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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Oct. 27, 1999, edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 10/31/18

‘Subsidized housing prospect concerns Georgetown residents

Georgetown residents worried about the possibility of low- to moderate-income housing coming to their neighborhood should speak to the …

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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Oct. 27, 1999, edition of the Press & Journal


‘Subsidized housing prospect concerns Georgetown residents

Georgetown residents worried about the possibility of low- to moderate-income housing coming to their neighborhood should speak to the developer in charge of the proposed project, Lower Swatara Township commissioners recommended.

Four residents of the Georgetown development attended the commissioners’ Oct. 20 meeting to find out if rumors of the federally subsidized housing area were true.

Georgetown is located off of Whitehouse Lane and Rosedale Avenue.

“I heard some rumors myself,” said Frank Linn, president of the board of commissioners.

Linn said he went to Hershey where the company looking at Georgetown has built a low-cost housing development.

“I told them I want pictures, I want facts laid out of what’s going to be done down there [in Georgetown],” Linn said. “What you ought to do is visit down there [in Hershey].”

Whether or not a similar development is coming into Lower Swatara is still up in the air.

Township manager Ron Paul explained that the preliminary plans for townhouses and single-family homes in Georgetown were approved in the spring, but no further plans have been submitted.

The preliminary plan listed 58 townhouses and 11 single homes, he said.

Anthony Downey of Georgetown Road said he’s concerned that living next to a low-income housing area will hurt his property value.

“A Realtor came up and mentioned to a neighbor and myself that we should sell,” Downey told the board of commissioners. “I have a lot of questions about this. ... I’m not saying anything about the character of the people who’d live there. It doesn’t matter if the king and queen live there. When you have the term ‘low to moderate income’ ... boom, your property value goes down.

Tim Gallagher of Georgetown Road asked if the neighborhood was zoned for subsidized housing.

“That has nothing to do with zoning,” Paul said.

Solicitor Peter Henninger explained that as long as the developer meets all Lower Swatara Township rules and ordinances, how the homes are financed cannot be regulated.

“You can’t legislate that,” Henninger said. “It’s discrimination.”

“Our feeling is we don’t really want them in our neighborhood,” Gallagher said. “Even if we meet with [the developer], it’d just be more information. It seems that we have no recourse.”

“There are certain types of requirements they have to meet, but if they meet those ... is there any recourse? No,” Henninger said.

Commissioners provided the Georgetown residents a phone number to get in touch with the developer for a meeting.

Homeowner presses boro for flooding payment

A Vine St. resident whose home was damaged when sewage backed up into his basement told Middletown Borough Council he’s concerned about being paid properly for repairs.

The sewage backed up into a handful of homes after Hurricane Floyd caused flooding in Middletown last month.

Middletown Borough Council agreed to send an adjuster out to affected homes, which are in the Frey Manor area, and take care of damage on a case-by-case basis.

One of the homeowners affected, Gary Brown, asked for an update on the situation at council’s Oct. 19 meeting.

“That information has just been recently received by the adjuster,” borough solicitor John Zonarich said. “There is some additional information borough council wants to see on each claim.”

He noted that a special meeting will be held between now and next month’s council session to vote on reasonable payments to the affected property owners.

“Do you have insurance cover-age?” Zonarich asked.

“I don’t have any coverage for water and sewage coming in,” Brown responded.

Brown said he was under the impression that after the adjuster submitted a report, the borough would pay him.

“Why the delay in the process and why do we doubt the claim of the adjuster when you hired him?” he asked.

“I did not hear anybody say they were going to pay without evaluation at all what the adjuster gave them,” answered Zonarich.

MASD earns high financial rating

Receiving an auditor's report that gives Middletown Area School District the highest possible rating, and plans for doubling the size of the high school cafeteria, occupied the district’s school directors for most of a 90-minute meeting Monday night, Oct. 18.

Krista Weisser, of the Lancaster accounting firm Trout, Ebersole and Groff, told the board the district had earned an “unqualified opinion, the best rating you can receive.”

The district’s unreserved fund balance, she said, has climbed from $1.1 million to $1.6 million, allowing it to transfer additional money into a capital reserve fund to be used for future building projects.

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