Friday, April 13, 2012 - Lehman Farm in Londonderry Twp. Preserved through Joint County, State Easement Purchase
HARRISBURG (April 13, 2012) – Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III have purchased an agricultural conservation easement for 174.17 acres of farmland from brothers Gerald and Galen Lehman of Londonderry Twp., Dauphin County. The easement will preserve the property as farmland in perpetuity.
The easement was purchased for $261,255. The county contributed $190,010.76 toward the purchase, and the state contributed $71,244.24.
This is the seventh farm in Londonderry Twp. to be preserved through the state-sponsored program. A total of 871 acres of farmland have been preserved in the township.
Since 1992, when Dauphin County began purchasing easements under the program, the county has preserved a total of 13,782 acres on 139 farms.
“Growing up on a farm in Pennsylvania myself, I am delighted that we can protect prime farmland in Dauphin County,” said Haste. “Of the approximately 94,000 acres of farmland in Dauphin County, the program has preserved about 15 percent of the total agricultural acreage.”
“Selling an easement can permanently protect a family's farmland from being sold for non-agricultural development,” said Pries. “Every year Pennsylvania loses about 80,000 acres of farmland. We need to protect some of our most valuable, rich farmland from development and sprawl.”
“We have taken steps to not only protect our green fields, but also to ensure agriculture continues to lead in the way in our economy,” said Hartwick. “By purchasing easements, we can protect our green space and encourage redevelopment and ‘smart growth’ in urbanized areas.”
The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program enables state and county governments to purchase conservation easements from owners of quality farmland. The program was authorized by a county resolution in 1989, and the first purchase was consummated in November 1992.
For more information on the conservation of natural resources and farmland, please visit the county’s Conservation District Web site at www.dauphincd.org or call 717-921-8100.
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Thursday, March 01, 2012 - Dauphin County Awards $8.2 Million in Gaming Grants for Local Projects
HARRISBURG, PA (March 1, 2012) – Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III approved 35 local share municipal gaming grants totaling $8,215,071 for a series of infrastructure, transportation, emergency services and other critical local projects from slots revenue generated by Penn National’s Hollywood Casino in East Hanover Twp., Dauphin County.
“For the past four years, we’ve awarded more $29 million in funding to municipalities that are undergoing some significant changes that naturally come with a gaming facility," said Haste. "This year is no different. The projects will leverage more than $61 million in additional investment in the county and are expected to create over 450 local jobs.”
“This is new money coming into Dauphin County to fund a myriad of projects that may not otherwise be able to move forward,” said Pries. "Without these funds, municipalities may not be able to complete critical infrastructure, transportation and public safety projects or may raise taxes to fund them.”
The projects are primarily located in East Hanover Twp. and the five municipalities that it directly borders – Derry, Middle Paxton, Rush, South Hanover and West Hanover townships. The grants approved included $3 million in funding for the casino’s host municipality, East Hanover Twp., Dauphin County, for several road, bridge and infrastructure projects and municipal equipment. Under an agreement with East Hanover, the township is able to receive additional gaming funds for approved projects associated with the impact of the casino.
The Dauphin County Gaming Advisory Board (DCGAB) accepts and vets grant applications, holds public hearings with eligible applicants and makes recommendations to the commissioners for the funding of grant projects. Priority was given to municipal applicants with infrastructure projects; inter-governmental projects that leverage outside investment in Dauphin County; projects that are ready to proceed and need additional funding for completion; and projects that municipal sponsors prioritized.
The following grants were approved today by the Dauphin County Board of Commissioners:
Host Municipality and Contiguous Municipalities:
• East Hanover - $3,000,000 for various infrastructure, road and bridge projects, municipal equipment and facilities improvements
• West Hanover - $298,000 for fire station construction and S.R. 39 improvements
• South Hanover - $300,000 for municipal complex and Emergency Services Center bidding and construction
• Derry Township - $340,000 for fire apparatus and S.R. 39 intersection improvements
• Rush Township - $132,000 for expansion of municipal garage and improvements to Stahl Drive
• Middle Paxton - $185,000 for debt service for shared municipal services building and Potato Valley Road Bridge
Total funding = $4,255,000
• Harrisburg Area Community College - $250,000 for Shumaker Public Safety Center renovations and expansion
• Halifax Borough - $238,000 for new pumper fire truck (final phase)
• Swatara Township - $200,000 for recreational construction and expansion project
• Steelton Borough - $158,000 for streetscape improvements
• Elizabethville Borough - $113,771 for debt reduction on rescue/pumper engine and recreation improvements
• Pillow Borough - $170,000 for water main replacements
• Londonderry Township - $300,000 for infrastructure improvements (water, sewer and road) program
• Susquehanna Township - $150,000 for information technology improvements for police, fire and municipal administration
• Lower Paxton Township - $180,000 for improvements to Linglestown Fire Co. fire station
• Lower Paxton Township/West Hanover Township - $80,000 for Jonestown Road bridge replacement
• Millersburg Borough - $100,000 for Lykens Valley Rail Trail Improvements
• Hummelstown Borough - $225,000 for new fire engine
• Wiconisco Township - $106,000 for renovations to fire station to mitigate water issue
• Highspire Borough – $38,000 for Amkus tools and portable generator for Citizens Fire Co.
• Harrisburg River Rescue – $85,000 for new utility vehicle
• American Red Cross - $56,000 for purchase of 35 AEDs for Dauphin County first responders
• South Hanover Township/MDJ Witmer $200,000 for a new office that would comply with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts’ guidelines
• Dauphin County General Authority $30,000 for Asbestos removal
• Capital Area Greenbelt Association – $60,000 for public safety improvements along Greenbelt
• Tri-County Housing Development Corp. - $40,000 for housing construction in South Allison Hill
• Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority – $55,000 for demolition costs for economic development project
• City of Harrisburg, Bureau of Fire - $335,000 for replacement of overdue fire engine or tower truck
• Harrisburg Realty Improvement Corp. - $100,000 for expansion of International House facilities
• Capitol Region Economic Development Corp. - $125,000 for demolition and site prep costs for economic development project
• Catholic Charities - $100,000 for facilities improvements for human services program
• Williamstown Area EMS - $135,000 for new ambulance
• YWCA - $150,000 for road construction – contingent on dedication to Township
• Middle Paxton Township - $32,000 for recreational improvements
• Communities in Schools - $75,000 for community data collection project to enhance human services funding
• Jackson Township - $5,300 for fire station improvements
• Lower Paxton Township - $45,000 for contingent matching funds for construction of Heroes Grove Memorial
• Just for Today Recovery Services - $2,500 for facility upgrades for human services/addiction organization
• Latino Hispanic American Community Center - $8,000 for computer server
• Channels Food Rescue - $8,000 for equipment for jobs training organization
• Millersburg Senior Center - $4,500 for electronic doors for facility
Grand total = $8,215,071
“With these new investments, essential transportation improvements, redevelopment and other important projects can move forward,” said Hartwick. “This investment translates into considerable job and revenue growth at no extra cost to taxpayers."
Last year, Dauphin County commissioners approved 30 grants totaling $8,082,000.
Under the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, Dauphin County is required to use 50 percent of the local share monies it receives from Hollywood Casino’s slots revenue for municipal grants.
For more information about the county’s Gaming Advisory Board, or for a grant application, please visit www.dauphincounty.org and click on “Community and Economic Development” and then “Gaming Advisory Board” or call 717-780-6250.
Economic DevelopmentPrint Article