This article was funded by LebTown donors as part of our Civic Impact Reporting Project.

Citing health concerns, the chairman of the North Annville supervisors resigned his position at the board’s monthly meeting on Monday, May 13.

Chairman Randy Leisure said it was an honor and privilege to serve township residents for the past 10 years, adding his resignation was effective May 31. Aaron Miller was approved to replace Leisure to fill out the remainder of his 1.5-year term, beginning June 1.

One resident in the room thanked Leisure for his service to the North Annville community, which brought a round of applause from the audience. Leisure was presented with a cake and it was served, along with ice cream and other refreshments, to those in attendance immediately after the meeting.

Leisure’s resignation came at the end of the meeting, and introducing that agenda item was the last official action in his role as board chairman. Prior to the vote, Leisure was also lauded for the many years he served on the township’s planning department. 

Vice chairman Clyde Meyer and secretary Adam Wolfe voted to accept the resignation with Leisure abstaining. After the meeting, Wolfe told LebTown that the board will decide at its next meeting on Monday, June 10, who will be the new board chairman. 

In other action items earlier in the meeting, the supervisors voted to provide Bellegrove Fire Company $264,810.38 as part of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for the purchase of an emergency response vehicle. 

ARPA funding was provided by the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic to stimulate the economy following the lockdown. ARPA funding has specific criteria for expenditures, which includes opportunities for local municipalities to enhance emergency medical services. 

It was noted all funds must be obligated by Dec. 21, 2024, must be expended by Dec. 31, 2026, and that the fire company would meet those deadlines so that the monies would not have to be returned to the federal government. 

After the meeting, Mark Sallada, owner of 911 Rapid Response in Annville, told LebTown his company was the low bidder for the project because he provided the vehicle at cost to the fire company, meaning his business will not profit from the purchase. 

“I did it at cost because that’s my home fire company,” added Sallada. “Our bid was $80,000 lower than the next bid.”

Sallada said the next lowest bid was part of the Costars program, which is a state-administered purchasing initiative that serves as a conduit for registered and eligible Pennsylvania local public procurement units and Pennsylvania state-affiliated entities, known as “members,” to leverage contracts established by the state Department of General Services. 

The township also voted unanimously to renew its cable franchise agreement with Comcast following a public hearing that provided the community the opportunity to make comments, although none were offered by the 40-plus attendees at the meeting.  

Attorney Nicole Eisenhart, who was substituting for township solicitor Paul Beamesderfer, said a review of the rates by her firm determined that they were legitimate expenditures and that the company had requested an updated customer service map. 

“That (map) was so there could be a discussion about adding service lines since the township is so spread out,” Eisenhart said. 

An update was also provided by Eisenhart concerning a proposed solar farm by Lebanon Solar I LLC in the township. 

Read More: Fight over proposed North Annville solar farm moves to state appeals court

It was noted that Pennsylvania Superior Court had consolidated all of the appeals filed by Grady Summers, a local resident in opposition to the proposed 858-acre solar power farm, and the township. Additionally, no date has been set for the filing of briefs and the township’s solicitor is still waiting for notification.

The action item that drew the most public comment was discussion around the adoption of Lebanon County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. Although it was noted that the plan must be passed by the township to receive federal aid in case of an emergency or natural disaster, a number of residents spoke out against approval of the plan. 

Comments centered around it addressing global warming and it being incoherent, badly written and too lengthy since it is over 300 pages. Others said they didn’t want the federal government involved in the township’s business. Despite those comments, the supervisors voted unanimously to adopt it. As LebTown has reported previously, failure to have a hazard mitigation plan could disqualify them, and their citizens, from receiving federal aid in the event of a disaster, leading to large financial losses, and municipalities adopting the county’s plan save expense in drafting their own.

Supervisors also plan to publish and consider at a future meeting two ordinances pertaining to Clear Spring Road. The ordinances are recommendations from a recent traffic study concerning that township roadway.

Read More: N. Annville Township residents review plans for Clear Spring & 934 roundabout

“They will consider the adoption of a 35 mile-per-hour speed limit and imposing a 43-foot trailer limit,” said Eisenhart. “As I said, the first drafts of those ordinances are done. I don’t know if they will be ready by next month’s meeting but certainly by July.” 

Leisure said he has received questions about the trailer length limit and how it will impact local deliveries. There is the possibility that local deliveries and through traffic will be exempt from the ordinances.

“We don’t want to penalize the quarries and local stuff, but I think that might need to be changed a little bit,” said Leisure.

A question about South Annville Township considering themselves a part of “local deliveries” was posed with Leisure stating that the definition would apply to “deliveries on our side of (Route) 934.”

In other township business, the supervisors voted to: 

  • Send letters to a number of property owners in violation of the township’s nuisance ordinances. Those violations range from excessive trash on the property to uncut grass and other shrubbery.
  • Agree to sign a memorandum of understanding with South Annville Township for road line painting.
  • Approve the minutes of its April 8 meeting and treasurer’s report.
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James Mentzer is a freelance writer whose published works include the books Pennsylvania Manufacturing: Alive and Well; Bucks County: A Snapshot in Time; United States Merchant Marine Academy: In Service to the Nation 1943-2018; A Century of Excellence: Spring Brook Country Club 1921-2021; Lancaster...


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