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N. Lebanon Township supervisors renew insurance, consider regulating Airbnbs

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North Lebanon Township Board of Supervisors on June 20 renewed their general liability insurance with Bowman’s Insurance, asked the township manager to collect sample ordinances regulating short-term private home rentals, and agreed to allow Dawood Engineering to apply for two grants on their behalf.

This year, the township received three general liability insurance proposals. Of those, the lowest premium was Bowman’s Insurance, which already supplies North Lebanon’s insurance.

Township manager Cheri Grumbine reported that Bowman’s has been responsive to questions, claims and policy changes over the years and recommended the board accept their proposal.

The board unanimously agreed to continue using Bowman’s insurance with the current McKee Risk quote.

In a previous meeting, the supervisors discussed regulating Airbnbs and other short-term private home rentals in the township. Following up, Grumbine asked to begin collecting sample ordinances from other municipalities so the board can compare options.

An ordinance may require owners of private homes available for short-term rent to register with the township, limit what zoning districts allow Airbnb units, or create other regulations.

While no action was required, the supervisors approved Grumbine’s request.

From left to right, supervisors Ardy Snook, Ed Brensinger, and Gary Heisey look at thank-you cards from members of Girls on the Run. In April, the board waived township fees for the Girls on the Run Practice 5K which was held May 4 at Lenni Lenape Park.

The board also heard a proposal from Jesse Suders, Planning & Economic Development manager of Dawood Engineering.

The township has already received a Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2) grant for $ 250,000 for a Lion’s Lake shoreline restoration and park improvements project (cost totaling $ 562,000). This grant requires a $ 250,000 match from the township.

Suders noted that the township’s match can come partially or entirely from other grants. He proposed that Dawood apply for a multi-model grant and a Greenways, Trails, and Recreation grant on behalf of the township.

The cost for Dawood’s services is not to exceed $ 28,000, meaning that total costs would not surpass this amount unless unexpected expenses occurred, in which case Dawood would seek the township’s approval to move forward. Suders said that typically, the cost to a township is lower than the “not to exceed” amount.

When asked Dawood’s success rate, Suders said it was between 95 and 97 percent depending on how it is calculated, though he cannot guarantee success on the project.

He also noted that, should the team come across any stumbling blocks that suggest receiving the grants is unlikely, they would notify the township and only charge for the services provided.

After some discussion, the board unanimously approved Dawood’s proposal.

The board also unanimously authorized the release of $ 24,000 semi-annual contributions to the township’s four volunteer fire companies. All companies have submitted 2021 financial statements, as is required.

The supervisors unanimously approved the advertisement of public hearings for two topics at the July 18 meeting. One is a revised stormwater ordinance. The other is an amendment to a liquor license for Country Garden 6 Pack, which already received approval for a liquor license transfer, but now seeks to use a connected part of the property as a retail space and needs updated approval.

Last year, vice chairman Gary Heisey submitted a letter stating that he would pay $ 3,000 to the township every six months to offset the cost of his insurance. Monday, he presented a check for $ 3,000.

In other business, the board:

  • Unanimously approved Phase 4 of The Crossings at Sweet Briar contingent on bonding being posted. Approval was recommended by the Lebanon County Planning Department. The supervisors also unanimously approved: a signed BMP O&M Agreement, a signed Land Development Improvement Agreement and Escrow, and a Signed Park & ​​Recreation Agreement and Payment.
  • Unanimously agreed to allow a Community Outreach Day Event by the Pentecostals of Lebanon to be held July 30 11 am to 2 pm at Lion’s Lake, contingent on a $ 500 security deposit and $ 50 rental fees for both pavilions being rented.
  • Heard that the owners of 1675 and 1677 Grace Ave. have submitted a petition for Zoning Amendment Application. For now, no action was required.
  • Discussed a request from the fire chiefs to adopt an ordinance enabling the billing of certain services and materials. This was tabled for now, with Heisey and Snook expressing reluctance to bill residents who already pay a fire tax.
  • Unanimously agreed to a tree dedication at Lenni Lenape Park for Tree #13.
  • Unanimously approved the minutes for the May 16 meeting (PDF).
  • Heard the Fire Chief’s Report from RSFC Chief Allen Firestine. He noted that there were 53 calls and 107.87 man-hours spent on incidents, and 148.2 man-hours spent on training.
  • Heard the Chief of Police Report from Tim Knight. There were a total of 276 incidents and 68 responses by the fire police. The board also accepted bids received for two old copiers for $ 57 and $ 31.

North Lebanon supervisors meet at the township municipal building the third Monday of each month at 7 pm The next meeting will be held July 18. The meetings are open to the public and do not require prior registration.


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