Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Almost two years after Tropical Storm Lee, the cleanup continues as houses damaged by flooding along the swollen Swatara Creek and later bought by the federal government are being demolished.
During the past few weeks, local municipalities have hired contractors to remove the houses, purchased through the Federal Emergency Management Agency‘s Hazard Mitigation Program. Buyouts from FEMA were determined by the cost of rebuilding the house and future flood insurance claims.
At least 69 houses have been targeted for demolition, almost all of them on land near or adjacent to Swatara Creek. The total cost is $8 million with the municipalities carrying 3 percent, or $250,000, of the cost.
But the long-term effects of the demolition will be bourn by the localities, as the properties slip from tax rolls and elected leaders are left wondering what to do with flood-prone vacant lots.
Speaker to Kick-Off the Review of the Comprehensive Plan
Pulitzer Prize winning author of Save Our Land, Save Our Towns and Smart Growth leader, Tom Hylton, will kick-off the Township’s Comprehensive Plan survey, Your Vision for Derry Township, on Monday, September 12, at 7 p.m., at the Hershey Public Library. (The survey will be available online at www.derrytownship.org in late August.)
Hylton won the Pulitzer Prize for a series of articles he wrote about Smarth Growth issues in Eastern Pennsylvania. He also authored and produced a documentary that showed on WITF. He will discuss Smart Growth, Walk to School Programs, and how to make a community the best that it can be. (Because it has worked so well in Pottstown)
The September 12th event is free and open to the public. However, seating is limited. To reserve a seat, email SandyBallard@derrytownship.org and she will mark a seat(s) with your name on it until 6:45 PM and notify you via email if the event needs to be moved to a larger location.
Visit saveourlandsaveourtowns.org for more information on Tom Hylton. Funding for the presentation is being provided through a Dauphin County grant. (Money for glossy mailers in November)
All I can say to the nice folks in Derry Township is, before you go getting all in a lather, come to Pottstown and see Mr. Hylton’s handiwork first-hand.