Police Advisory Committee Approved
After months of debate, Harrisburg City Council has approved creating a new citizen’s body that will focus on police accountability.
At a virtual council meeting last month, council approved Bill 8, which establishes a Citizen’s Law Enforcement Advisory Committee to review actions of the Harrisburg Police Bureau.
After hearing hundreds of public comments and then making amendments to the bill over nearly five months, council voted in favor of it, six to one. Council President Wanda Williams did not support the bill.
“I am in full support that there needs to be a process to reform,” Williams said. “But we cannot weaken the very system that protects us.”
What began as a proposed board to improve relations between the bureau and city residents was modified, since June, to reflect some community members’ desire to have more of a check on police.
Through lengthy meetings and public hearings, residents continuously asked that the board be given more power and independence. Council granted administrative subpoena powers and removed the requirement that board members participate in a police ride-along and undergo police academy training.
For some, the changes weren’t enough as council was unable to grant everything they asked for. For example, some residents advocated for changing the advisory board to a review board. City Solicitor Neil Grover said that Harrisburg doesn’t have the authority to do that.
In related news, Mayor Eric Papenfuse announced last month a proposal for the city to create 12 new positions in the bureau for “community service aides” to assist the police.
The aides would fall under the community services department of the bureau and would work alongside officers to engage with residents, assist the police with low-level calls, and help with report writing, among other duties.
These positions must still be voted on by City Council as part of the 2021 municipal budget. Papenfuse said that applications wouldn’t go out until at least January.
Fit on Market Debuts
Downtown Harrisburg has a new place to break a sweat.
Fit on Market opened last month in Strawberry Square as a “boutique” fitness center, according to building owner Harristown Enterprises.
“We are very excited to have a fantastic new downtown fitness facility to serve both our workforce and residential populations here in the city,” said Brad Jones, Harristown’s president and CEO.
Strawberry Square’s previous fitness studio, Fitness U, closed in June.
Fit on Market is located on the Market Street side of Strawberry Square and is accessible both from inside and outside, allowing members to enter the facility even when the building isn’t open.
Fit on Market offers new, state-of-the-art Matrix cardio and strength training equipment, in addition to newly constructed locker and shower facilities. Harristown has installed bipolar ionization equipment to continuously disinfect the air and surfaces, Jones said.
According to Harristown, memberships are limited in number, available on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost is $45 per month, billed quarterly.
The facility is unstaffed, but safety systems are in place to protect members, including connections to on-site security and emergency responders, as well as personal safety devices that can be used while working out, according to Harristown.
Members are issued their own access cards to allow entry to Fit on Market, located at 312 Market St., during facility hours, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
“Tiny House” Community for Veterans Proposed
A nonprofit group took a first step last month towards creating a “tiny house” village aimed at helping homeless veterans.
Veteran’s Outreach of Pennsylvania presented its plan to the Harrisburg Planning Commission for a five-acre site in south Harrisburg.
“This model for homeless veterans is popping up all over the country,” said Tom Zimmerman, the group’s president.
Under the proposal, 15 detached houses would contain basic necessities—a sleeping area, a half bath, a desk, a small sitting space, etc. A community center would have meeting space, a dining area, activity rooms, a laundry and other amenities.
“The idea behind it is that veterans don’t succeed when you put 30 or 40 of them in a room in a big, communal setting,” Zimmerman said.
Harrisburg philanthropist Peggy Grove and her son, Michael, under an entity called the Green Chair Trust, own the land, but have agreed to donate it to the organization, according to Zimmerman and Planning Bureau documents.
Currently, the Capital Area Greenbelt runs through the land in the area commonly known as Phoenix Park, where industrial ruins from a steel mill still are visible.
Grove would be willing to move the Greenbelt trail to just north of the site, a plan supported by the Capital Area Greenbelt Association, according to the Planning Bureau.
The bureau has recommended project approval, but with conditions. It would like to see several significant changes to the site plan, including a more grid-style configuration, a smaller parking lot and a smaller overall footprint.
At the Planning Commission meeting, the issue was tabled until the January meeting so that Veteran’s Outreach can consider the city’s desired changes, Zimmerman said.
Catalyst Winners Announced
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s Joe Arthur is among a half-dozen recipients this year of the Harrisburg Chamber’s prestigious Catalyst awards.
Arthur, the food bank’s executive director, is being recognized for his work locally and nationally in fighting hunger, especially responding to unprecedented demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis.
Arthur will receive the Catalyst of the Year award, which each year honors a person or organization that serves as a catalyst for positive change in the greater Harrisburg area.
Other 2020 awards and winners include:
- Athena Award to Sharon Ryan of Dasher Inc. for mentoring women in all stages of their careers.
- Business Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award to George Fernandez of Latino Connection for his service and dedication to Pennsylvania’s Latino communities.
- Corporate Citizen of the Year Award to Highmark Blue Shield for their response during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Todd Phillips of True Legends Barbershop for his dedication to the community and mentoring of Black youth.
- Small Business of the Year Award to Viscul Creative for their innovation in the field of food and beverage in response to the pandemic.
The Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC will host the Catalyst Awards virtual ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Tickets are available at www.HarrisburgRegionalChamber.org.
Residential Sales, Prices Strong
The local housing market continued to show strength, as both residential sales and prices rose in October.
For the month, 789 homes sold in the Harrisburg area, compared to 710 houses in the year-ago period, while the median price increased to $206,100 from 190,000, according to the Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors (GHAR).
In Dauphin County, sales totaled 369 housing units, compared to 309 last October, as the median price rose to $182,000 from $170,000, said GHAR. Cumberland County saw sales rise to 374 homes versus 343 a year ago, as the median price increased to $230,165 from $218,900 in October 2019.
Perry County also experienced gains, with 38 homes sold, an increase from 37 last year, while the median price shot up to $197,800 versus $179,900 in the year-ago period, according to GHAR.
Meanwhile, it took less time for houses to sell. GHAR reported that the average house was on the market for 31 days, a drop from 46 days a year ago.
In GHAR’s coverage area, the housing market has been consistently strong following the expiration of a pandemic-related business suspension in the spring.
Dauphin County Library System last month received a $750,000 state Department of Education Keystone Grant to help renovate the historic Haldeman Haly House. Last year, the library acquired the 208-year-old Front Street building, located next door to the main McCormick Riverfront Library in Harrisburg, and is raising funds for the $3.5 million restoration.
Deborah Sibbering was hired last month as Harrisburg’s new diversity officer. According to the city, Sibbering has a background in human resources and local government.
Harrisburg University has added a venue to its popular HU Presents concert series. Starting in 2021, HU will also host shows at The Englewood, a new music venue, restaurant and brewery located just outside of Hershey. HU is also rescheduling many of the shows for 2021 that it had to cancel this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harrisburg University’s e-sports team, the HU Storm, has won the Tempest Award for “Best College Esports program” for a second straight year. The annual program honors the e-sports industry’s most innovative companies and executives.
Mary Kuna has been named the new executive director for the Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authorities. Kuna returns to Cumberland County having served since June 2018 as the deputy executive director of the Redevelopment Authority of Pittston, Pa.
The Millworks reopened last month following a lengthy closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sprawling restaurant/brewery/art space in Midtown Harrisburg first closed in March for two months, but then closed again in July after a worker tested positive for the coronavirus.
Riverfront Park in Harrisburg has been named a “2020 Great Public Space.” The Pennsylvania chapter of the American Planning Organization bestowed the honor on the 4.5-mile long linear park along the Susquehanna River, as well as on two other designees—the Arboretum at Penn State in Centre County and the Allegheny Commons Park Northeast Fountain in Pittsburgh.
Adrian St., 2464: S. Moll & J. Wilson to NHP Real Estate Developments LLC, $45,672
Allison Ct., 4: J. Adams to Lemoyne Land Corp. Inc., $57,000
Balm St., 36: Super Fun Real Estate Yes LLC to C. Salazar & J. Vega, $35,000
Balm St., 37: A. & M. DePietro to Shutter Real Estate LLC, $35,000
Bartine St., 929: S. Binner Jr. to 608 N. Third LLC, $73,000
Bellevue Rd., 1940: V. Rivas to J. & J. Lugo, $40,000
Benton St., 605: B. Neiss to D. Candelaria, $100,000
Berryhill St., 2447: B. Moody to M. Serpe, $66,000
Boas St., 110: A. Seig to D. & E. Schmotzer, $150,000
Boas St., 219: A. Moyer to J. Nicholson, $162,000
Boas St., 235: D. Kergick & A. McHugh to M. Ruiz & K. Hillman, $194,900
Boas St., 421: M. Berlin to J. & E. Hojnacki, $159,000
Briggs St., 205: A. Brett & T. Granada to Trip Aces LLC, $126,000
Calder St., 108: W. Nattress & F. Hummert Jr. to B. Yasin, $165,000
Camp St., 635: T. Fenderson to Integrity First Time Home Buyers LLC, $30,000
Capitol St., 1202: P. Clymer to O. Levine & B. Brace, $110,000
Carnation St., 1613: S. Hite to A. Pachero, $38,000
Chestnut St., 1844: 4880 East Prospect LLC to R. Emeregildo, $46,000
Chestnut St., 2113: J. Dos Santos to J. Rawls & J. Caesar, $250,000
Croyden Rd., 2951: A. Smith to B. Krahn, $100,000
Cumberland St., 209: L. Brush to M. & C. Ritchey, $132,500
Cumberland St., 1319: G. Domon to D. Mota & L. Rodriguez, $75,000
Curtin St., 628: NVNG Properties LLC to A. Matai, $44,000
Derry St., 2341: W. & T. Cassel to M&D Express LLC, $37,000
Dunkle St., 554 & 556: D. Brooks to GFG Properties LLC, $47,500
Forster St., 123: Heit Holdings LLC to 123 Forster St. LLC, $540,000
Forster St., 1818: V. Rivas to B. Estrella, $60,000
Green St., 1713: M. Banks to S. & A. Hyder, $199,900
Green St., 1907: G. Buchen to W. & M. Cusick, $152,000
Green St., 1932: M. Roos to A. Quick, $235,000
Green St., 3228: D. Schwab to S. & D. Kaplan, $104,000
Hale St., 405: D. Washington to J. Espinosa, $89,900
Hamilton St., 426: J. Tang to JMR Ventures LLC, $80,000
Harris St., 207: K. Clark to M. Haragan & M. Erford, $174,900
Herr St., 405: T. & M. Ziegler to R. & G. Ziegler, $80,000
Herr St., 1509: R. & K. Lehman to D. Boyle, $38,000
Hoffman St., 3205: H. Novinger to A. Winch, $130,000
Hudson St., 1152: Amboy MAA Properties LLC to D. Jones, $119,000
Hummel St., 434: D. Quigley to Rumers Corp., $53,500
Jefferson St., 2243: C. Brannon to K. Moulds, $76,000
Jefferson St., 2714: D. Henry to Jhonleo Home Renovations LLC, $41,000
Kensington St., 2310: M. Williams to C. Grant & M. Rinaldi, $65,000
Kensington St., 2403: A. Nguyen to T. Dinh, $47,000
Kensington St., 2432: G. Ravenel to K. Murray, $79,900
Lenox St., 1910: R. Do to R. & A. Ortiz, $103,000
Linden St., 135: E. Green to K. Leslie, $70,000
Logan St., 2029: D. Carrero to Dream Property Group LLC, $43,000
Logan St., 2035: CR Property Group LLC to C. Baltazar, $135,000
Market St., 1151: Twin House Real Estate Associates LLC to B. Paulino, $46,500
Mulberry St., 1919: Bigfoot Properties LLC to R. Emeregildo, $46,000
N. 2nd St., 607: DelPenn Partners LLC to Fratelli Property Investments LLC, $485,000
N. 2nd St., 920: Tang Liu Realty LLC to AON LLC, $365,000
N. 2nd St., 1513 & 1515: S. Cooper to Fratelli Property Investments LLC, $375,000
N. 2nd St., 1523: Mussani & Co. to Fratelli Property Investments LLC, $112,500
N. 2nd St., 1908: J. Benson & F. Felbaum to S. Jusufovic, $130,000
N. 2nd St., 2308: E. & A. Cyrtyn to A. & K. Moyer, $216,000
N. 2nd St., 2327: B. & S. Rash to C. & J. Clabaugh, $138,500
N. 2nd St., 2731: T. Schmitt to M. Martin, $264,000
N. 3rd St., 1608: J. Tang to JMR Ventures LLC, $130,000
N. 3rd St., 1712: J. Yonker to L. Heisick & C. Chang, $160,000
N. 4th St., 1725: T. & V. Williams to D. Moore Sr., $152,500
N. 5th St., 2216: CR Property Group LLC to C. Menches, $109,900
N. 6th St., 2426: D. Leaman & JD Investments to Eden Bridge Foundation, $95,000
N. 6th St., 2439: Iglesia Dedios Pentecostal & S. Castro to Archie Group, $155,000
N. 6th St., 3218: D. Herr to B. Finley, $95,000
N. 14th St., 1217: A. Rodriguez to J. Minaya, $90,000
N. 15th St., 1301, 1500 Boas St., 2446 Rudy Rd. & 2515 N. 5th St.: Donegal Properties to Capital Realty Guild LLC, $1,100,000
N. 16th St., 1315: Blandy Family Trust to A. Murphy, $155,000
N. 16th St., 1318: J. Alvarado to Y. Cruz, $139,000
N. 18th St., 40: J. Holmes to M & Sons LLC, $38,500
N. 20th St., 37: American Rental Homes LLC, OJK Enterprises LLC & C. Texidor to E. Jacox, $57,500
N. Front St., 1323: P. & A. Ballantine to DM155 Enterprises LLC, $217,500
N. Front St., 1525, Unit 509: E. Cimbala to D. Kyle & D. Holland, $175,000
Norwood St., 945: J. Gilmore to M. Serpe, $66,000
Park St., 1821: Robert Rothbard LLC to C. Asare, $40,000
Parkway Blvd., 2437: Integrity First Home Buyers LLC to KMM Development LLC, $85,000
Paxton St., 1619: NAR Investments LLC to C. Barboza, $195,000
Penn St., 814: E. Derricks to Senior Parking LLC, $134,900
Penn St., 1405: KAB Rentals to C. Halpert, $68,500
Penn St., 1526: M. Dodson to Heinly Homes LLC, $52,600
Penn St., 1622: E. & J. Mallory to V. Kauffman, $178,000
Penn St., 2211 & 2213: PA Deals LLC to N. Seneviratne, $99,900
Penn St., 2411: D. Wendt to B. Carter & D. Ramsey, $110,000
Pennwood Rd., 3210: Lexicon Government Services LLC to Z. Huynh, $137,100
Radnor St., 682: K&F Property Investments LLC to S. & G. Rodriguez, $50,000
Reily St., 339 & 341: J. Webb & J. Sorzano to N. Luong, $142,000
Rolleston St., 1123 & 1125: J. & C. Bowker to O. Lujan & K. Ramos, $100,000
Rudy Rd., 2115: C. Fratelli to C. Jackson, $145,000
Rudy Rd., 2343: E. & L. Gutierrez to T. Orr, $184,900
S. 12th St., 1519: R. Do to 1&H LLC, $70,000
S. 13th St., 30: Lynn & Ryan Investments Properties LLC to DAG EKG Properties LLC, $195,000
S. 16th St., 540: A. & C. Burgos to B. Ortega, $40,000
S. 16th St., 802: Sutliff Enterprises to Shannon Investments LP, $1,000,000
S. 16th St., 939: C. Kearney to T. Carter, $118,000
S. 19th St., 1101: Ambay MAA Properties LLC to J. Espinal, $110,000
S. 19th St., 1338: Q. Ly to N&R Group LLC, $60,000
S. 25th St., 710: I. Green to N. Rijo, $98,000
S. 27th St., 653: E. Dale & D. Housel to T WY Enterprise LLC, $45,000
S. 27th St., 655: S. Sullivan to B. Dehning, $100,600
S. Cameron St., 712, Units A, A1, A2, B, C, D & E: N. Perakis to Boas Street LLC, $650,000
S. Cameron St., 724, Units A, B, C & D: N. Perakis Trust to Boas Street LLC, $350,000
S. Cameron St., 1160: Lindawn Partners to AT Properties LLC, $299,900
S. Front St., 615: C. & E. Conner to M. Sensenig & J. Wilshire, $210,900
State St., 231, Unit 503: G. Shook to A. & B. Pasechnyk, $147,500
State St., 231, Unit 705: Crist Property Management LLC to Nye & Golub Rentals LLC, $144,000
State St., 1516: KBT Enterprises LLC to M. Jiminez, $42,000
Valley Rd., 2311: P. Garland to I. Kucukaydin, $215,000
Walnut St., 132: J. Howett & S. Parker to Second and Locust Investors LLC, $275,000
Walnut St., 1810: I. Druker to VV Real Estate Developments LLC, $46,000
Wiconisco St., 632: D&F. Realty Holdings LP to F. Romero, $35,000
Woodbine St., 334: CR Property Group to R. Kumar, $105,000
Woodbine St., 622: J. Bryan to CR Property Group, $31,000
Harrisburg property sales for October 2020, greater than $30,000. Source: Dauphin County. Data is assumed to be accurate.
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