Clay Township hears reg. police requests

By on July 3, 2012

By: JACQUELINE WATSON Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

The Clay Township Board of Supervisors discussed a request from the Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Department (NLCRPD) for more uniform ordinances and penalties in their coverage area at a recent meeting.

The problem stems from the fact that the three municipalities participating in the NLCRPD — Penn, Clay and Warwick — have differing penalties and collection methods for parking violations and separate restrictions on subjects such as peddling and soliciting. Changing these specific areas to be more uniform between the collaborating municipalities would make enforcement for the NLCRPD simpler.

The board is willing to participate in the standardizing of parking ordinances.

The separate issues of peddling and soliciting and a transient retail business fee were also discussed. Warwick has an ordinance requiring a fee for transient retail such as fireworks tents and hot dog stands. The board was disinclined to establish a similar ordinance charging transient businesses in Clay. The suggested changes regarding peddlers and solicitors involved requiring a permit and background check for profit groups such as salesmen for a fee. A background check and permit would also be required of non-profit groups going door to door, but without a charge.

Vice-chairman Justin Harnish was opposed to the idea of singling out profit groups to have to pay a fee for a background check and permit for soliciting or, as he phrased it, "trying to make a living." It was countered by some at the meeting that having these restrictions might help weed out frauds.

"If they’re not legitimate, I’m saying, we’ll catch them on something different." said Harnish.

Harnish noted that it was just the charging of a fee that bothered him, but it was pointed out that the police department will not do a background check for free for these solicitors. Chairman Timothy Lausch felt there were merits to both the pros and cons of requiring background checks for traveling solicitors. The board is taking time to ponder these changes involving soliciting before making a decision.

The board approved Bike Towards the Cure to use Clay Township roads on Sept. 9. The event is providing traffic controllers. This is the latest of several organized bike rides including Clay Township roads to have already been approved by the board for this year. One resident complained about one of the bicycle rides held earlier this year. According to the resident, vehicles were withheld for an extended period of time even when there were gaps in the flow of bicycle traffic that could have allowed for vehicles to pass through. She pointed out that this was only a problem for one of the organized rides.

"I know we need to share the road, and I know these are for good causes, but I don’t know, maybe there could be some suggestions when they have their traffic controller that maybe the bikers need to wait sometimes too," said the resident.

The board readily agreed to make a note of the resident’s concerns and pass the information on when giving approval to this latest bike ride.

"We do a number of these. I’m often surprised how many there are running in the township. I don’t ever see them actually, but yours is the first comment back from the community I think we’ve ever had on how they operate, so that feedback is helpful to us as we continue to get these requests," noted Harnish.

In other business, the board is taking proactive measures regarding situations at Wildflower Pond. The township is currently waiting on others for action on the sink hole bordering the Kimmet property and the Echternach’s property as well as what appears to be a new sinkhole in the detention facility. In order to help ensure that these issues are resolved in a timely fashion, township solicitor Jennifer Meija will be contacting those involved in these different scenarios to ask for plans of action. These plans are to be prepared and sent to the board in time for review at the July township meeting. More CLAY TWP., page A16

About Ephrata Review