Sunday, August 20, 2017

Columbia students will not have indoor recess during eclipse

At last Thursday's school board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Robert Hollister addressed the district's policy for the upcoming solar eclipse on Monday, August 21. Hollister announced that students in the Columbia Borough School District will not be held inside for recesses, unless parents make such a request. Hollister said the danger of looking at the eclipse is the same as looking at the sun on any other day. "There's no significant danger to students if they're outside," he said.  Students will be dismissed at the normal time on Monday.

According to the website, a partial solar eclipse will begin in Lancaster County on Monday, August 21, at 1:18 p.m. It will reach maximum at 2:42 p.m. and end at 3:59 p.m. for a total duration of two hours and 41 minutes. The website also features an animation simulating the eclipse.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Lancaster man accused of attempting to break into Columbia home

A 41-year-old Lancaster man was allegedly captured on surveillance video attempting to break into the home of a friend's residence in Columbia early Tuesday morning, according to West Hempfield Township police.

Pipeline builder strikes out in early bid for Columbia nuns' land

The nuns say Transco, a subsidiary of Atlantic Sunrise builder Williams Partners, should have no right to take their property because Transco is a private, for-profit company seeking financial gain.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mayor Lutz featured in video about improving water company

“Bay 101: Monitoring and Modeling the Chesapeake Bay" features Mayor Lutz and includes many beautiful shots taken in Columbia. Mayor Lutz is active in the Pennsylvania delegation of the Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) to the Chesapeake Executive Council. The video discusses tools to determine what local communities can do to improve water quality both locally and downstream.


Couple blames borough for flooding on their property

Lindsey Brenner tells council Monday night that a drainage problem at her 1020 Cloverton Drive property is the the borough's responsibility.

A Columbia couple angrily confronted borough council Monday night over an ongoing dispute about a retention basin on their property. At issue is who is responsible to fix a drainage problem with the basin. The couple, Tim Hess and Lindsey Brenner, claim rainwater often floods their 1020 Cloverton Drive property due to an improperly placed drain pipe. They believe responsibility lies with the borough to fix the problem.

Armed with documentation and photographs, Hess and Brenner said that despite appearing at three council meetings over the last four months, they have not had their concerns addressed. "I want to ask you, if this was in your backyard, if you would be okay with it, because you wouldn't," Brenner told council.

Hess said he cannot address the problem himself, because part of the pipe is under the state's jurisdiction. He said that if he would attempt a fix, he would get fined, because the pipe "goes into PennDOT."

"How do you want me to fix a borough and state issue?" Hess asked council. He also said that a retention basin should be able to be mowed, noting that six- to seven-foot cattails are growing in the basin.

Council President Kelly Murphy explained that the borough is not responsible for maintaining the basin. He suggested their attorney contact the borough solicitor. Brenner asked why they should have to spend $3,000 to hire an attorney to have the borough fix a pipe.

Brenner said a letter she received from Public Works Director Ron Miller acknowledges a problem with the basin, specifically a water problem on the surface and a drainage problem. The couple said the borough's engineer told them that no record exists of "how the basin is supposed to be."

Lindsey Brenner, with husband Tim Hess, shows a document to council supporting her claim of responsibility.

Brenner cited a document from the Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds stating the problem is the borough's, because the pipe and the drainage are specific to Columbia Borough. Brenner said information on the street's dedication is somewhere in borough meeting minutes from that date.

Brenner argued that a legal binding document was filed with the county when the signed the deed for the property. Borough Manager Greg Sahd, however, pointed out that the document was not signed by the borough. Borough Solicitor Robert Pfannebecker agreed with Sahd, saying that somebody else put that language in the deed, which the borough did not agree to.

"It's a legal argument that should be resolved by your attorney talking to us." Pfannebecker said.

Lindsey Brenner chides council about 
having to hire an attorney 
to fix a drainage problem on her property.

More information on this issue, including a video of the affected area, can be found at Columbia news, views & reviews HERE.