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Elizabethtown Borough Approves Bid for Long-Delayed Public Works Garage

The Elizabethtown Borough Council voted unanimously to approve a low bid of about $3.73 million for construction of a new public works garage.

The borough’s public works department is using a dilapidated garage that was once an auto dealership. The existing garage is too small for all the public works vehicles to be parked inside, so some vehicles are parked outside, exposed to the weather, shortening their useful life. The project has been in the works for many years, with all bids rejected a previous time when they turned out to be substantially more than the borough wanted to spend.

Four bids were received; the other three were all substantially higher, about $4.18 million, $4.24 million and $4.44 million. Assistant Borough Manager Ann Roda told councilors at their meeting on Thursday, Aug. 16, that the borough had never dealt with low bidder cciConstruction LLC before, so she contacted several other municipalities who had done business with the company and all said they were satisfied with the company’s work.

“I was ready to get up and dance on the desk,” Councilor Tom Shaud said at the end of the meeting when describing his reaction to the long-delayed project finally having bid approval. He did not actually dance on a desk.

In other business, councilors voted unanimously to approve advertising a proposed ordinance to be voted on at the work session on Thursday, Sept. 6, that would allow people to put out three trash cans or bags up to 32 gallons in volume and 30 pounds in weight without paying for excess trash service starting on Jan. 1. Currently, the borough only allows one trash can or bag that size without paying extra, but with the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority cutting back on items accepted for recycling, the borough concluded that people now need to throw more things in the trash.

Several people spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting about problems with sewage backups during recent heavy rainstorms. Lauren Libhart said her home on North Mount Joy Street near the fire station had gotten 14 inches of sewage backed up into the basement. Council President Marc Hershey said part of the problem might be that people are draining sump pumps into the sanitary sewer system even though that is not allowed. He said it is important to educate the public about sewage backups. Hershey said sump pumps are not the only problem; another is that floor drains in basements connect to sanitary sewers, meaning flooded basements will cause big additions to what the sanitary sewers handle.

The Borough Council is to have a joint meeting with elected officials from Conoy, West Donegal and Mount Joy townships at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30, at the newly renovated Bainbridge Elementary School. Hershey noted that county President Judge Dennis E. Reinaker is to attend that meeting, where a hearing will be held for public comment on the proposal to eliminate the magisterial district court in Elizabethtown.

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