East Cocalico farmers doing the right thing…just not always documenting

By on August 26, 2015

The Lancaster Farmland Trust Project report, presented to the East Cocalico supervisors at their Aug. 20 meeting, summarized 138 farm visits encompassing 5,300 acres of land. No written plan for dealing with sources of pollution and better management of manure and erosion existed for 56 percent of the farms.
“That’s not to say that the farmers aren’t practicing some very good processes and doing what they’re supposed to be doing to be in compliance with new regulations for storm water run-off, stream management, and other issues, such as manure,” said Stephanie Armpriester, who worked with Ken Pacanowski on the Trust Project.
“Farmers often don’t take that next step of writing what they are doing into something called a compliance plan, which deals with stream fencing, crop rotation, no till planting and managing manure in regard to adequate storage and timing of spreading,” she said.
“We had excellent cooperation with our farm visits, collected base-line data that we didn’t have previously, and found farmers open to suggestions on how the Trust Project could assist them as they work toward compliance.”
Other supervisor business on the agenda included discussion concerning disposition of the 6.68-acre tract of land adjacent to the DenTech facility at 1975 N. Reading Road, and jointly owned by all four Cocalico municipalities.
Adamstown, Denver, and West Cocalico all agree that the parcel should be sold. “As soon as possible,” the reply letter from West Cocalico Township supervisors stated. Adamstown suggested an auction while Denver Borough suggested either sealed bid or an auction.
East Cocalico supervisors said it would be more cost efficient to sell the parcel by sealed bid with a minimum reserve bid which must be met.
“At least we can try,” said supervisor Vice Chairman Alan Fry. “If we don’t get what we want, we can go to a different way.”
Chairman Doug Mackley, Supervisor Noelle Fortna, and Fry unanimously agreed to write to the other municipalities requesting input on a reserve bid.
Supervisors proposed advertising in The Shopping News, Ephrata Review, LNP and the Reading Eagle. Supervisors said via the Internet, national real estate information is readily available to everyone and anyone who seeks it. Multi-list realtors keep tabs on out-of-area land sales which would meet client’s needs.
In other business:
* East Cocalico Township Manager Mark Hiester reported newspaper advertisements are running for a full-time, road crew person. The vacancy is due to a retirement.
* Supervisors authorized sending the proposed 2016 rental agreement to East Cocalico Water Authority at the same rate as last year: $975 per month and $11,700 annually.
* Zoning Officer Tony Luongo reported construction of four new, single-family dwelling units, the most per month for several years. False alarm violations were low, with five in July. Notices mailed included two property owners for high grass/weeds, five property owners for maintenance violations, and one owner for leash law violations.

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