Donaldson Fire Co. gets $40K
Published: March 14, 2013
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DONALDSON - It only took a few minutes to reach a unanimous decision, plus the full support of residents in attendance, before the Frailey Township board of supervisors approved a $40,000 donation to the Donaldson Fire Company.
"We're not asking for money, but we'll take it," said fire company president Michael Scheib after presenting the company's plan to purchase a newer fire truck. The truck, he said, would replace the company's 30-year-old straight stick. Scheib informed the board March 5 that the fire company has been biding its time and trying to get a grant to purchase a new truck for the past seven years. He noted that the company's current 30-year mortgage will be paid off in the next three years, or possibly sooner, and when they came across this much newer truck with automatic shift, they decided to make an offer. The company, he said, plans to re-mortgage the fire company for about $100,000 which would increase their current payments about $80 per month for the life of a 20-year loan. According to Scheib, an offer had been made and the members would know within a few weeks if it is accepted.
According to fire chief Ed Kimmel, the old truck will probably be sold to get some money to buy some more equipment. The newer one, he said, has a lot more safety features plus, because it's an automatic, will allow more people to drive it. "It's like comparing a VW to a Mercedes," said Kimmel. "My goal is to see it rolling down the main street on Memorial Day."
With that said, one resident urged the supervisors to make a substantial donation for the purchase. "If you're not paying for the entire truck, give a substantial amount," the resident suggested.
"That's not a problem," said Supervisor Keith Allar. "It's just a matter of dollars and cents." He wrote a number on a piece of paper, passed it to Jack Barnhart, then to the chairman, and by unanimous vote a donation of $40,000 was approved, half of what the new truck will cost if the company's offer is accepted.
After the meeting, Kimmel noted the truck is owned by a fire company located in Walnut Bottom, Cumberland County, near Shippensburg. The biggest sticking point for the sale is the company that owns the truck wants to keep it until June. "We want it in May for our biggest activity," said Kimmel.
A property owner publicly thanked the supervisors for their part in resolving an on-going code issue at a West Philadelphia Street property.
Since June, seven visits have been made to the property by the township's Code Enforcement Officer, resulting in a 'Notice of Violation' being issued at the beginning of December, followed by the issuance of a citation at the end of January.
Last month the property owner requested the supervisors visit the property. After a brief discussion, the board agreed they would do that as long as the owner agreed that the CEO and his supervisor accompany them. Although the CEO's February report did not indicate a resolution, Chairman Allar reported that an agreement had been reached and the citation had been withdrawn.
The CEO has made nine visits to a West Center Street property, also since June, and according to his report, the property owner continues to show progress in the removal of the debris, although the weather is influencing the construction of a garage which will be used for storage.
D. Allar reported the January 25 hearing before the District Justice resulted in a $1,000 fine for the owner of the old factory building. Lewis Graver had been given 30 days to pay, or appeal the decision. At that time, Graver was asked to turn the property over to the township and the fine would be waived. According to solicitor Joseph Zerbe, Graver is appealing the fine and the case will end up in the Schuylkill County court, although he suspects "just in front of a judge". However, the township's engineer, plus two supervisors will have to attend to give testimony.
The building, located at the corner of Martin Street and Cedar Alley, has been determined to be unsafe by the township's engineer and in violation of township Ordinance 2001.2. The inspection, performed by Alfred Benesch, found the building to be beyond repair and it was recommended it be torn down before it falls down. The roof had caved in and the walls were beginning to bulge out. Cones had been placed around the building to alert people to the dangerous situation. The fire company was also asked to post a sign notifying firemen not to enter the building in case of fire.
A meeting with the owner had been held in September 2012 to discuss his plans for the building. When no action was taken, a "Notice of Violation" of the ordinance was issued in October. Graver was then given until December 18 to come up with a plan or legal action would be taken against him.
The recently appointed Local Recovery Manager for the Upper Swatara Watershed presented an update of the flood mitigation projects in the area. One project to establish a flood plain at the Devil's Hole, located at the edge of the village on East Franklin Road, has been awarded a $151,022 grant to design the project. According to Manager William Reichert, by spreading out the water, the flow will be slowed, helping properties down stream from being "hammered". Sediment from this area also washes down stream, he said, all the way to the Cheseapeake Bay. Following his presentation, the board unanimously approved the first of two payments of $3,750 which the board had previously agreed upon to help fund Reichert's part-time position.
In other business,
- the board approved a $500 donation to the Easter Egg Hunt Committee. The event will be held March 23 at 2 p.m. at the Donaldson ballfield. The rain date is March 24.
- two resolutions were approved. One allows the inspection of food establishments in the township by the Health Officer, Lewis Moyer, while the other appointed D. Allar the township's representative to receive and make requests for any and all tax records for official purposes from Berkheimer.
Zerbe reported he had met with Alfred Benesch engineer, Ryan Fasnacht, to discuss the township's Flood Plain Ordinance and it was agreed to hold off enacting an ordinance until the State issues maps.
- the board accepted Zerbe's recommendation to refund $970 to Spectrasite Communitions, the result of a tax assessment appeal the company had won. The tower, it was noted, is located off the Hegins exit of I-81.
- the board approved payment of $43.75 to Lewis Moyer. The amount equals ¼ of the cost of a food safety certification course Moyer is required to take every five years in order to inspect in Frailey and Pine Grove townships and Tremont and Pine Grove boroughs.
- although a police report from the Tremont Police Department was unavailable for February, the January report shows that 31.1 hours of patrolling took place during the month at a cost of $2,021.50.
- one complaint was made concerning heating oil running down a sidewalk. One neighbor had been contacted, but that resident has electric heat. Another will be contacted by roadmaster Allar.