Thursday, July 29, 2021
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.
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.
Sourced via CRIMEWATCH®: https://lancaster.crimewatchpa.com/columbiapd/10552/post/your-animals-are-your-responsibility
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.
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.
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
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
Sunday, July 25, 2021
Download the meeting packet HERE.