Ephrata Crossing development plans advance

By on June 26, 2019

The Ephrata Township Board of Supervisors approved a resolution moving forward a plan to build the Ephrata Crossing development, with shops, a hotel, and restaurant near Pleasant Valley Road and Route 322.

The resolution was approved in response to a letter from Robert E. Sisko, an attorney for Property Investing and Management Inc., who informed the township that PIM is the recipient of a $2.2 million grant from the PennDOT Multimodal Transportation Fund for highway and signal improvements related to the proposed Ephrata Crossing business development in the township.

Recently installed storm water facilities near Pleasant Valley Road and a new section of a local road known as Quarry Ridge Drive, all owned by PIM will be maintained by Ephrata Township, according to a resolution passed in early May.

While PIM is the grantee and will receive the $2.2 million, the township is considered a host municipality and because of that designation, the grant requires that the township “acknowledge its responsibility” for future maintenance of the non-PennDOT roadway improvements.

Even though the township has to claim responsibility, the township is not agreeing to any financial responsibility for the design and construction.

“We’re the host municipality, even though we’re not responsible for the project,” Township Manager Steve Sawyer told the supervisors. “But after the project is done, we’re responsible to maintain that stormwater facility. The township has to pass the resolution for PIM to get the money.”

The improvements include the traffic signal and storm water facilities at the intersection of Main Street and Pleasant Valley Road.

Although the township will not be receiving any of the $2.2 million grant, the Ephrata Crossing development, with planned shops, a hotel, and restaurant is expected to be beneficial to the township, with more jobs and increased revenue.

PennDOT requires that the host municipality must agree in order for the “grantee,” PIM to receive the $2.2 million grant, since the township will eventually own, operate, and maintain the traffic signal and stormwater facilities.

In another matter, the supervisors signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Lancaster County Conservation District which outlined the “responsibilities and expectations” between the two organizations.

“It outlines the scope and scale of conservation district activities,” Sawyer said.

The MOU also serves as a document to validate the link between the LCCD and the township, which is required by the municipality’s MS4 (municipal separate storm sewer system).

The conservation district works with municipalities to help with concerns they might have regarding natural resources.
Regarding another storm water management plan, the township’s engineer, Jim Caldwell, said the Autumn Hills project is in the process of getting about 16 acres of land transferred to the township.

The acreage has three different riparian zones in the backyard of the houses in the development, Caldwell said.

No catch basins are needed because the riparian buffers do all the work, he said.
Riparian buffers are a common conservation practice, consisting of an area covered by vegetation and near a stream bank. The buffers help to improve water quality and reduce pollution.

One swampy area is a concern, but an environmental engineer will address that to come up with a solution, Caldwell said.
Supervisor Tony Haws commended township employee Bob Croft for his 35 years of service to the township. Croft, who has worked as Assistant Road Superintendent, will be retiring.

“I want to congratulate him for his service, because being employed in the same job for so long doesn’t happen often,” Haws said.

The supervisors recently conducted interviews for a maintenance department employee to replace Tom Huber, who will be retiring the end of June.

The supervisors decided to make a conditional job offer to Shane Weaver, subject to the standard checks.

Marylouise Sholly is a freelance feature writer for the Ephrata Review. She welcomes your comments and questions at weezsholly@verizon.net. 

One Comment

  1. LOIS SAM

    June 29, 2019 at 7:41 am

    I READ IN LANCASTER ONLINE A FEW MONTHS AGO THAT PENN MEDICINE WAS BUILDING A HOSPITAL THERE ALSO, & OTHER PEOPLE SAID THE HEARD THA TOO. WE HOPE IT’S TRUE WE REALLY NEED A GOOD HOSPITAL IN EPHRATA.

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