Ephrata Twp. approves new church construction

By on January 24, 2018

Ephrata Township Supervisors gave final approval this week for a new church for the Evangel Assembly of God, to be built along Hahnstown Road adjacent to the campus of the Lancaster County Bible Church.

The main church building will be 44,068 square feet and will have a seating capacity of 575.

The church will be built on a 24.5 acre lot that had been zoned agricultural, but can be developed through a settlement reached between the church and the township in 2004.

In compliance with parking requirements, a parking lot with 230 spaces will be added at the site.

Rob Gabriel of Robert Gabriel and Associates presented the final plan for the church to the supervisors.

While PennDOT issues caused the plan to be on hold throughout 2017, Gabriel assured the supervisors that no major changes had been made to the preliminary plan.

Due to flooding issues along Hahnstown Road, a retention basin will be added and is expected to take rainwater to an existing stream.

Supervisor J. Tyler Zerbe asked Gabriel how much of the 24 acre lot would be able to be farmed. While 7.4 acres will remain open space, Gabriel said about 5.7 acres would be used for farming.

One of the PennDOT issues was an easement that needed a new pipe and endwall on the neighboring property of Leonard Martin on the east side of Hahnstown Road.

Because the farm is preserved, the Lancaster County Agricultural Preserve Board will need to approve the easement.

Gabriel told the supervisors that the engineering should improve Martin’s flooding problems.

Recently, a representative from the Ephrata Public Library requested that the township’s contribution of $35,000 be made in a lump sum in January.

But the first two months of the year usually find the township operating at a deficit, Sawyer said, making the request unfeasible.

Sawyer spoke with library Director Penny Talbert about the possibility of submitting quarterly payments instead of having the library wait until March for the township’s contribution.

“A quarterly payment now would not have a significant impact on us,” Sawyer told the supervisors.

Toward the end of February, the township will be receiving earned income taxes and real estate taxes in May or June.

The township’s standard practice, Sawyer said, has been to help local fire companies and ambulance associations with donations by mid-year.

“To help the library, we’ll try quarterly payments for one year and see how it works,’ said Chairman Clark Stauffer.

Stauffer added that it was important the township take care of their own responsibilities before helping others.

The supervisors voted to give the library quarterly payments, then revisit the practice next year.

In another matter, Paul Miley has agreed to serve as the Emergency Management Coordinator for the township in 2018.

Miley’s association with the Pioneer Fire Company gives him a good background for the position, said Sawyer.

“I think Paul Miley will be a good fit,” Stauffer said.

Ephrata’s Police Chief William Harvey has agreed to assist Miley with the basics, and Miley will also be taking some mandatory training.

Sawyer suggested compensation for the training Miley will be taking, and added that the mandatory training may be less than a dozen hours. He also suggested reimbursing Miley about $15 per hour of training.

The supervisors unanimously appointed Miley as Emergency Management Coordinator, but did not make a decision on reimbursement.

Earlier this month, Clark Stauffer was again voted chairman for the supervisors; Tyler Zerbe as vice-chairman; and Tony Haws as secretary for 2018.

Zerbe will also serve as the board’s treasurer, and Haws, as the police liaison.

Steve Sawyer was appointed assistant secretary of the Board of Supervisors.

Haws was also selected to be voting delegate to the state association convention.

The following people were reappointed: Marvin Sauder, planning commission; Leon Roy Martin, zoning hearing board; Bob Hurst, sewer authority; and James Stauffer, Eric Brubaker, and Don Good, building code appeals board.

Dale High was appointed as the township’s sewage enforcement officer for 2018.

Jim Phillips and John Weik were reappointed as the township’s representatives for the Warwick to Ephrata Rail Trail Committee.


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