Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

November News Digest


New Council Members
Harrisburg City Council will have a fresh look next year, as voters last month elected three newcomers to the city’s seven-member legislative body.

Cornelius Johnson tallied 3,383 votes, while Westburn Majors took 3,343. Jeffrey Baltimore, the only incumbent running, earned 3,563 votes.

All three were running unopposed for the three, four-year seats after topping a crowded Democratic field during the May primary. No Republicans ran.

Destini Hodges tallied 3,514 votes running unopposed for the lone, two-year council seat.

Three council seats were open after councilwomen Susan Brown-Wilson and Sandra Reid decided not to run and Councilman Brad Koplinski lost in the primary.

For city treasurer, Tyrell Spradley earned his first full term, taking 3,545 votes in the general election.

School Board Shakeup

Harrisburg voters last month elected several new members to the district school board last month.

Meanwhile, newly re-elected board President Jennifer Smallwood announced her resignation from the body.

Ellis R. Roy, Lionel Gonzalez, Matthew Krupp and Melvin Wilson Jr. each earned four-year seats, as did Smallwood. Judd Pittman, who recently was appointed to the board to fill an opening, took the lone two-year seat.

The candidates all ran unopposed for their seats after emerging victorious in the May primary. Krupp was the only candidate on the Republican ballot, having been nominated by both parties.

The board now must appoint a replacement for Smallwood. That person will serve until the next school board election in 2017.

County Commissioners Re-Elected
The makeup of the Board of Commissioners will be unchanged as Dauphin County voters last month retained the three incumbents.
Voters returned Republicans Jeff Haste and Mike Pries, as well as Democrat George Hartwick, to office. Democrat Tom Connolly lost his challenge.

In other competitive county races, Republican Nick Chimienti beat Democrat Tim Carter for county sheriff, and Republican Timothy DeFoor defeated Democrat Eric Gutshall for county controller.

Several incumbents won re-election running unopposed, including District Attorney Ed Marsico, Clerk of Courts Dale Klein and Treasurer Janis Creason.

Water Rate Hiked
Customers of Capital Region Water will pay 9.7 percent more next year for drinking water, as the board last month passed a rate increase.

The new water rate will be $7.88 per 1,000 gallons, as opposed to $7.18 in 2015. The “ready to serve” charge also will increase 9.7 percent

“We don’t take rate increases lightly, and our board of directors is sensitive to the burdens already placed on the people and places we serve, but the systems that our customers rely on to deliver safe drinking water every day and to clean wastewater before it reaches the Susquehanna River were long ignored,” said Capital Region Water CEO Shannon Williams.

Sewer rates will remain unchanged at $6.05 per 1,000 gallons.

“After years of deferred maintenance and lack of investment into our drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems, we continue to build up to necessary staffing levels and to make long overdue improvements to our aging infrastructure to prevent the even higher costs of failure,” Williams said.

County Taxes Steady

For the 11th straight year, Dauphin County property taxes are expected to be unchanged, the county commissioners said last month.

The county portion of the property tax should remain at 6.876 mills for 2016, according to a statement by the commissioners.

The county commissioners are expected to pass a 2016 budget this month, which will affirm their tax plan.

Managers Get Payouts
Five Harrisburg department managers will receive payouts for unused off-time following approval last month by City Council.

Council authorized the city administration to spend almost $29,000 to compensate these managers for unused sick and vacation time from 2013. It was about $7,000 more than the administration was requesting.

Mayor Eric Papenfuse said that, following negotiations, the managers had agreed to take 75 percent of the amount owed them for the unused time. Council, however, authorized Papenfuse to reimburse them for up to 100 percent of that time.

Sinkhole Relief Denied
Harrisburg received disappointing news last month, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency rejected its application for sinkhole relief funds.

FEMA notified Harrisburg that it had turned down a request for $4.1 million to buy out homeowners in a sinkhole-ravaged area of S. 14th Street.

In the competition for funds, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency had ranked Harrisburg’s request first in the state, but, instead, FEMA approved a $2.1 million application from Palmyra, which was ranked second.

PEMA appealed the decision, and Mayor Eric Papenfuse also wrote a letter asking FEMA to reconsider.

Housing Data Strong

Home sales showed continued strength in October, sustaining a yearlong trend in the Harrisburg area.

For the month, 791 housing units sold, compared to 671 in October 2014, with the median price increasing to $162,900 from $156,500, according to the Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors.

In Dauphin County, sales totaled 245 units versus 229 units in the year-ago period, with the median price inching up to $139,000 from $138,000, GHAR reported.

Cumberland County sales actually dropped slightly, to 297 units from 303, but the median price increased to $185,000 from $175,000, said GHAR. Perry County followed a similar trend, with sales decreasing to 28 units from 43, but the median price rising to $129,250 from $115,000, GHAR reported.

In addition to all of Dauphin, Cumberland and Perry counties, GHAR’s coverage area includes parts of York, Juniata and Lebanon counties.

So Noted
Little Amps Coffee Roasters last month opened its third location, a kiosk on the main floor of Strawberry Square in Harrisburg. Little Amps was founded in 2011 at a location on Green Street in Olde Uptown and later opened a downtown café at N. 2nd and State streets.

Allen Distribution has signed a 321,333-square-foot lease at 100 Capital Lane, part of the newly renovated Capital Logistics Center in Middletown. The logistics company has leased the entire building, one of six comprising the 1.55-million-square foot industrial complex.

Level 2 is making changes going into 2016. The popular Latin Night will move to Friday and combine with the monthly Latin Fuzion party to create Fuzion Fridayz. Level 2 also is responding to increased demand for private events, with the space available for fundraisers, rehearsals, receptions and more. For information and updates, visit or their Facebook page.

Changing Hands

Alricks St., 638 & 651: Central Dauphin Realty Co. to Coho Spawning Industries & Meridian Recycling LLC, $650,000

Boas St., 235: L. Dempsey & B. Hartlage to C. Guy, $171,500

Calder St., 115: L. Paige to A. & M. Anselmo, $42,500

Derry St., 2436: M. Miranda to M. & I. Collins, $63,000

Forster St., 416 & 418: Pennsylvania Psychological to ITSM Specialties LLC, $145,000

Forster St., 1844: D. & D. Hall to S. Martin, $75,000

Fulton St., 1400: C. Krobath to PA Deals LLC, $90,000

Green St., 1617: A. Doherty to A. Calvano, $124,000

Green St., 3214: M. Traxler to D. Bartels, $105,000

Hale Ave., 397: J. & G. McCarchey to J. Gonzalez, $62,000

Hamilton St., 235: R. Swartz to G. Huggens, $168,900

Hamilton St., 238: LSF8 Master Participation Trust to J. Manzella, $63,900

Hamilton St., 326: K. Stratton to R. Hadrick, $110,000

Hanover St., 1701: C. Cheam to S. Chen, $400,000

Hoffman St., 3206: Skynet Property Management LP to J. Ostrander, $75,000

Kelker St., 315: N. Schock to C. Clymire, $109,900

Kensington St., 2313: Skye Holding LLC to J. Meas, $45,000

Locust St., 110 & 112: Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency to Locust Company LLC, $140,000

Market St., 1811: B. Vorndran to HE Pressley Properties LLC, $33,000

N. 2nd St., 717: M. Hilden & S. Farzin to BCRA Realty LLC, $150,000

N. 2nd St., 806: Pennsylvania Council of Republican Women to H. Fang & K. Zhu, $77,000

N. 2nd St., 1200: W. Moyer to Harrisburg Second Street Apartments LLC, $65,000

N. 2nd St., 2403: CNC Realty Group LLC to AON LLC, $470,000

N. 2nd St., 2517: 8219 Ventures LLC to AXL Realty Group Inc., $42,000

N. 2nd St., 3002: B. & K. Elgart to E. Stailey, $152,000

N. 3rd St., 1100 & 268 Herr St.: Triple Ace LP to AON LLC, $352,000

N. 3rd St., 2248: M. Coleman to N. Hartwig, $85,000

N. 4th St., 2737: T. Murphy to Mountaincrash Investments LLC, $37,000

N. 5th St., 3208: W. & R. Bragunier to K. & D. Roberts, $61,760

N. 6th St., 2610: S. Wright to J. Shutter, $34,650

N. 18th St., 120: G. Neff to D. Geiger, $35,000

N. Front St., 2233: Mancke and Wagner Real Estate to J.A. Hartzler & K. Werley, $300,000

Penn St., 1110: G. Latasha to A. St. John & R. Wagoner, $180,000

Penn St., 1111: D. Cooper to H. Landenberger, $114,000

Rolleston St., 1013: R. & A. Showers to W. & J. Wirfel, $30,000

S. 13th St., 240: NJR Group LLC & Touch of Color to A. Radon, $460,000

S. 19th St., 1111: Secretary of Housing & Urban Development to K. Saqib, $31,500

S. Front St., 315: JGPA Realty LLC to S. Eicher, $146,650

S. Front St., 605: B. Glazier & E. Tsumura to J. & C. Fabian, $152,000

Valley Rd., 2313: Secretary of Housing & Urban Development to K. & E. High, $78,000

Waldo St., 2708: Freddie Mac to Tassia Corp., $30,000

Wilson Parkway, 2734: PA Deals LLC to G. & C. Rodda, $80,000

Wiconisco St., 611 & 2641 Agate St.: Thompson LLP to Stop & Store Inc., $175,000

Wyeth St., 1417: Secretary of Housing & Urban Development to D. Drabik, $71,000


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