Friday, June 11, 2021

Columbia school spending up nearly $5 million, with no tax increase

The board reviewed changes to its proposed general fund budget for the 2021-22 school year. Although the district now estimates a $4.84 million rise in total spending, there will be no tax increase.


The PHARE funding announcement comes two weeks after the Lancaster County Land Bank Authority and the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority each received grants for demolition projects in Columbia through the Blight Remediation Program at Department of Community and Economic Development.

The land bank’s award of $49,000 will help fund demolitions at South Fifth Street and Avenue H in Columbia. The redevelopment authority’s $39,000 grant will help pay for a demolition at 323 Locust St. in Columbia.

Thursday, June 10, 2021


Elizabethtown police and Northwest Regional police will join East Cocalico, Lititz, Manheim Borough, Strasburg, Northern Lancaster County Regional and Lancaster city police in using body cameras. The city was the first law enforcement agency out of the roughly two dozen in the county to begin using them in May 2019.

Tails and Tales Thursday, June 10, at the Locust Street Park Gazebo


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Another vehicle into a porch - in the same block as before


A vehicle crashed into a small concrete porch on the 1100 block of Lancaster Avenue shortly after 4 o'clock this afternoon. Based on tire tracks, the BMW 323i was apparently heading west on Lancaster Avenue when it crossed into the eastbound lane and onto the sidewalk. According to the dispatch sheet (shown below), there were no injuries. Three weeks ago, a similar accident occurred when a vehicle took out two porches on the same block, as Columbia Spy reported HERE.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021


The Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce is on the verge of bankruptcy, and its president asked Wrightsville Borough Council on June 7 for approximately $15,000 "as a gift, as a donation, as a grant" to help keep the chamber afloat.

Jeanne Cooper spoke at council's regular meeting and said that the chamber has been unable to hold events that generate revenue because of restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. And without any income, she said, they can't pay executive director Rachel Stebbins, who resigned.

Cooper is seeking $45,000 to $47,000 from the municipalities the chamber represents — Wrightsville, York County, and Marietta and Columbia — and is asking them each to pay one-third. She plans on visiting each town's borough council to make an official request.

June 2021 Calendar of Events at the Library


Green Dreamz organizers plead guilty to blocking roadways during July Columbia protest

Three members of Green Dreamz, a self-described non-profit civil rights group, pleaded guilty Monday to blocking traffic during a protest last summer in Columbia.

Carlos Jimenez Jr., 23, Alaak Deu, 22, and Justin Pitt, 20, were each fined $100 and ordered to pay prosecution costs after each pleaded guilty to a single count of obstructing a highway. They entered their pleas before Lancaster County Judge Donald Totaro. 

According to the prosecutor's office, Columbia police met with Green Dreamz a week before the demonstration and told them they would be charged if they blocked public roadways. 

Members were also told that they couldn't meet in Makle Park unless they got a permit from the borough. 

The group told police at the time that they wouldn't be abiding by the directives, the district attorney's office said.



Valley View Capital LLC and Eli S. King conveyed property on a public road to Jesse E. Stoltzfoos for $115,000.

Kevin M. Splain and Lisa M. Splain conveyed property on Ninth Street to Lisa M. Splain for $1.

Idubin Vargas conveyed 633 Fairview Ave. to Patrick R. Hanson for $89,900.

Keith D. Lutz and Angela M. Lutz conveyed 201 S. Ninth St. to Kleen Rite Real Estate for $1.

Michael McKonly, Patricia B. McKonly and Pat B. McKonly conveyed property on South Ninth Street to Kleen Rite Real Estate for $1.

J&S Properties Inc. conveyed property on a public road to Milne Properties LLC for $234,000.

Wilmer H. Zimmerman Jr, Laurie D. Zimemrman and Laurie D. Zimmerman conveyed 238 S. Second St. to Valley View Capital LLC for $59,000.

Christine L. Borden and The estate of John W. Shenk conveyed property on a public road to James D. McCune and Lavenna McCune for $250,000.

Ill Holdings LLC and Jesus Gonzalez conveyed property on North Third Street to Jhonattan Rogelio Pareja for $249,000.

Kelli A. Karr conveyed 126 Eighth St. to Kelli A. Karr and Amelia Lack for $1.

Michael L. McKonly, Patricia B. McKonly and Pat B. McKonly conveyed property on Blunston Street to 257 S. 9th St. LLC and Lutz KR LLC for $1.

FHG 92 LLC and Wesley R. Funk conveyed 530 Manor St. to Gabrielle Barger for $200,350.

Kip Properties LLC conveyed property on Lancaster Avenue to 846 Lancaster Ave. LLC for $551,250.

Vincent H. Heaps and Janet L. Heaps conveyed property on Locust Street to Highlands Real Estate LLC for $277,500.

Thomas R. Arndt conveyed 511 Locust St. to Alisia Charter for $130,000.

Timothy D. Slaymaker conveyed 411 Union St. to Aaron J. Dietz for $69,900.

Michael L. McKonly, 257 S. 9th St. LLC and Patricia B. McKonly conveyed 257 S. Ninth St. to Lutz KR LLC and KR Lutz LLC for $600,000.

Kleen Rite Real Estate, Keith D. Lutz and Michael L. McKonly conveyed 1000 Houston St. to 1000 Houston Street LLC for $200,000.

Michael L. McKonly, 257 S. 9th St. LLC and Patricia B. McKonly conveyed 231 S. Ninth St. to Lutz KR LLC and KR Lutz LLC for $150,000.

Paul E. McCauley Jr. and Christine A. McCauley conveyed 637 Manor St. to James P. Perry for $60,000.

Michael L. McKonly, Patricia B. McKonly and 257 S. 9th St. LLC conveyed property on South Ninth Street to Lutz KR LLC and KT Lutz LLC for $250,000.

Agenda - Columbia Borough Council Meeting - June 8, 2021


Download the meeting packet HERE.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Sunday Morning - June 6, 2021

What goes up, must come down

Many Columbia residents saw a balloon from AE Balloon Flights pass over town again this morning, as it did a few weeks ago. Piloting the balloon was Cliff Logan, Jr., who finally brought it down in a field in West Hempfield, to the delight of local spectators.  A crew then walked it onto Birchwood Lane, where they disassembled it and packed it away, as shown in the photos and videos below:

Thursday, June 3, 2021


Hello. I just wanted to clarify you Dollar General post. I am the store manager that resigned. I gave a 2 month notice so this wouldn't happen. I resigned because I am opening my own business. Not for any other reason. When my staff found out I was leaving, they said they weren't going to stay if I was leaving. The store will re-open on Saturday 6/5 at 8am. That is when the new store manager starts. Just thought I would give you the truth. All of the rumors are very inaccurate.

Chad Whitmyer

Thursday afternoon in Columbia - June 3, 2021

Yes, it's true:

Dollar General has closed 
(until further notice, according to a former employee).

Yes, it's true:

The bridge on Mill Street is closed (for another day or so).

Yes, it's true:

The main lot at River Park has become a forbidden zone, 
unless your vehicle has a trailer.

And Parking Enforcement is watching.

And ticketing.
(What are the rules regarding vehicles with handicapped tags?)

And could this be considered a trailer?

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Wells Fargo leaving Columbia June 2; only one bank remains in town

Wells Fargo's last day in Columbia will be June 2, 2021, when the bank will close its doors at noon. Two other banks, Northwest and Union Community Bank, left town in 2018.

BB&T, on the 300 block of Locust Street, will be the last bank standing in Columbia.

'Happily retired, successfully reinvented': Lancaster seniors launch new Gypsy Kitchen at Columbia Market House

Ed Diller and Andy Berfond exemplify how older Lancastrians make the community a more vibrant and dynamic place.

Ed Diller, 71, is the owner and chef at Gypsy Kitchen, which has relocated to Columbia.


Agenda - Columbia Borough Council Work Session - June 1, 2021