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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, April 16, 1969 edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 4/12/17

Borough council rebuffed again on Pineford redevelopment plan

Middletown borough struck out again this week on Pineford’s redevelopment.

This latest whiff — the second since February — …

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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, April 16, 1969 edition of the Press & Journal


Borough council rebuffed again on Pineford redevelopment plan

Middletown borough struck out again this week on Pineford’s redevelopment.

This latest whiff — the second since February — simply means there were no bidders interested in the borough’s proposal to convert the 50-acre tract into a desirable residential area.

After getting no takers on the “one-developer plan,” council lowered its sights to development by parcels in hopes smaller builders would be interested in the less pretentious plan.

But the results were the same — no bidders came forth at Monday night’s regular session.

Said Councilman Edward Willenbecher, Third Ward: “This is two straight months of disappointment. There’s trouble somewhere, and I wonder if our specifications aren’t too stringent. Maybe we should review the specifications.”

Solicitor Joseph Nissley said the most significant reason is probably current money costs, pointing out prime developers must now pay 8 percent or more in interest rates.

Councilman Edwin Guster supported this contention.

Council President David Galloway, himself a building contractor, pointed to the inflationary cycle in building costs. He said a house he recently completed at a cost of $21,000 could have been built in 1963 for $16,500.

Robert Reid, First Ward, feels the borough is “shooting too high” on the type of housing being sought for Pineford. “We just don’t have people in Middletown who can pay $35,000 to $40,000 for a home.”

Mayor Al Legoza also expressed disappointment in the latest Pineford failure and suggested that Council call in experienced builders in the area to get their advice and recommendations.

Galloway suggested a representative from the Homebuilders’ Association be contacted.

Willenbecher then motioned for the Community Development Committee to act as promptly as possible to review Pineford’s building specifications. His motion, was unanimously approved.

Councilman Reid suggested that Council should tighten its spending belt.

“We have these payments to meet on the Pineford loan and we better hold down spending until we get rid of the thing.”

4 ‘Olmsteders’ close shop Friday

There won’t be any band to play “Auld Lang Syne” this Friday when the last four Olmsted AF Base employees close shop at their Meade Heights headquarters.

But the more than 10,000 former employees — wherever they are — will be with them in spirit.

These four kept the Olmsted association alive. Now the epitaph can be chiseled — April 18, 1969.

The last four employees are Mrs. Helen Jackson, Harrisburg; Leon Whitman, Annville; Thomas Essig, Harrisburg, and Benjamin Ebersole, Vine Street, Middletown. They have been quartered in a Meade Heights unit since Olmsted AF Base ceased last June 30.

Their duties have been associated with the protection of Meade Heights during the transition period from federal ownership to Penn State University. Also as the remaining occupants of Meade Heights vacated premises, the government-owned furniture and equipment had to be crated an shipped to other military installations.

The last furniture and one truck will he forwarded this week to Griffis Air Force Base, near Rome, N.Y. The four Olmsted workers have been employed as a detachment of the New York base.

Ebersole, the executive officer, and Whitman have filed for retirement.

Departure of these four will mark the end of federal employment for civilians after a span of 52 years. Middletown Depot was established in 1917 during World War I.

This Friday. Olmsted dies while a conflict in far-off Southeast Asia still rages.

Kiwanians open park drive

Middletown Kiwanis Club this week kicked off its campaign to sell “participating and non-interest bearing shares” to raise funds to build Kiwanis Park.

On hand to buy the first shares was Mayor Al Legoza. As the Rough Wear Clothing Division representative, he presented Kiwanis President David Galloway a check for $100. Then he also purchased two and one-half shares in his name. The second purchase was made by Galloway, who also purchased 10 shares to add another $100.

With the campaign now underway, committee members Garin Moore, Ted Essex and Elmer Cashman announced that Kiwanis Park shares will be available for purchase at the Harrisburg National and National Central banks in town, the Middletown Savings and Loan Association Arnold’s Electric, Cashman’s Jewelry Store and the Royalton Community Building.

In addition, Kiwanis Club members will sell shares.

The club has purchased the former site of the Middletown-Royalton dump and it will be converted into a park-recreational facility for the two boroughs as well as become the location for the Kiwanis Club’s annual Middletown Area Community Fair.

Visits, ‘plant-in’: A ‘Capitol’ idea

Open house visitations and campus beautification are being highlighted this week at Pennsylvania State University’s Capitol Campus here.

The first of two days of visitations by the public took place on Monday and will be concluded today with another open house. Student guides will show and explain campus facilities. Today’s program will be concluded with an “eat-in” with campus personnel hosting townspeople.

Sandwiched between the open house programs was yesterday’s planting of 250 trees about the campus.

Undergraduate classes, morning and afternoon, were canceled to permit the tree planting to proceed uninterrupted.

Hot buys

• For sale: 720 Maple Road, Middletown. Custom quality, brand new, never occupied, all brick, four bedrooms, wall-to-wall carpets throughout, finished full basement, electric heat, vacuum system installed, large lot, carport, house size 33 feet by 63 feet, finest material. $33,900.

• Nylon taffeta jackets for men, cadet, barracuda or regular collar. $2.44. Kresge’s, Olmsted Plaza, Middletown.

• Hay baler special, International Harvester model 27, $1,395. International Sales and Service, New Cumberland.

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