2017 Letter to Residents from our Borough Manager

Doug Brown, Borough Manager

Doug Brown, Borough Manager

2017: Building on a Foundation to Forge Steelton’s Future

Dear Steelton Borough Residents and Valued Community Members:

Thank you

With 2017 upon us, I would like to provide the community with a report on where we are as a Borough and what the near future has in store.

2016: Setting the Foundation for Steelton’s Future

Last year was largely focused on righting the ship in the Borough Manager’s Office. From updating the substantial backlog of meeting minutes to re-establishing a responsive Right-to-Know Process, much of the year was spent rebuilding the foundation of a local government that is transparent, responsive, and forward thinking. Many of the initiatives and accomplishments of 2016 do not grab headlines or seem exciting; but, they are critical to building a sustainable and fruitful future.

Transparency Milestones:

  • Unveiled a new Steelton Borough website that includes meeting agendas, minutes, a calendar of events and meetings, and regular updates.
  • Reinstituted mailing a quarterly hard-copy newsletters to residents as an alternative to the website.
  • Completed the backlog of Council and Borough Authority meeting minutes and re-established an efficient minutes drafting and approval process.
  • Re-established a responsive Right-to-Know tracking and response process with over 90 Right-to-Know requests processed in 2016 without issue.
  • Implemented an open door policy in the Borough Manager’s Office.
  • Created monthly “Coffee-with-the-Crew” events that allow residents to meet staff outside of regular business hours. They are the first Friday of every month at 7 am in Council Chambers and all residents are invited to stop by.
  • Re-established open and positive relationships with local media including regular alerts regarding borough events.

Administrative Milestones:

  • Appointed a new Police Chief, Anthony Minium.
  • Implemented a new community-focused strategic plan adopted by the Steelton Borough Police Department.
  • Appointed a New Codes Officer, Amrinder Singh.
  • Implemented new standard operating procedures and policies in the Codes Department to ensure thorough and uniform codes enforcement.
  • Addressed and closed out outstanding issues in prior PA Department of Labor and Industry Report.
  • Purchased new recordkeeping and Codes Enforcement Software to bring the office up-to-date in its record keeping process.
  • Created a New Property Maintenance Officer Position to increase property maintenance enforcement.

Infrastructure Milestones:

  • Secured financing for and awarded the Chlorine Contact Tank Project, which will thoroughly address recent disinfection byproduct issues. The project is expected to be completed in Fall 2017.
  • Completed a Water System Study including recommended system upgrades to improve service and achieve full compliance.
  • Completed and the sanitary and storm sewer inspection and cleaning project which cleaned and repaired key sections of the Borough sewer systems.
  • Developed a capital priorities list based on findings of the sanitary/storm sewer project.
  • Repaved Pine Street and Harrisburg Street and installed new water/sewer line service lines in partnership with PennDOT.
  • Completed Phase I of the Firehouse Improvements Project.
  • Completed the Sewer Station Pump Grinder Project to improve the performance of the Trewick Street Sewer Pump Station.
  • Initiated work on the Midget Baseball Field Rehabilitation Project which will provide a new baseball field for Steelton’s youth.
  • Initiated work on the Mulberry-Bessemer Street Water/Sewer Replacement Project.
  • Resumed the Mohn Street Tot Lot Project.
  • Resumed the Adams Street Townhouse Redevelopment Project.
  • Initiated a Sewer Rate Study focused on providing rate relief for institutional and commercial users.

Economic Development Milestones:

  • Completed demolition and Phase II environmental work on the North Front Street Redevelopment Zone making the area closer to pad ready.
  • Entered into an agreement with the Dauphin County Redevelopment Authority and Tri-County Housing Development Corporation to develop the Adams Street Townhome Project at Adams and Second Street.
  • Passed the Medical Cannabis Business Zoning Ordinance (2016-06) putting Steelton at the forefront of the emerging medical cannabis industry.
  • Completed design on the Steelton Skate Park Project, which will bring action sports enthusiasts and event-based tourism to the Borough.
  • Entered two properties into the Dauphin County Land Bank including 101 Locust Street.

Community Development Milestones:

  • Instituted Steelton Borough’s first ever Adopt-a-Block Program to clean up the Borough.
  • Re-ignited the Steelton Community Development Foundation including the appointment of a new SCDF Board.
  • Created a Blue Ribbon Committee of community leaders to discuss and tackle community issues.
  • Offered numerous community policing initiatives, including the Junior Police Academy, Safesitter Program, Free Flu-Shot Clinics, Shop With A Cop Program, and the National Night Out Event.
  • Conducted and supported the following community events: Veterans Day Ceremony, Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, Building Safety Night, Community Christmas Dinner, Summer Community Day, Free Movie Night, and National Night Out.
  • Hosted the Borough’s first ever youth program in partnership with the Dauphin County Library System called Gizmos and Gadgets.

What’s Ahead

There is a lot of hard work ahead of us; both for the Borough Manager’s Office, the Mayor, Borough Council, and the Steelton community. Rebuilding Steelton takes time, hard work, persistence, and belief. But, if we stay the course, Steelton will see its renaissance start now!

Here’s what to look forward to in 2017:

The Renaissance Row of Front Street Redevelopment Project
The Borough continues to work with a developer to revitalize the vacant lots across from Borough Hall. The Renaissance Row project is a mixed-use development project that will bring retail, commercial, office, and residential development to the Borough. The Borough continues to work through site plans and finalizing a development agreement. The project will be full-steam-ahead with shovels in the ground shortly after.

Completion of the Steelton Skate Park
Steelton Borough anticipates completing the Steelton Skate Park by Summer 2017. The Borough is partnering with Get On Board Skateboarding to develop events, camps, and competitions at the park. It is believed that this one-of-a-kind skatepark will bring tourism dollars to the Borough and spark the development of action-sports related businesses in the Borough.

Phase I of the Adams Street Townhouse Development
After ten years of sitting stagnant, the Borough finally made significant progress on developing the empty lot on Adams Street through an agreement with the Dauphin County Redevelopment Authority and the Tri-County Housing Development Corporation. Phase I of the 12 unit townhouse community is slated to break ground in 2017 with the construction of 6 townhomes. The project is currently near the tail-end of design phase and will next go through the zoning and planning review process.

Completion of Chlorine Contact Tank Project
The installation of a chlorine contact tank at the Steelton Water Filtration Plant will be completed in 2017. A pre-construction conference was held on February 7th with the project slated to start shortly. This tank is seen as the most comprehensive solution to current disinfection byproduct issues.

A New and Improved Steelton Midget Baseball Field (Reich Field)
The Steelton Midget Baseball Field Project includes new sod, demolition and replacement of the equipment storage building, and other upgrades to Reich Field. The project is expected to be completed by baseball season.

A Tot Lot Playground at Mohn Street
Bids for the tot-lot project will be opened on Wednesday, February 15th. The tot lot will consist of installing a toddler/youth playground at Mohn Street Park.

Continued Cleanup of Steelton and Strict Codes Enforcement
Steelton continues to receive new Adopt-a-Block applicants. Coupled with a fully staffed Codes Enforcement office under new leadership, the Borough aims to continue to hold property owners and landlords accountable for keeping their homes safe and in repair, while also keeping our streets and playgrounds clean.

A Police Department Focused on the Community
Under the direction of Chief Minium, the Steelton Borough Police Department operates under a new strategic plan with community policing at its center. The Police Department will continue to host popular programs like the Police Academy and Safe-Sitter Program, and also participate in events and programs throughout the community.

Continued Administrative and Transparency Improvements
The Borough is exploring implementing video recorded Council meetings, as well as making electronic copies of agenda packets available online. The Borough will continue to administer the Right-to-Know Law diligently and build upon the improvements of 2016.

Change takes time, persistence, and belief. I believe in Steelton and its future, and so should you. Please feel free to contact me anytime at 717-939-9842 or dbrown@steeltonpa.com to discuss any issues or concerns you have. Better yet, contact me with ideas you have to make Steelton a better community.

My door is open.

Very Truly Yours,
Doug Brown, Borough Manager