Harrisburg City Council swore in a new member and approved a major building project during a legislative session this evening.
Dave Madsen, a technician in the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, took the oath of office from Dauphin County Judge Lori Serratelli, officially assuming the seat formerly held by Jeffrey Baltimore.
Madsen was appointed to a four-month term on council last week, and, just two days later, nabbed the Democratic nomination to run for his seat in the November election. Since Madsen currently has no Republican challenger in that race, he will likely serve the remaining two years of Baltimore’s term. His seat has been empty since Baltimore’s resignation on Aug. 11.
After Madsen was sworn in, council voted on a number of resolutions awaiting final approval. Most significant among them was a building permit application by Hamilton Health Providers, which now has the green light to expand its facility on S. 17th Street to include additional parking spots, patient visiting rooms and classrooms for the Head Start pre-K program.
Council also brought to the floor two new resolutions, including one calling for the creation of a task force to explore community policing policies, law enforcement and training initiatives, and the creation of a civilian review board for the police bureau. Council agreed to consider such legislation as a condition of allocating $65,000 to the bureau for the purchase of new protective gear.
A resolution approving the city’s agreement with the National Civil War Museum was also brought to the floor tonight and moved to the Economic Development Committee. Mayor Eric Papenfuse announced the plan to resolve disputes with the museum in a press conference at city hall yesterday. The agreement, reached jointly by city officials and museum directors, will allow the museum to buy its collection of artifacts from the city for $5.25 million. In turn, the city will begin to charge the museum rent and will pay for some capital repairs to the museum building in Reservoir Park.
Council will discuss both of the new resolutions at its Sept. 19 work session.