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Elizabethtown Borough Considers Improvements to Little-Used Park

The Elizabethtown Borough Council heard a presentation about how the borough can comply with a mandate from the state to reduce sediment into tributaries of the Susquehanna River.

Michael LaSala, a senior project manager with Lititz-based Land Studies Inc., recommended that the borough make improvements to Hickory Lane Park, a passive recreational park between Conoy Avenue and Mulberry Street. LaSala told councilors at their meeting on Thursday, June 6, that by restoring the original floodplain of the Conoy Creek running through the park, the borough could reduce sediment by 120,000 pounds. He said that was the most cost-effective way the borough could reduce sediment using property it owns. Using borough-owned property would avoid the challenges of getting private land owners to cooperate.

Council President Marc Hershey said he would like to see a walking path through the park as well as sports fields, since it would be nice to have recreation options in that part of town.

Councilor Phil Clark said people who live nearby should be consulted so they feel like they’re part of the process.

“It’s a beautiful area there, but it’s very underused,” Clark said

Councilor Tom Shaud said if money is spent to improve the park, it should be enjoyed by the public.

“The whole project should be publicly accessible,” Shaud said.

Councilman Neil Ketchum said he grew up catching crayfish in the creek, but they are not there anymore. LaSala said the creek could possibly be stocked with trout and a fishing platform built for public use.

In other business, councilors voted unanimously to extend the deadline for completion of Masonic Drive for dedication as a public street from July 31 to Oct. 31, to accept the low bid of $58,925 for constructing a pedestrian walkway along a block of South Mount Joy Street and to waive a $650 fee for a conditional use application for to apply to operate a child care center from the Cornerstone Youth Center building across the street from the train station.

Councilors also discussed the financial problems faced by Northwest Emergency Medical Services, noting that some ambulance companies have not gone public with their problems until they are months away from having to close down. They lauded Northwest EMS for approaching local governments before the problem becomes an imminent crisis.

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