Thursday, July 29, 2021

"Tails & Tales" at the Locust Street Park Gazebo - Thursday, July 29, 6 p.m.


Wrightsville Borough Council discusses moving public comment to end of meetings

Some council members said Eastern York school board and Columbia Borough Council have two times for public comment, one for items on the agenda at the beginning of the meeting and one at the end of the meeting for items not on the agenda.

Bair made a motion for Wrightsville to structure its public comments the same way. The motion died for lack of a second.

Council President Eric J. White said the public could call the borough office and get on the agenda prior to a meeting — allowing them to speak at the beginning of the meeting.



Brandon K. Aston, Amanda N. Keller Aston and Amanda N. Keller Aston conveyed property on a public road to Christina Chan for $196,500.

Archduke Investments LLC and Adam Aloisi conveyed property on South Ninth Street to Harry Marin for $125,000.

Florence Z. Bostic conveyed property on a public road to Integrity First Home Buyers LLC for $55,500.

A. & W. Southern York LLC conveyed property on a public road to Malachi Simpson for $180,000.

Tanya B. Minnick conveyed 120 S. Third St. to Integrity First Home Buyers LLC for $99,000.

Michael J. Stephenson, William B. Stephenson Jr. and Charlotte E. Doehner conveyed 255 N. Ninth St. to Ashley R. Scritchfield for $125,000.

Jonathan P. Hess and Alix Jadine Hess conveyed 733 Walnut St. to Kevin Simms Jr. for $155,000.

Daniel P. Shade conveyed 125 Bethel St. to Integrity First Home Buyers LLC for $82,500.

Michael D. Guiles Jr. and Benjamin T. Guiles conveyed property on Maple Street to Michael D. Torchia and Marjorie A. Torchia for $215,000.

YOUR ANIMALS ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY | Columbia Borough Police Department

Your animals are your responsibility.  We know you LOVE them!! Please protect them by keeping them cool and providing plenty of food and fresh water. Please be diligent and make sure there is no way your animal(s) can escape. The fine for animals found at large in Columbia Borough is $50.00.  The Columbia Borough Police Department will keep them for 2-3hrs (if the animal is not aggressive) before transporting them to the Columbia Animal Hospital.  If the animal is transported to the Animal Hospital there is an addition charge of $20.00 per day.

Sourced via CRIMEWATCH®

Low Pay, No Benefits, Rude Customers: Restaurant Workers Quit At Record Rate

Low wages are the most common reason people cite for leaving food service work. But in one recent survey, more than half of hospitality workers who've quit said no amount of pay would get them to return.

That's because for many, leaving food service had a lot to do also with its high-stress culture: exhausting work, unreliable hours, no benefits and so many rude customers.


Average wages for nonmanagers at restaurants and bars hit $15 an hour in May, but many say no amount of pay would get them to return. They are leaving at the highest rate in decades. 

Human remains found in Susquehanna River


Police in Lancaster County are investigating after remains and various belongings were found in the Susquehanna River.

Police said they received a call from a boater Sunday afternoon. The boater reported finding human bones above Ely Island in Conoy Township.


Donate school supplies for CBSD and OLA students


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Borough isn't legally required to do home inspections, but council votes to keep doing them anyway

Screenshot from Columbia Borough Facebook livestream of July 27, 2021 meeting

In a 4-3 vote, Council decided Tuesday to continue requiring home sale inspections, also known as "Point of Sale" inspections, in the borough.

[According to current code, the homeowner or realtor is responsible to notify the borough when a home is put on the market for sale. The code department then completes an inspection on the property at the owner's expense.]

Councilwoman Sharon Lintner raised the issue, noting that Columbia Borough is not legally required to carry out the inspections and that eliminating them would help alleviate the financial obligation to taxpayers. She also argued it would reduce code employees' workload, allowing them to focus on rental inspections.

"We have no legal requirement obligating the borough to do these inspections," Lintner said, noting information she received from borough solicitor Evan Gabel.

Lancaster City, West Hempfield Township, and the boroughs of Lititz, Warwick, Manheim, Mount Joy, Marietta are some of the municipalities not requiring the inspections, according to Lintner. She asked if Columbia is any safer than these boroughs because of the inspection requirement.

[NOTE: There was a recent discussion of code department staffing because of an inspection backlog due to Covid. From the July 6, 2021 meeting minutes:
"Councilperson Burgard suggested hiring a full-time inspector for the code department to get caught up in rental inspections that fell behind due to Covid. Councilperson Stevens suggested hiring a temporary part-time person so that the costs due [sic] not exceed the budgeted dollar amount for staffing in the code department."]

Lintner said she found that the deeds recorded year-to-date do not match up with the number of homes that were actually inspected. In fact, only about half the number of homes sold were inspected. She said this creates an arbitrary situation which is unfair to some, especially because fees are attached to the inspections, specifically $100 for the inspection and another $100 for the certificate of occupancy. In addition, there is a $50 re-inspect fee if infractions are found during the initial inspection.

Lintner also noted that home sale inspections (year to date) exceeded the rental inspections, according to the code report dated June 2021.

Part-time code inspector Dale Dommel also attended the meeting and strongly supported continuing the inspections, citing safety issues and moral obligation.

"We may not be legally bound to do this, but I think we're morally bound to do it," Dommel said.

In a rambling discourse, Dommel provided anecdotes to council about his experiences in various properties including one in which he found several cans of fuel oil in a resident's basement.

When questioned, Dommel said he does not inspect foundations or electrical panels even though those items are listed on the inspection sheet posted on the borough's website. Dommel appeared to contradict his argument on the necessity of inspections by suggesting they are not especially stringent, some being completed in as little as 15 minutes. He also admitted that he sometimes points out issues not listed on the sheet.

Ultimately, the motion to abolish the ordinance failed in a 4-3 vote, with Peter Stahl, Eric Kauffman, Fran FitzGerald, and Todd Burgard voting to keep doing the inspections, and Lintner, Heather Zink, and Howard Stevens voting to eliminate them.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Monday, July 26th, in Scenic Columbia

Faded sign for the Visitors Center, which is appropriate.

Columbia's getting another smoke shop.

A donation bin.
With lots of donations.
Of all kinds.

Coating for the ATM drive-through at Columbia Plaza

A few hours later, it looked like this.

Ticket, please!
No exceptions!

494 Manor is finally for sale.

Looks like an Air Force One plane

This is known as a "gentrification font."

It's being seen more and more around town.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Agenda - Columbia Borough Council Meeting - July 27, 2021


Download the meeting packet HERE.

PHOTOS: Weekend Wrap-Up (July 25, 2021)

Clock at the former Visitors Center on Linden Street

There's it is, home of the former SVCC.
This plaque gives some information about the property.

This Chinook was flying low on Friday morning.

So low, in fact, you could almost reach out and touch it.

There's that balloon again.

It floated over Columbia Saturday morning.

It ended up over Columbia High School.

Passengers inspect the landing zone.

Coming down

Touchdown in the CHS parking lot

Another successful flight!

Courtesy of AE Balloon Flights

Columbia Spy reported on a previous flight HERE.


The Market House -  Stop in, eat a sandwich, help our taxes.

Uh-oh! What's wrong with this picture?

The ever-weedy 300 block of Avenue G

A Wells Fargo ATM is coming to the Columbia Plaza.

It will be a drive-through.

Columbia has one bank left in town: BB&T.
A BB&T just closed in East Prospect (shown above) this past week.
[Submitted photo]

The Catholic War Vets got a cannon.

"Specialist Toccara R. Green" is printed on the barrel. Green is believed to be Maryland’s first woman soldier killed in combat in Iraq.

King of the lawn

Deer were out and about this morning.


Riding a wheelie on Linden
[Submitted photo and video]

There he goes!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Some recent photos of scenic Columbia

At CVS . . .
The weeds are as high as an elephant's eye -
a baby elephant's anyway. 
"Welcome to the Jungle"

Speaking of jungles, here's the Eberly Myers property at the bottom of Locust Street.
The plan was for a 33-unit apartment building to be constructed here.
That was back in 2017.
Part of the backstory is on Columbia Spy HERE.

Here's what it looks like along Bank Avenue.
According to borough ordinance, uncontrolled weeds are considered a public nuisance.

Yeah, but who cares for Columbia?

Touching up above Level Up

Allegiant Airlines flying low

A week ago

At 2nd & Walnut . . .
Borough officials might want to consider all aspects of the highly touted Walnut Street plan, 
like what to do about vehicles like this.

The housing market's on fire. Here's a house for free!

Hasn't been here for years, but the sign remains.

Lookin' good at the Mifflin House on Walnut

There's that navy surveillance plane again.

There's one every week.

Here's a surveyor - surveying, of course.

He was at Columbia River Park today.

200 block of Avenue H

Giant rooster on Locust . . .
It's at Kelman & Swartz, which Columbia Spy reported on HERE
when the business was at its previous location.

There's a detective sneaking around town.

By the way, Wells Fargo's for sale 
(the building, that is).