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Mount Joy Twp. Affirms It Wants to Renew Pact for Recreation Authority

Mount Joy Township supervisors have voted to declare that the township plans to remain a part of Greater Elizabethtown Area Recreation & Community Services.

The 4-1 vote was made at the supervisors meeting on Monday, Dec. 17, Debra E. Dupler dissenting. Dupler said the township should review the matter before deciding it wants to remain a part of GEARS.

The recreation authority is a consortium of Mount Joy Township, West Donegal Township, Elizabethtown Borough and the Elizabethtown Area School District. The school district and West Donegal Township want to make changes to the agreement before agreeing to renew it.

The current 10-year agreement ends on Dec. 31, 2019, but was set to renew automatically for 10 years unless one party gives notice to withdraw by Feb. 28, 2019. The school district gave such a notice in a letter from school board President Terry L. Seiders. The letter said the school district wants to continue its partnership with GEARS, but will need to change the terms of the agreement to do so.

Seiders’ letter said there are four items of concern. First, the school district wants to eliminate its $25,000 contribution. Second, it wants a 3 percent charge on revenue from GEARS’ before- and after-school child care programs in the school buildings. Third, it wants to charge rent for office space in school buildings, and finally, it wants a shorter renewal term to provide more flexibility.

West Donegal Township Manager John O. Yoder III said at his township’s meeting on Monday, Dec. 10, that he wanted to see a renewal term of five years or less and to use U.S. Census Bureau figures for population,rather than the school district’s figures, when dividing costs.

Mount Joy Township Manager Justin Evans said at his township’s meeting on Monday, Dec. 17, that he saw no issue with using U.S. Census Bureau figures.

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