ATTENDEES: Steering Committee: Don Keener – LWT Manager, John Klinedinst – LWT Engineer, Dave Keiter – LWT Solicitor, Mark Platts – Platts Simon Consulting, Representative Stan Saylor, Jo Anna Shovlin, Senator Gibson Armstrong, Senator Michael Waugh and the following:
John Plonski – Executive Deputy Director – Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR), Cindy Dunlap, Salyn Stover, Mike Schneider – DCNR, Jackie Kramer – Executive Director – Farm & Natural Lands Trust, and Felicia Dell – Director York County Planning Commission (YCPC).
Opening Remarks: John Klinedinst opened the meeting on the authorization of the LWT Board of Supervisors. He introduced the Steering Committee members to all in attendance. He went into a detailed outline of the farm, their Comprehensive Plan (Official Map), bankruptcy plan, LWT commitment (i.e. Tipping Fees from Landfill) and funding.
Mark Platts presented the following outline of the proposed projects: a) River Frontage (Safe Harbor), details of the buildings (Mansion, Barns/Silos and Dairy Complex); b) He expressed the Rural feeling driving along Kline Run Road; c) Preliminary Land Sue Plan (Kohr’s development); d) Confirmed Bankruptcy Plan, Chapter 11 – ($8 million dollars in debt); e) he noted the Bankruptcy Court Judge in the Middle District of Pennsylvania passed away and they are waiting for President Bush to nominate a new one. A Presidential appointment, with Senate approval, could take a year or longer. If they cannot deal with the creditors directly, it could be possible to get the case moved to the Bankruptcy Court in the Easter District of Pennsylvania to hear the case; F) the project has the full support of the LWT Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Platts also went into detail on possible solutions on how to save the farm. He mentioned the possible site of an Indian Fort that has not been excavated and some of the land could be used for farming.
Mr. Klinedinst stated there are two developers who are expressing interest. LWT could hold off any potential developers at the next regular Supervisors meeting if they authorize adoption of an Official Map that follows in line with their Comprehensive Plan. By doing so, this would give LWT a year to purchase this farm. Also, this would give LWT the time to explore any and all options. He is looking at the possibility of purchasing the farm directly from the creditors (if they are allowed by law) since the Trustee – Attorney Leon P. Haller (Harrisburg PA) is in no hurry to sell (the longer it is held up in Court the longer he is paid). He also stated with, the Official Map in place, LWT could start condemnation process to be executed on the property.
Representative Saylor stated a meeting was recently held on August 29, 2002 with the following: Congressman Todd Platts, York County Heritage Trust, Bureau of State Parks, York County Planning Commission and the York County Treasurer. The purpose of this meeting was to get feedback as to the validly of the project. The general consensus was one of “excitement, approval and how do we make this happen”?
Representative Saylor stated maybe we could partner with the Fish and Boat Commission, the Game Commission, Heritage Trust, National Conservation Fund and others that could lead to additional sources of funding.
Ms. Dunlap reviewed the grant application process to all and also stated that applicants must be from the municipality for funding. She also stressed the limited funding of DCNR; the number of applicants is always more than the dollars available.
Representative Saylor stated how the land was valuable to everyone in the community and also York County. If they didn’t take action, the land and project could be lost forever. York County is the fastest growing county in Pennsylvania and potential developers trying to get possession of the land that the committee must put this project on “fast tract”.
He also stated that the market value of this property could be $14 million dollars. At this time Mr. Stover stated that LWT could use the market value on a grant application.
Representative Saylor stated we need expertise help from those attending today’s meeting, to pull this together. Mr. Klinedinst stated that LWT could front the money for this project, but did not give a dollar amount. Mr. Platts reiterated the fact that LWT has about $8 million dollars in Tipping Fees from the Landfill that they could use the interest generated from this revenue.
Ms. Kramer stated that they were not in the business of land management. Maybe Josh First, District Representative for Harrisburg Conservation Fund and the Mellon Fund (who he has a partnership with) could work together on this project.
At this time Representative Saylor stated that he needed a commitment from all agencies in attendance so that the Steering Committee could move forward in the process. Mr. Plonski stated the prospect of “using Ms. Dell to develop it” and “Ms. Kraver on how to acquire it”.
Mr. Stover suggested that the committee should not close the door on using some of the land for development. This could result in the funding for the management of land property. He stated that this is just a suggestion but an option to be considered.
Mr. Plonski stated that all agencies could be utilized in the process of this project. He offered DCNR to help on any and/all steps. He suggested that the committee use Ms. Kramer as a technical assistant.
Representative Saylor stated that he was planning to put $8 million dollars in the Capital Budget line item. He would work hard to lobby the other legislators to approve the line item.
Everyone in attendance has formed the opinion that this project was worth pursuing and they would have nothing to lose by doing so.
Mr. Stover suggested another meeting to start the procedure on this project.
At this time the Steering Committee took the agency members onto the site for their inspection of the property to see first hand the importance of saving the farm for not only LWT but also York County.
Meeting closed at 2:51 p.m.
submitted by Jo Anna Shovlin
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