West Donegal Township supervisors have approved a plan to reduce erosion into the Conoy Creek to comply with a mandate from the state to reduce sediment into tributaries of the Susquehanna River.
The vote by township supervisors on Monday, June 12, came after a presentation by Scott H. Hain, a civil engineer with David Miller Associates who also serves on the Lititz Borough Council, and Michael LaSala, a senior project manager with Lititz-based Land Studies Inc.
LaSala said the township must advertise the plan for public comment and must respond to all comments. LaSala said even a comment like, “It’s a very nice plan” requires a response from the township — in that case, he said, the response could be as simple as, “Thank you,” but the township must respond.
The township’s plan involves working with several landowners to deal with things that are causing erosion into the creek. The township has backup plans in case some landowners change their minds about cooperating; the township cannot force landowners to ccoperate.
In some stretches of the creek, trees have fallen over, contributing to erosion that pollutes the creek, then the Susquehanna River it feeds into, and then the Chesapeake Bay. The state Department of Environmental Protection has mandated that local governments address water quality because of pressure from the federal government to improve the water quality of the Chesapeake.
Township supervisors noted that neighboring Conoy Township is pursuing a waiver from the mandate, but LaSala said that is not realistic for West Donegal given that it has a large amount of urbanized area, mostly in the portion immediately around Elizabethtown Borough.
“I would bet everybody in this room a steak dinner we will not get a waiver,” LaSala said.
In other business, supervisors approved a variety of waivers for a plan to build a warehouse near the Nordstrom distribution center in the Conewago Industrial Park. Brian Cooley of the engineering firm D.C. Gohn said the building could have 100 people working there on the busiest shifts. Cooley said the building does not have a tenant lined up yet, but construction is expected to start within months.