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:

http://lancasteronline.com/columbia/news/columbia-hopes-to-land-downsized-state-call-center-with-jobs/article_cf7669f8-ffdf-11e4-ac60-370a1a706522.html

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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:

http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/innovative-columbia-borough-digester-plan-gets-m-in-state-funding/article_c2be3eb2-fe26-11e4-a8aa-77ab18e7e403.html

16 Arrested – Mostly For Drugs – In Northwest Lancaster County Sweep

Sixteen people were arrested Wednesday in a sweep of northwest Lancaster County by a host of law enforcement agencies.

The arrests were the result of a year-long undercover operation, according to Elizabethtown Borough police.

Here’s who was arrested and their charges:

•Jeffrey Myers, 37, of Elizabethtown, charged with one felony count of delivery of a controlled substance by. Myers was arraigned before District Judge Jayne Duncan and was released on $50,000 unsecured bail.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/arrested—mostly-for-drugs—in-northwest/article_f3320066-8193-11e4-8184-9b9b354b3a04.html

York City Police ID Man Found Dead Hours After Gunfire

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

York City detectives on Monday afternoon had not yet determined why someone fatally shot a Lancaster County man whose body was found hours after he died on a city sidewalk.

“We’re out interviewing people now,” said Detective First Class Jeff Spence, who is supervising the investigation.

Hezekiah Walker’s killer, and the motive for the shooting, has not yet become clear, Spence said.

He said detectives do have some information to follow.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_26357356/york-city-shooting-victim-found-dead-sidewalk-hours

Coming This Week: A Special Report On Columbia’s Public Schools

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  I hope folks from the Pottstown School District follow this story.  It’s a smaller version of Pottstown with many of the same issues!

Columbia’s public schools will reopen in late August, reverberating again with the clamor of children.

But overshadowing the back-to-school routine will be difficult questions.

Columbia is a tiny, high-poverty school district struggling to prepare kids for our fast-changing, technology-driven world.

The single-municipality district has the weakest tax base in Lancaster County and the second-highest proportion of needy children. Its taxes are the county’s highest and salaries the lowest. It has too many dropouts. Test scores are abysmal.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/coming-this-week-a-special-report-on-columbia-s-public/article_a2e62f5a-faf3-11e3-83c4-001a4bcf6878.html

Wrightsville Is Part Of New Lights Project On Veterans Memorial Bridge

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Veterans Memorial Bridge project involving Lancaster County has been an enlightening experience for Wrightsville Mayor Neil Habecker.

“It’s like changing the front door on your house,” he said. “This should raise the property value of the community.”

Habecker said he is excited about the bridge lighting project to install 65 new cast-iron lights with 1930s-style lantern design and LED bulbs.

For the project, Wrightsville entered into a bridge maintenance partnership with Columbia Borough and West Hempfield Township, both in Lancaster County. The three municipalities have been discussing the project for about five years to replace the current old, rusting cobra head light fixtures, Habecker said.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_25783506/wrightsville-is-part-new-lights-project-veterans-memorial

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Columbia Bypass Work Beginning

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When explaining to various officials the problems truck traffic causes in Columbia, Mayor Leo Lutz liked to give tours.

In the basement of Hinkle’s Pharmacy, they could see old brick and mortar being turned to powder, and feel the heavy trucks travel on Locust Street.

On the sidewalks, they could see, hear and feel the trucks rumble by in the center of the historic town.

“Then they knew what we were talking about,” Lutz said.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/columbia/news/columbia-bypass-work-beginning/article_d65b79c6-beb7-11e3-9333-001a4bcf6878.html

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Police Nab 2 Suspected Drug Dealers In Columbia

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two suspected heroin dealers were arrested during an aggressive driver detail in Columbia on Friday, police said.

Columbia Borough police were conducting the detail on Route 30 East at the Route 441 overpass.

Officers stopped a silver 2012 Mazda sedan traveling 82 mph in a 55 mph zone, police said.  They discovered that Norristown police reported the vehicle as stolen on July 14.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/876213_Police-nab-2-suspected-drug-dealers-in-Columbia.html#ixzz2aIXfJM4B

New Year’s Eve Celebrations Abound In Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re planning to ring in 2013 on New Year’s Eve Monday, Lancaster County has got you covered:

On tap at the third annual 3…2…1! Lancaster celebration are more than 20 different family-friendly festivities and activities at Clipper Magazine Stadium, 650 N. Prince St., and the Lancaster YMCA, 256 Harrisburg Ave.

The entertainment, which starts at 5 p.m., includes live stage acts, musicians, balloon artists, ice skating, hands-on activities and kids’ crafts.  There will be an early fireworks display for kids of all ages who can’t stay up until midnight.

Ticket prices are $10 in advance and $12 on event day.  Children 3 and under are admitted free.

Night owls can attend a midnight fireworks display and lowering of the Red Rose in Binns Park, 100 N. Queen St.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/797158_New-Year-s-Eve-celebrations-abound-in-county.html#ixzz2GMZsMe5X

Stupid News – Repeat Offender Jailed After Stealing From Second Employer

Lancaster County Courthouse, Lancaster, Pennsy...

Image via Wikipedia

Editor’s note:  I find the stupidity here beyond comprehension.  Not just on the part of the thief but also on the part of the second employer for not doing a background check!

Kelley Lee Breniser was spared prison last April, the first time she was sentenced for stealing from her employer.

She wasn’t so fortunate the second time.

A Lancaster County judge jailed Breniser for 9 to 23 months for stealing more than $11,600 from a different employer.

In both cases, Breniser served as property manager for local housing communities.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/573525_Repeat-offender-thief-jailed-9-23-months-for-stealing-from-employer.html#ixzz1kJ6ThPHh

Columbia Pennsylvania, Rollin’ On The Susquehanna With Riverfront Development

Postcard picture of "bird's eye view"...

Image via Wikipedia

The borough of Columbia sits on the Susquehanna River on the border of Lancaster and York Counties.  Columbia, albeit smaller, is similar to Pottstown in many ways.  Read how Columbia has redeveloped their riverfront and received a Governor’s Award for Excellence!  (Editor’s note:  I don’t see any low-income riverfront housing mentioned in this article as a path to redevelopment.  Just sayin….)

http://www.newpa.com/strengthen-your-community/success-stories/columbia-pa/index.aspx