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Water, sewer key to 900-home development; infrastructure a ‘heavy lift’ for School Heights Village

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 8/15/18

Londonderry Township officials are working to get public water and sewer lines to a proposed 900-home housing development behind Saturday’s Market called School Heights Village.

During the …

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Water, sewer key to 900-home development; infrastructure a ‘heavy lift’ for School Heights Village

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Londonderry Township officials are working to get public water and sewer lines to a proposed 900-home housing development behind Saturday’s Market called School Heights Village.

During the board of supervisors’ meeting Aug. 6, township manager Steve Letavic said that he and township engineer Andrew Kenworthy have been working with Derry Township Municipal Authority and Pennsylvania American Water.

“We have a $6 million commitment at this time for that infrastructure. However, that will not fund that entire project,” he said.

The $6 million, he told the board, was pledged by the developer. In an email after the meeting, Letavic said they were approximately $6 million short and were working on grants or other funding streams to close the difference.

“It’s a heavy lift, though, I would warn you,” Letavic told the board.

According to a 2009 Press & Journal article, there would be 966 homes in the housing development, a mixture of single-family, townhomes and apartments. The plan would also include walking trails and recreation fields.

Letavic said the development would bring 695 permanent jobs and add $160,000 in real estate taxes, plus additional tax revenue on earned income and local services taxes.

There possibly would be water and sewer hookups for Londonderry Elementary School as well, Letavic said.

Township officials also have discussed recently a potential 1,600-home development on Lytle Farms, just east of the Swatara Creek along Route 230.

In his email, Letavic said, “There is not a guarantee that it would provide water and sewer to Lytle. It would depend on what the final water and sewer plans look like and the routes they take, capacity in the sewer line, etc.”

It also isn’t guaranteed, he said, that other areas — such as East Harrisburg Pike, Braeburn Road, South Deodate Road and some mobile home parks — in the township would be connected as part of the School Heights Village project.

He said the long-term goal is to meet the obligations for the township’s Act 537 Plan — the Department of Environmental Protection’s program for present and future wastewater treatment — by partnering with a developer so that Londonderry doesn’t have to absorb the costs by itself.

“We want to be proactive in meeting our 537 Plan requirements while sharing the costs,” Letavic said. “That being said, we just do not have enough of the puzzle put together to see what areas would be feasible with this proposal. We have a pretty good idea, but we need to see the site designs to see where the lines may be in the site and what route along 230 they would take to get there. Once that is complete, we will have a better idea for what areas can be connected.”