Monday, May 31, 2021

Some recent photos from around Columbia

Remember the price paid.

Happy Memorial Day!

A group from F3nation walked 10 miles Monday morning (May 31).
According to their website:
"F3 is a national network including 2,664 free, peer-led workouts for men in 177 regions. Our mission is to plant, grow and serve small workout groups for men for the invigoration of male community leadership."

Here they come.

And there they go.

Here's their info.

At the Holy Trinity Cemetery

Art in the Gardens coming 2nd Saturday in June

Now hiring a truck driver . . .

. . . at Winter Equipment Corporation

Let's hope he (or she) is better than the ones who drove their trucks over the curb at 5th & Chestnut.

A cryptic message at Florence & Barber

Here's the other side.

And here's the bridge. This bridge was under construction within recent memory.
How long are bridges supposed to last?

The goslings are growing.

One of many coal cars rolling through recently.
Trump liked "clean coal." 😆

When you absolutely, positively want to go by yourself.

Out at the Hambones

A bird perching on an eyelet on a bridge pier

Hangin' down at the tracks

They're making pickups stronger these days.

Looking lush along Shawnee Run

The creek is narrowing, the result of a recent stream restoration project there.

There's that awful thing again.

Takin' it slow

Self-propelled only

Out on the river

Another look at the ol' 611 rolling through

Mourning dove, late morning

Crying for help, which we'll all be doing when taxes go up again

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Councilman Stevens follows up on McGinness property comments

Following up on my comments on the McGinness property, here is a link to the video:

So watch from 56:43 to 57:53, timeline. Now this wasn't the only reason I say no to this. There are also other reasons. One was I do try to listen to comments from our taxpayers and I have to decide for myself if it really would be a good thing. Yes, it would be good thing, but not with tax money, and like some have said, the borough should not be in the real estate business. Now, if we had a meeting and 5 companies showed up and said, we don't want to buy the whole thing but we want in there, I'd say OK let's do it, but you don't hear any names. So I don't see at this point any reason to buy it on a big IF or Maybe. But I'm only one vote.

Howard Stevens
Columbia Borough Council

Friday, May 28, 2021

Columbia Borough, school district discuss developing broadband network | Community News |

Borough council and school board members said they want to work together to develop a private LTE internet network to bring broadband access to students and possibly borough offices, homes and businesses. The move would allow users to pay less for internet service. In addition, the two groups will join to improve school safety.

Columbia council discusses liquor license transfer | Community News |

Columbia Borough council meeting, May 25.

Council members unanimously denied letting a restaurant transfer its liquor license to Columbia after a Susquehanna Regional police officer described a shooting and fight March 26 at its previous location in East Donegal Township. Nine police officers who responded to a 911 call found visibly inebriated patrons fighting in the parking lot.

"How can we be assured that if we let you have a liquor license in this municipality, it won't happen again?" asked council President Heather Zink.

Francisco Cisneros, one of the four owners of Level Up on Locust Street, told council members that restaurant inexperience led to the brawl and two previous citations for refilling liquor bottles and allowing a minor to serve alcohol. "We won't do that again," he said. "We ask you for a chance to do business here."

O'Lions LLC, which operates the eatery, moved to Columbia after it lost its lease following the brawl. The restaurant featured a local disc jockey March 25, and the East Donegal location soon became overcrowded. Fights broke out, and witnesses heard gunshots. Jeremy Kauffman, a Susquehanna Regional police officer, responded to a 911 call. He told council members that officers found 12 bullet casings in the parking lot and arrested three people.

Cisneros said owners were unsure about whether they would continue to operate Level Up without a liquor license in Columbia or move to another city and request a license transfer. Pennsylvania allows one liquor license per 3,000 residents. After that, licenses must receive approval from cities.


At the joint meeting with the school board, there was a discussion on buying the McGinness property. When this first started, and seeing what would go in there and still might, I was excited, even though I was against the borough being in the real estate business. I am, and will be, in favor of any business coming to Columbia. The problem is every time this issue is discussed information changes. At the meeting on Monday and hearing comments discussed, it was the last straw. You have to go and listen to it, and after hearing it tell me what you think, your take on it.

As of right now I can't vote yes to buy the property. This project will cost millions and one example is, councilwoman Lintner asked about the $15,000+ spent on attorney fees for April and they said that most of it was for this property. I admit I approved everything to go forward with this deal, but after Monday night, I'm sorry I can't do it. Your thoughts?

You know, if there was $2.5 million to blow, we could reduce our taxes by 2 mills for the next 3 years. Now that would help the homeowners and businesses in town, starting next year, not maybe if we get business in the McGinness property.

Columbia Market House reopens Memorial Day weekend after a $3.5M renovation; here's what to expect | What's in store |

The building at 15 S. Third St. in the borough closed in December 2017 to undergo $3.5 million in construction and renovation paid for with a combination of state and local funds.

The grand opening of the 9,000-square-foot market house on Saturday will highlight 20 vendors offering locally sourced products such as meats, baked goods, produce, juice and fresh flowers. All vendors will be open for business.

The 100-seat restaurant will operate from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, and 5-9 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Columbia woman ran through hospital, kicked cop in attempt to avoid arrest: police | Local News |

A Columbia woman broke free from police and ran through a crowded hospital, later kicking a cop who was trying to arrest her when she was taken to the ground, according to Lancaster County Detectives.

Allison Catherine Neil, 20, was charged with aggravated assault, escape and resisting arrest.

Neil was being treated at Lancaster General Hospital at 555 North Duke Street for undisclosed reasons on April 25 when police arrived to inform her that she would be arrested on two outstanding warrants, both for drug charges in East Hempfield Township, once she was medically cleared, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Neil then asked to use the restroom at around 1:40 p.m., and proceeded to walk past her room on the way back five minutes later, police said.

An officer attempted to grab Neil's arm, but she broke free and ran through the crowded hospital until she was eventually taken to the ground, according to the affidavit. Neil then kicked the officer three to four times during a struggle and refused to give him her hands to be secured in handcuffs.

The officer sustained scrapes to his arms and knees, police said.

Neil was confined to Lancaster County Prison on Wednesday after she was unable to post a $200,000 bail, court records show. She also faces two separate bails of $50,000 each for the charges in East Hempfield Township.
Neil will face a preliminary hearing on June 7 before Judge Andrew LeFever, according to court records. She will also face a preliminary hearing on June 1 before Judge Brian Chudzik for the drug charges.


Columbia school board member resigns; replacement sought | Community News |

Kyle Jensen has resigned as a member of the school board effective immediately. Because Jensen decided to move to a home outside the district, he is no longer eligible to serve on the school board. State law requires that every board member reside within the district they serve. Jensen was appointed Oct. 15 last year as the successor to Cole Knighton, who abruptly resigned in September.

To fill this open seat, the district will announce a vacancy on its website and welcome residents to apply for the position by June 4. The board expects to fill the vacancy at its June 17 board meeting. The appointed member will serve until Dec. 6.


Buckle Up, Buttercup - TownLively

A team of students at Columbia High School recently won a contest sponsored by State Farm and The Center for Traffic Safety to design a billboard promoting safe driving. Their winning design in the No Excuses Youth Traffic Safety Billboard Design Contest encourages drivers to "Buckle Up Buttercup" with a message that "Seatbelts = Safety."

Advised by Jere A. Hill, the team was comprised of Mackenzie Burke, Ethan Schmitt and Stephen Huang. The design features a teddy bear buckled into its seat next to a red heart containing the billboard's message. The billboard is located off of Route 30 in Lancaster, near the Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham, 2045 Lincoln Highway East.


Current Primary Election Results for Columbia Borough



Wednesday, May 26, 2021

After an army of oversized loads, curbing is crushed - but who pays?


A intermittent caravan of well over a dozen oversized loads (large modulars on flatbeds) passed through Columbia during the past week, heading west on Route 462. In the process, the curbing at the corner of North 5th and Chestnut was severely damaged. The question now is, Who pays to repair the damage? Columbia Borough has traditionally held that the owner of the adjacent property is responsible for maintaining sidewalks, curbs, etc.

Norfolk and Western 611 rolls through Columbia on its way to Strasburg

The Norfolk and Western 611, also known as the "Spirit of Roanoke" and the "Queen of Steam" rolled through Columbia shortly after noontime today, after leaving Enola late this morning. Assisted by a diesel locomotive and accompanied by several cars, the steam-powered 611 was on its way to the Strasburg Rail Road, where it will be on display. (It was previously in Strasburg in the fall of 2019.) The locomotive was restored in 1982 and 2015.


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Monday, May 24, 2021

Agendas differ for joint meeting of council and school board

 Columbia Borough Council and the Columbia Borough School Board will hold a joint meeting on Monday evening, May 24, 2021. However, agendas for the two bodies are not consistent, as shown below:

Joint meeting agenda from Columbia Borough website.

Joint meeting agenda from Columbia Borough School District website

Saturday, May 22, 2021

The Susquehanna gets a shot of shad Saturday afternoon

The Susquehanna got a shot of shad Saturday afternoon at Columbia River Park. The fish were released from a large tank, and in less than a minute the mission was accomplished. The Fish and Boat Commission often stocks the river at Columbia. Last September, eels were released from the same location. (See the two photos at the end of this post.)

Eels were released at the boat ramp last September: