Ephrata Crossings hotel plans advance

By on August 14, 2019

Ephrata Township supervisors adopted an amendment to the township’s non-residential land development agreement last week that paves the way for construction of the four-story hotel that will be the centerpiece of the Ephrata Crossings development.

Expected to be a Hilton Hotel, estimated cost of the 16,000-square-foot building will be $8 million, with more than 100 parking spaces near the intersection of East Main Street and Pleasant Valley Road.

The Ephrata Crossings development, which covers more than 16 acres, will also include retail shops, restaurants, and a fitness center.

“Ephrata Crossings is under way and the hotel project is getting started,” said Township Engineer Jim Caldwell.

When the township approved the land development plan for the hotel, the developer entered into a non-residential land development agreement to ensure the improvements on the plan would be completed, an agreement required for all land development plans. The agreement required the developer to post financial security to ensure completion of the improvements, such as storm water controls.

This recent amendment approved by the board changed the financial security for the project from a cash escrow to a bank letter of credit.

The developer obtained the letter of credit for $471,483 from ACNB Bank, and the cash being held by the township to be returned to the developer is a check made payable to Springwood Hospitality LLC, said Township Manager Steve Sawyer.

In other business, the supervisors examined a site plan for a proposed 25-space parking lot for Ephrata Manor at 99 Bethany Road.

The parking lot would be located on a grassy stretch of land south of the Manor’s access drive. Because the new lot would add 8,500 square feet of impervious surface, the supervisors have advised officials at Ephrata Manor to hire an engineer to develop an appropriate stormwater management plan, and are requesting a revised land management plan.

No action was taken on the proposed parking lot.

In another matter, Ephrata Township has also decided to opt out of allowing video gaming terminals into the township’s gas stations and truck stops.

Sawyer said that Act 42, which allows municipalities in Lancaster County to prohibit the video gaming terminals was recently approved by the state legislature and signed by Governor Tom Wolf.

Attorney Jason Hess of MHCK prepared a resolution for the township to prohibit the introduction of the VGTs in the township.

Caldwell noted that 16 municipalities in Lancaster County have all decided against allowing the terminals into their townships or boroughs.

Any municipality that wants to prohibit video gaming terminals must adopt a resolution and have it delivered to the Gaming Control Board by Sept.3, Sawyer said.

Work on the Ephrata Crossings development includes the construction of an $8 million Hilton Hotel, a 16,000-square-foot building with more than 100 parking spaces near the intersection of East Main Street and Pleasant Valley Road. Photo by Patrick Burns.

The supervisors received a request from the family of Laurie Vogt to place a plaque in her memory on a bench on the township’s rail trail, located just east of the Cocalico Creek bridge.
Laurie died in April of this year after a three-year battle with cancer. Ronald Vogt, who made the request, said she loved walking with family and friends on the rail trail and the plaque would state that she delighted in the gifts of nature.

“It’s a good thing to do,” said Supervisor Tony Haws.

The supervisors agreed, and want to get more information about the dedication and size of the plaque. Vogt has said he will donate funds to the township for the plaque.
In other business regarding trails, discussion centered on procuring a gate for a trail that goes around the Ephrata Township Community Park.

Lakeview Drive runs by the township park and cuts off access to the trail that goes by the lake near Lakeside Villas. When the Villas development began, the township paved a driveway leading to the park, but it’s not for motorists.

Another access is available for a horse and buggy, Haws said, but the supervisors want to restrict cars from going on the trail to the park, which is for pedestrians.

Putting a chain across the drive might work, but would not be as much of a deterrent nor as aesthetically pleasing as a gate.

Supervisor Tyler Zerbe suggested a gate resembling one that is stationed at the Miller Trail Crossing.
“It’s a little more money than a chain, but it’s still not a big expense,” Zerbe said.

The supervisors authorized the township manager to buy a gate that doesn’t exceed $1,000 in costs.

The supervisors also approved a request from Randy Eshleman of Martin’s Country Market to hold a Community Yard Sale on Saturday, Aug. 31 on the parking lot of their property at 1717 W. Main St., Ephrata.

This will be the fourth annual yard sale at the market and the police said they have no concerns and have had no incidents in the past.
At their July meeting, the supervisors reviewed a proposal from General Recreation Inc. for rubber resurfacing repairs for the playground at the Ephrata Township Community Park.

The cost of the resurfacing repair will be $5,655, under a Pennsylvania Co-Stars contract. The playground will be closed for approximately three days while the surface is curing. No date for the start of the project has been set.

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

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