Lancaster County To Get Over $500K In Drilling Impact Fee

Lancaster County will receive a little over half a million dollars as its 2014 share of the so-called drilling Impact Fee, meant to help municipalities offset impacts associated with natural gas drilling.

The Impact Fee, or Act 13, was signed into effect in 2012 by Governor Tom Corbett.  The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is responsible for collecting a fee from drillers and  then disbursing it to counties across the state to facilitate improvement programs and various repairs or infrastructure upgrades.

Lancaster county’s 2014 share is $507,694.29  from the state’s total of $223.5 million. The amount is marginally higher than what the county received in 2013. State-wide collection was marginally less than what it got in 2013.

Read more:


2. Lackawanna Sky L - R David Rose, Russell Ferrara..

2. Lackawanna Sky L – R David Rose, Russell Ferrara..

Elizabethtown, PA – Lackawanna Sky comes off the road to perform on Saturday, June 20 at 10:00am for the Third Saturday Open Air Market on Main Street in Ephrata, PA. The performance is sponsored by the Ephrata Merchants Association. The performance is free and open to the public.

Spirit Wind Records recording artists Lackawanna Sky, David Rose, Native American flutes, and Russell Ferrara, classical and synthesizer driven guitars performs a unique blend of original, Indie-Classical instrumental music weaving Native American and classical influences with Latin American and African rhythms and Scots Irish, American Folk and Flamenco flourishes. Rose also performs New Age flute and double flute solos and Ferrara from his classical repertoire as well as his selection of garage band instrumentals arranged for classical guitar.

Lackawanna Sky returns to PA on June 15 following a week of performing and teaching in the Lake Lanier region of Northwest Georgia. The duo performs regularly in the Susquehanna Valley region with upcoming performances at the 1719 Hans Herr House Museum in Willow Street and at the Kipona and Spirit of Oneness Festivals in Harrisburg.

The mission of the Ephrata Merchants Association is to promote the identity and the awareness of the Ephrata business district through advertising, promotions, and special community toward the goal of working together to satisfy their customer markets and to continually enhance the vitality of each member business and the community as a whole.

Lackawanna Sky On The Web

Lancaster City Alliance Economic Development Plan Looks At Whole City

The Lancaster City Alliance wants to see $1 billion in private investment in the city over the next 15 years.

It’s one of the many goals — both specific and broad — of the economic development strategic plan the alliance put together to foster the city’s growth over the next 10-15 years.

The plan will be released to the public Thursday evening at the Ware Center.

Bob Shoemaker, Alliance president, and Marshall Snively, its executive vice president, talked with LNP’s editorial board about the year-long process on Thursday.

Read more:

First Friday In Lancaster City Draws Thousands To Downtown For Food, Music and Shopping

Another great First Friday in Lancaster City.  The day appeared to possibly be “iffy” weather wise but despite some ominous looking clouds at one point in the afternoon, the sky cleared in the early evening and the sun came back out.

There were a bevy of food trucks on the plaza next to the Hotel Lancaster. Musicians lined the streets. The pianos are back and we didn’t pass one that somebody was playing.  We even heard some very good jazz being played in Lancaster Square.  People from many cultures mingled and enjoyed the entertainment, shopping, eating and warmer weather.  The Lancaster Police Department was present along with the Ambassadors ensuring everyone behaved themselves.  There was even a break dancing competition going on next to the food trucks that drew a very large crowd.

We also checked out the new pop up pocket park on Prince Street before the First Friday throng arrived. What a nice thing for tourists and city residents, alike.  A coffee company and an ice cream vendor (selling Carmen & David’s ice cream) have set up shop here.  The park makes use of a parking lot which eventually will be a boutique hotel.  The asphalt was been painted, trees and flowers and seating were added.  There was even a television crew there from Blue Ridge Cable TV who were filming and interviewing the vendors.  Many people were checking this out.  When we went by much later in the day it was very full!  People were really liking the space!

Lancaster is such a great example of what revitalization can do for a downtown.  Up until the 90’s there was no reason go to downtown (other than Central Market).  Now, it’s full of shops and restaurants. There are always people on the streets taking advantage of all downtown has to offer.  There is nothing better than spending time in a vibrant city!

To check out Passenger Coffee Roasters, click on

Prince Street Park Pops Up In Downtown Lancaster Parking Lot

Coffee and ice cream vendors

Coffee and ice cream vendors

A new park just popped up in downtown Lancaster.

The Prince Street Park will have its full unveiling Friday in downtown Lancaster in part of a parking lot at 118 N. Prince St.

The temporary park will be open through Labor Day weekend next to the building where construction will begin this fall on The Surveyor Hotel, a 60-room urban boutique hotel.

The 2,300-square-foot park features Passenger Coffee Roaster’s Airstream Coffee Bar and Penny’s, an ice cream truck serving Carmen & David’s Ice Cream.

Read more:

There’s A New Kind Of Heroin Called Amtrak, And Drug Dealers Are Pushing It In Lancaster, Police Say

Two Lancaster men were caught transporting a large amount of heroin into the county from Philadelphia, police say. And the drug was a new blend called “Amtrak” that’s been prevalent in the area.

Martin Ortiz, 37, of 505 Dauphin St., and Luis Antonio Aponte-Ortiz, 39, 504 New Dauphin St., Apt. 1, both were charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin and criminal conspiracy after a vehicle stop May 28 in Gap, according to Lancaster County Drug Task Force officials.

Investigators, armed with search warrants for Ortiz and his vehicle, stopped the car at Routes 30 and 41.

In the vehicle, officials said they found a plastic grocery bag behind the driver’s seat containing 21 “bricks” of heroin labeled “Amtrak.”

Read more:

Gov. Tom Wolf Powers Up Conveyors At Opening Of New Urban Outfitters Fulfillment In Gap

If Gov. Tom Wolf wanted to see his campaign promises in action, he came to the right place Thursday morning, said Urban Outfitters CEO Richard Hayne.

Jobs that pay? “You’re looking at them,” Hayne said at the grand opening for Urban Outfitters’ massive 1 million square foot e-commerce fulfillment center in Salisbury Township just outside Gap on Route 30.

The site will ramp up from the existing staffing of 150 people to 500 as the year progresses, and could reach 1,000 to 1,500. Standard starting pay is $11.50 per hour, director of fulfillment Carl Carbonell said.

It also exemplifies “schools that teach” and “government that works,” Wolf’s other two priorities, Hayne said.

Read more:

“Unofficially Summer” Weather To Bake Lancaster County All Week

It’s a good thing swimming pools around Lancaster County have just opened because the week ahead will be unseasonably warm and muggy.

And that’s not good news for area farmers, where a deficit in precipitation around the county is making it hard for newly planted crops to shoot upward.

Nor for the county’s firefighters, who continue to be called out to brush fires.

“Unofficially summer,” is what Eric Horst is calling the unusually hot spell.

Read more:

Lancaster City Seeks Proposals For Bulova Building, Adjacent City Property

Lancaster city is formally seeking proposals for the vacant Bulova building and adjacent city-owned property in hopes of connecting a stagnant part of downtown.

The city intends to use eminent domain to take the Bulova building at North Queen and East Orange streets. That means the city would pay fair market value for the property and the building’s lien holders would then be paid.

The city issued requests for proposals on Friday.

Randy Patterson, the city’s economic development and neighborhood revitalization director, said the property is in a critical location downtown.

Read more:

Columbia Hopes To Land Downsized State Call Center, With 129 Jobs

A year after tabling a plan for a call center here, the state Department of Human Services now says it wants to put a smaller version of the call center somewhere in Lancaster County.

And even though the proposed call center has been shrunk by more than half, Columbia Borough is in hot pursuit of the venture, which would create 129 jobs.

Its Borough Council voted this week to spend $835,000 to support the effort of developer Bill Roberts to put the call center in a fire station at 137 S. Front St.

“Every now and then, when a municipality embarks on an economic development project, they need to be willing to put some skin in game,” said Mayor Leo Lutz.

Read more:

Innovative Columbia Borough Digester Plan Gets $1.7M In State Funding

Columbia Borough’s plan to develop what’s believed to be the first biogas production site of its kind in Pennsylvania has gotten crucial state support.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority last week approved a $1.7 million funding package for the venture, which could cost up to $3.5 million.

The state package consists of a $1,449,952 loan and a $300,000 grant from the authority’s Alternative and Clean Energy program.

Columbia Borough intends to build an anaerobic digester at its wastewater treatment plant that would use food waste, delivered by truck from area food-processing plants and other sources.

Read more:

Lancaster City Zoners Grant Variances For Lancaster General Hospital $60M Expansion

Lancaster General Health has received variances from city regulations that will enable its planned $60 million expansion of Lancaster General Hospital to move ahead.

With little discussion and no public opposition, the Lancaster Zoning Hearing Board on Monday approved variances to building height and setback requirements.

The county’s largest health care provider wants to expand the Stauffer building on the northeast corner of the hospital at Lime and Frederick streets to eight floors, putting in 66 private rooms.

Joseph Puskar, an LGH senior vice president, said the hospital is responding to changes in the health care industry.

Read more:

Lancaster Ranked No. 1 Place To Be A Teacher In The U.S.

Education majors who graduated from Millersville University this month don’t have to look far to find an awesome place to work.

Lancaster is the best city in the country to be a teacher, according to a South Carolina-based data analysis and scholarship search company.

GoodCall created its list of the top 10 places to be a teacher based on average annual teacher salary, available teaching jobs, teaching jobs per capita, high school graduation rates, cost of living and amenities. It used data from the U.S. Census,, the National Center for Education Statistics, and

The average teacher salary for Lancaster is $60,370, and there were 70 teaching jobs available as of May 6, according to GoodCall. Those figures refer to public and private schools in the city, according to Carrie Wiley, GoodCall’s public relations manager.

Read more:

“Gap Bottleneck Project” Starting New Phase, With New Traffic Pattern, This Week

Work on the “Gap Bottleneck Project” is beginning to pick up, with a new traffic pattern established this week in the project area in eastern Lancaster County.

The new work is another step in the overall $9.9 million project that’s set for completion in October 2016.

For now, the new pattern is in place during overnight hours in the area of the Route 30/Route 41 project, the state Transportation Department announced.

A concrete barrier is being installed along the north side of Route 30 just east of the intersection with 41.

Read more:

Lancaster Businesses Find CRIZ Paperwork Cumbersome, Time-Consuming

Downtown business people say they support Lancaster’s City Revitalization & Improvement Zone, or CRIZ.

But boy, they sure wish the paperwork were less of a hassle.

“The process is very painful,” said David Leaman, senior manager of finance for the Isaac’s restaurant chain, which has its headquarters and one of its restaurants in the CRIZ.

Moirajeanne FitzGerald, who owns Here to Timbuktu on North Prince Street, says, “The CRIZ paperwork is cumbersome. The directions are difficult to understand.”

Read more:

From Beers To Burritos, Cinco De Mayo A Big Boost For Restaurant Owners In York County

Cinco de Mayo may be a relatively minor holiday in Mexico. But for restaurants in York County, the holiday is a big boost to the bottom line.

El Serrano’s two locations in Springettsbury Township and Lancaster, for example, are expected to do three to four times the business they do on a typical Tuesday, said Melanie Torres, who manages the Lancaster location.

Read about Cinco de Mayo celebrations in our area.

Mexitaly, a Springettsbury Township eatery whose menu features Mexican food, pizza and craft beer made on the premises, is bringing in extra help for Cinco de Mayo and ordering 20 percent more food ingredients than usual, owner Greg Skirboll said.

Read more:

$60 Million Expansion Planned For Lancaster General Hospital

Lancaster County’s largest health care provider announced this morning that it is planning a six-story, $60 million expansion of its flagship facility, Lancaster General Hospital.

The expansion would enable the hospital to provide all private patient rooms, Lancaster General health said in a news release.

The LG Health Board of Trustees is scheduled to make a final decision on the project at its May meeting, according to the release. Work completed thus far is in anticipation of trustee and municipal approvals, it said, “to enable construction to begin as early as this summer.”

“Among LGH’s current 533 inpatient beds, 142 are located in semi-private rooms,” the release said. “LG Health plans to expand onto the northeast corner of the hospital, near Lime and Frederick streets.”

Read more:

Lancaster, Strasburg Among Top 10 Most Beautiful Towns In Pennsylvania

WP_20150413_15_01_39_ProThe folks at the Culture Trip recently released its guide to the 10 most beautiful towns in Pennsylvania, and two of their choices are located here in Lancaster County.

Related: Central Market among top 10 fresh markets in the world

Lancaster city was lauded for its “unique shops and boutiques, a plethora of outstanding restaurants and a beautiful countryside,” while Strasburg was recognized for its railroad attractions and its countryside, which was described as “rich in history and beauty.”

Related: Lancaster dog park tops list of 10 best amazing dog parks in U.S.

Read more:

Lancaster City Posts Walkability Study Online

Lancaster city has posted online the walkability study an urban planner prepared for the city as part of efforts to make the city more pedestrian-friendly.

You can read Jeff Speck’s 131-page analysis by following this link here.

LNP will be delving into the study, as well as getting reaction from city officials and other stakeholders as they get a chance to read it.

Mayor Rick Gray told city Council Tuesday night the city will “review policy recommendations contained in the report and implement those that are feasible, prudent and affordable.

Read more:

Route 222 North Between Route 322 And Adamstown Now Open

Route 222 North has been reopened after closing for more than an hour between Route 322 and the Adamstown exit, state police said.

It was closed between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to allow police to further investigate Sunday’s police pursuit and shooting along the highway, they said.

Northbound motorists were detoured to Route 322 West and Route 272 North.

Charges have been filed against the man who led officers from multiple police departments on a high-speed pursuit, rammed a police car head-on and drove his SUV directly at officers on foot Sunday morning on Route 222.

Read more: