 2020 and beyond.

Also at the meeting, Yoder gave an update on a bridge carrying West Ridge Road over a drainage channel near Southwoods Drive, saying he was frustrated that a road closure that was supposed to be done in two weeks has taken nearly two months. Yoder said paving and guide rail work needs to be accomplished on both sides of the road and the road edges need to be capped with additional paving. He said the contractor promised to finish the work on Tuesday, Oct. 9, through Thursday, Oct. 11.

In other business, all supervisors present voted to authorize paying a bill for a fuel card online instead of by check, as most township bills are paid. Yoder said the company would not allow the township to have 30 days to pay the bill, meaning the account was repeatedly getting cut off, so the fuel cards would not work. The motion was approved by Snyder as well as Supervisors Eric W. Kreider and John E. Martin II; Supervisors Douglas Hottenstein and Philip Dunn were absent from the meeting.

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