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West Donegal Agrees to Joint Negotiations With Comcast

West Donegal Township supervisors have agreed to join with other municipalities to negotiate jointly with Comcast for the renewal of the cable franchise agreement that expires in March of 2021. A percentage of Comcast’s fees go to the township in exchange for the right to use the township’s right of way for its cables. Currently, the township is getting about $128,000 a year from the arrangement.

Township Manager John O. Yoder III told supervisors at their meeting on Monday, May 13, that the proposal from Cohen Law Group would cost $12,000 if the township were to negotiate individually, but about $7,800 per municipality if 10 municipalities negotiate jointly. Yoder said he expects that there will be 10 municipalities negotiating jointly, but if there are only five or six, it will cost $9,000 per municipality. Supervisors agreed to the proposal with a limit of $9,000.

Also at the meeting, in a 4-1 vote, supervisors agreed to a proposal of $7,287 from George Ely Associates of Carlisle for new steps and walking surfaces for a playground structure on the same property as the township building. Yoder said he was concerned that the old parts were rusting and that a child could get injured. Supervisor Douglas Hottenstein, who cast the lone vote against the motion, said he was concerned about the cost. Supervisor Philip Dunn said he was concerned about liability if someone gets injured. Yoder said if the parts are not replaced, the play structure should be closed; he noted that it is used every day.

Yoder said an extension of Masonic Drive has now been paved all the way to Maytown Road. Since Masonic Drive runs roughly parallel to highly congested South Market Street in Elizabethtown Borough, it is hoped that the alternate route will relieve congestion. The extension was paid for by the Conoy Crossing housing development, which is mostly in Elizabethtown Borough with a small part in West Donegal Township.

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