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Londonderry Township rugby fields might be ready for 2020 play

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 9/12/18

After some Londonderry Township supervisors expressed concern over lighting for the parking lot, Harrisburg Rugby Football Club representatives presented new plans to the Londonderry Board of …

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Londonderry Township rugby fields might be ready for 2020 play

Posted

After some Londonderry Township supervisors expressed concern over lighting for the parking lot, Harrisburg Rugby Football Club representatives presented new plans to the Londonderry Board of Supervisors on Sept. 4.

Rugby Club member and project manager Anthony Trost said the lights will be completed as part of phase one of plans to build fields — to be called Perseverance Fields — at Sunset Park.

The board approved the rugby club’s plans in August, and township building, codes and zoning officer Jeff Burkhart said a note was placed on the plan that lighting would be added.

“We thank you for this opportunity. We’re really looking forward to this. We’re champing at the bit to get going,” Trost said.

The club, under a 50-year lease approved in 2016, will lease 8.5 acres of the park for $1 a year. Plans on the rugby club’s website calls for two field scenarios. One includes an international size field and a second field near the parking lot. In the second scenario, the land would be divided into three fields.

Trost told the board that they were close to starting construction, pending a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. He said they had contractors ready to go who will clear the brush and trees, but aren’t allowed to remove tree stumps until they get an earth disturbance permit.

Trost anticipated getting the permit in mid- to late-September.

Trost said phase one also includes building a retaining wall in the southern part of the lot, a retention pond and sediment basin and grading the land.  Then, Trost said, they have to seed the site and let it sit for a year.

He said the club hoped to start using the fields by spring 2020.

According to Trost, they are proposing five solar lights in the parking lot with an on/off switch. Other athletic groups, he said, would be able to use the parking lot lights when they used the fields.

“That was the concern at last month’s meeting,” said Supervisor Ron Kopp. “It’s a liability for us. We own the land. You’re a leasee.”

Kopp suggested that the parking lot could be used for overflow parking for the township’s annual Stars and Stripes Salute.

Supervisor and Fire Chief Bart Shellenhamer asked if they would consider putting parking lot lights on a timer instead of a switch.

“For our current security situation, the fire police that walk or drive in there — if they have that light, that’s less they have to worry about,” Shellenhamer said.

Lights, he said, could go off at midnight or earlier in the winter.

“That’s fine with me,” Trost responded.

If a group had a night game and needed to use the field lights, Trost said they would make it available but ask for compensation, which may be built into the fee structure.

“If someone wants to use the field at night, those [lights] are expensive,” Trost said.

Phase two, which Trost estimated will begin in two years, calls for an irrigation system, constructing the fields and putting in field lights. They may need to do more fundraising, he said.

The final phase is building a clubhouse, although Trost said that might not occur for five to 10 years.