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Mount Joy Borough Council Eases Its Sidewalk Mandate

By HERB LANDAU

Special to the Advocate

The Mount Joy Borough Council agreed to give homeowners two years to install sidewalks once told by the borough to do so instead of the 120-day deadline that existed before, but deferred action on a proposal to allow cheaper asphalt paving instead of concrete or brick.

More than 60 residents attended the Borough Council meeting on Monday, Aug. 5, which was moved from the borough office to the nearby St. Mark’s United Methodist Church to accommodate the crowd.Council’s Public Works Committee proposed five amendments to the 1989 ordinance requiring that homeowners install and maintain sidewalks and curbs at their own expense upon street repaving. Three were adopted and action on the other two was deferred until the September meeting.

The adopted amendments extend the time to conform from 120 days to 24 months, make the borough responsible for paying for new curbing to conform to stormwater management requirements and make the borough responsible for wheelchair access ramps, except for new developments.

In addition to an amendment to allow for asphalt sidewalks, an amendment to give homeowners 90 days to request a deferment was not voted on. Action on both was delayed until the September meeting.

Brad Stewart of the Lancaster County Planning Commission and Jocelynn Ritchey of the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority advised council that county grant opportunities should be considered in redrafting its sidewalks ordinance.

The council has proposed that that alleys and 62 borough streets be totally or partially exempt from the sidewalk and curbs requirement.

The exemptions are on the borough’s website and were listed in the July 11 issue of the Advocate.

Also at the August meeting of the Borough Council, it was announced that the borough garage at 15 E. Main St. will be replaced by a parking lot.

In another matter, councilors agreed to a request from a Make-A-Wish Foundation truck convoy to go through the borough on May 10, 2020, which is Mother’s Day. The new 24-mile route will begin at the Manheim Auto Auction, go through Rapho Township and Mount Joy Borough and back to the Manheim Auto Auction.

The convoy is a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. The 2019 convoy raised more than$600,000, enough to fund almost all the wishes granted in the Susquehanna Valley that year. The convoy began in 1990, when a local wish kid wished to ride in a trailer truck and talk on the CB radio with his sister. Truck drivers gathered together to help grant the wish. The event has raised millions of dollars in the decades since and has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Main Street Mount Joy’s Dave Schell facilitated the Make-A-Wish convoy’s request. When asked how many trucks to expect, he replied, “Twenty-four continuous miles of trucks with no breaks.”

The next meeting of the Mount Joy Borough Council is at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 9. It normally meets on the first Monday of the month, but that day conflicts with the Labor Day holiday this year.

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