Happy 140th Birthday Steelton!

Written by: Barbara Barksdale

We went from being a town called Baldwin to the Borough of Steelton, one hundred and forty years ago this month. An application for the corporation was done on September 5, 1879, with Grand Jury filings which lead to the certificate acknowledgement on January 16, 1880. The Deposition document was filed January 19, 1880 and the town was incorporated into a Borough. The final candle on the cake was having it recorded in the Dauphin County Court House located in Harrisburg, Pa in Charter Book “B” on January 26, A.D. 1880.

The name changed and the Borough Council started adding extensions over the next ten years.

The first extension was the land on the upper west side starting at the Harrisburg Pike (Front Street) to the bank of the Susquehanna River. This parcel of land was the village of Ewington4 which was incorporated into Steelton in 1881.

Cottage Hill extension along with an area near the canal towards Highspire was also added. Afterwards Cameron Plot extension (at the edge of Cameron Street) was decreed to be added to the land of the Borough, this extension included the North Second Street area. The fourth extension was in the area of Mohn Street towards Chambers Street. By 1888 the land owned by
H. A. Kelker was then added as the fifth extension to the Borough, which is the land from
Fourth Street to Harrisburg Street.

The sixth extension (Columbia and Lebanon Streets area) was added in January of 1888. Steelton continued to grow with parcels of land here and there as the population of the area continued to rise.

The Borough has seen a lot of changes over the years…good and bad. Oil lamps slowly were extinguished as the flow electricity pulsed through the wires, trolley cars were removed from the tracks to buses stopping at the corner to let you on and off at the stops, street lights glow in the dark instead of gas lamps. We have stop lights to control the traffic. No longer do we have people getting run down by the runaway buggy or the Model T Ford rushing down Highland Hill landing in the Pennsylvania Canal. We now have cars that grace the streets of Steelton and can stop on a dime. Gone is the storefront churches that started in the 1880’s to the solid long life of the area churches which still opens its doors to welcome those seeking a greater power than their own.

The acquisition of land brought the opportunity for the expansion of homes…homes meant more people…more people meant more stores, businesses and restaurants. It also meant that the Borough was thriving. A large part of the growth was because of the Steel Mill, the old Quarry and Brickyard that employed many of the residents. Most of the establishments were here when it was Baldwin and continued with the incorporation of the Borough. This growth brought jobs, steady income and welcomed the immigrants coming from all parts of the world.

The Ewington property was a part of Swatara Township and came with a school system already in place. Baldwin had several wooden school houses and as the Borough of Steelton council took over they added more schools to accommodate all the students of the Borough.

The Borough community has helped to produce awesome people of all races with a wonderful sense of pride. Those that lived here or still live here and invested in the Borough would have something positive to say that would far outreach the negative.

Hopefully you will take the time to say hello to a stranger, visit one of the many churches in the Borough, stop by to get some tasty food from the various eateries and have your moment of gratefulness while reflecting on the history of the town. Don’t forget the history of those who walked before you! Stop by the historic Midland Cemetery, Baldwin Cemetery and the William Howard Day Cemetery to visit an ancestor or feel the spirit of those who paved a way for you. Steelton, you have come a long way from a small American town to a Borough. One hundred and forty years may have weathered you but you still have a lot to offer.

Happy blessed 140th birthday Borough of Steelton

TAX DECREASE: 2020 Budget Out for Public Inspection

Summary of General Fund Budget Process:
The 2020 Draft General Fund Budget was developed by the Finance Committee of Steelton Borough Council in consultation with the Borough Manager, Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, departmental staff and consultants.

The process for developing the budget was as follows:

Staff Level Budget Meetings
Borough Manager and Assistant Secretary Treasurer met with Department Heads to review “Wish List” budgets including all desired capital and operational expenditures requested in the 2020 budget.

Borough Manager and Assistant Secretary Treasurer met with Department Heads to review “Wish List” budgets including all desired capital and operational expenditures requested in the 2020 budget.

August 26th                  Police and Codes Departments

August 27th                 Highway and Sewer Departments

August 28th                  Fire and Emergency Management Departments

Departmental meetings were used to compile a draft initial budget that included all desired expenditures. This budget was presented to the Finance Committee for review and represented a large deficit due to the budget including all desired personnel, capital purchases, and capital projects.

Publicly Advertised Finance Committee Meetings

September 12th – Review of Wish List Budgets with Department Heads – Each Department Head met directly with the Finance Committee to review and make a case for their budget requests as well as discuss areas in which they could cut their budget.

WISH LIST BUDGET DEFICIT: -$494,072 (this deficit was after eliminating debt service due to water system sale)

October 9th and 16th – Review and Discussion of Cuts to Balance Budget

Cuts agreed upon by the Committee, in consultation with staff, included:

  • NEW POLICE VEHICLE – Purchase moved to 2019 utilizing savings realized form defeasance of 2019 debt service. Prevents expense from hitting 2020 General Fund Budget.
  • DUPLICATE PATROL OFFICER CORRECTED: Removed errant duplicate of patrol officer wage from Patrol Officer Wages line item due position also being reflected in new Corporal Wages line item.
  • REMOVED FIRE TRUCK LOAN DEBT SERVICE: Due to Council decision to include paying off 2017 Pierce Fire Rescue-Engine in recent debt defeasance.
  • NEW STREET SWEEPER – Purchase moved to 2019.
  • REMOVED GRASS CUTTING SERVICES FOR 2020 – PW to assume responsibility.
  • REDUCED CEO WORK SCOPE – Reduced to three days per week due to proposed 2020 price increase.

The above cuts resulted in a budget surplus of $61,665 reflected in the Transfer to Reserves Line Item.

October 23rd – Vote to Recommend Budget to Steelton Borough Council

Committee voted unanimously to recommend budget to Steelton Borough Council.

Publicly Advertised Council Meetings:

November 4th – Council Votes to Lay Budget for Public Inspection:  November 5th – December 5th: 30 Day Public Inspection Period

December 16th of Sooner by Special Meeting: Formal Consideration and Adoption: Council considers passing budget appropriations ordinance and tax ordinance including eliminating debt service tax in 2020.


  • Eliminates Debt Service Tax = Tax Reduction
  • General Tax Millage Remains Same
  • Saves capital projects/expenditures for separate Council action utilizing capital reserve funds from water sale
  • No employee cuts

Budget Documents

2020 Proposed General Fund Budget

2020 Proposed Sewer Fund Budget

Steelton’s new Trash and Recycling Collection as of July, 2019

Please place your containers at your regularly designated spot no earlier than Tuesday evening; our trucks will begin collecting early Wednesday morning.

Trash and Recycling collection will be delayed until THURSDAY if there is a holiday on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

Please continue placing trash and recycling items in their respective containers just as you have been.  Recycle the same materials as usual.

Each household is allowed one bulk item each week; these include individual pieces of furniture, carpet, a mattress, or a box spring (separately, not both the same week).

Appliances need to be treated as scrap metal by each household, and hauled to any scrap yard in the area.

TVs, computers, and small appliances are to be taken to the Dauphin County Recycling Center, conveniently located at the north end of Steelton on Front Street (Rt. 230).

YARD WASTE will be collected on TRASH DAY
Please tie clippings and wood waste into bundles no longer than 4 feet and no heavier than 40 pounds.

Yard Waste is not counted as trash.


Please request the size trash cart you want:

  • 35-Gallon cart (holds 2 bags): 39.2” tall x 20.2” wide x 22.98” deep
  • 65-Gallon cart (holds 4 bags): 40.58” tall x 26.7” wide x 28.11” deep
  • 95-Gallon cart (holds 5 bags) 45.13” tall x 28.5” wide x 33.73” deep

Please note the width of each of the units if you must contend with a narrow doorway or alley. If you prefer the 35-gallon size, you are allowed two of them.

Your new recycling container will be one of the 35-gallon carts with a bright blue lid.

If these sizes of cart are not suitable, we will do all we can to accommodate your needs.


If you have your own trash account, you are entitled to new containers!

CONTACT Harrisburg Public works with this email address: steeltontrash@harrisburgpa.gov or telephone us at 717-695-9716 Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

If you have questions or complaints, do not hesitate.

Email Address: steeltontrash@harrisburgpa.gov or telephone us at 717-695-9716 Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


RECYCLE THESE : (Please rinse all food containers)

  • Glass Bottles and Jars (no mirrors, light bulbs, window glass, auto glass, etc.)
  • Cartons: milk, wine, soup, juice boxes (please rinse and crush, remove straws)
  • Plastic Bottles—please remove lids, caps
  • Plastic food containers, labeled with numbers 1 through 7
  • Yogurt, cottage cheese, margarine tubs
  • Aluminum cans and bottles (please crush to make more room)
  • Tin cans (please rinse)
  • Cardboard boxes (please remove all packaging material that is not paper)
  • Newspaper/magazines/telephone books
  • Office Paper: copier paper (any color), envelopes

Please put shredded paper in the trash.


  • All GLASS that is not bottles and jars
  • Ceramics (china, mugs, clay pots)
  • Diapers
  • Food waste and all food wrappers, plastic and paper.
  • Any paper or plastic that is wet or stained with food.
  • Paper packaging: cereal boxes
  • Advertising mail
  • Tissue paper (napkins, paper towels, etc.)
  • Shipping or padded envelopes
  • Shredded paper
  • All plastic packaging material (foam peanuts, bubble wrap)
  • Wax-coated cardboard (usually bulk food packaging)
  • Old Aluminum foil
  • Clothing hangers (off­er these to your drycleaner)
  • Plastic tableware–knives, forks and spoons
  • Paper or plastic plates, bowls and cups
  • Light bulbs of all types
  • Christmas lights, extension cords
  • Garden hoses
  • Plastic bags—these can go in the trash, but most area grocery stores have recycling bins for clean, dry plastic bags

Steelton Borough Council Lays Draft 2019 Budget Out for Public Inspection

At a special meeting held on November 14th, 2018, Steelton Borough Council voted to lay the draft 2019 General and Sewer Fund budgets before the public for inspection and comment for a period of thirty (30) days.

Members of the public are welcome to review the budget at Borough Hall, make copies for a small copying fee, or view the links here to review the 2019 Draft Budget Documents.

Comments/Input on the budget can be placed in writing to Finance Committee Chairman, Councilman Michael Segina, at msegina@steeltonpa.com

During the inspection period, the Draft Budget may be changed at the discretion of Borough Council.

Steelton Borough Council plans to adopt the final budget at its regular meeting scheduled for Monday, December 17th at 6:30PM at Borough Hall.



‘The Steel Works’ Development Announcement

‘The Steel Works’ development to transform downtown Steelton with a new grocery store, brewpub, apartments and more.

Economic incentives by Dauphin County, Steelton and Steelton-Highspire School District pave the way for the project</b/>

STEELTON, PA (November 13, 2018) – A Steelton native is heading the firm planning to transform six vacant blocks in the heart of the borough to “The Steel Works,’’ a mixed-use development featuring a grocery, brewpub and more than 75 apartments.

Jonathan Bowser, Managing Partner of Integrated Development Partners, LLC (IDP) of Camp Hill joined the Dauphin County Commissioners and Steelton officials to unveil the long-awaited project.

“It means a lot to me to do my first project in the town where I grew up and where I still have a lot of family,’’ said Bowser, the former CEO of the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation. “I believe this project will start to revitalize the borough and be a catalyst for additional development.’’

IDP purchased the land earlier this year for $375,000 from the Steelton Economic Development Corporation, which selected the firm after asking interested developers to submit plans. The search, managed by the Dauphin County Redevelopment Authority, began in the spring after the previous developer failed to get financing.

“This project shows what is possible when government works with the private sector to spur development that will lift an entire community and change lives,’’ said county board Chairman Jeff Haste. “Steelton is an example of how Dauphin County partners with municipal officials to tackle blight and turn disused industrial sites into prized assets.’’

IDP will benefit from a tax abatement zone approved last summer by the county, Steelton and the Steelton-Highspire School District. New construction will receive a 10-year, 100 percent tax abatement, meaning developers only pay property taxes at the pre-improvement rate.

Additionally, under the Commissioners’ Transformation Initiative to redevelop former industrial and commercial sites, the county used $230,000 of a $400,000 federal Environmental Protection Agency grant to conduct environmental assessments of the site needed before construction. Since 2011, the county also used more than $500,000 in gaming grants and federal block grants for Front Street improvements including new sidewalks and pedestrian crossing areas.

“We are excited to have IDP as our partner to finally develop this site and catalyze the revitalization of downtown Steelton,” said Steelton Borough Council President Brian Proctor.

Joe Beck, President of the Steelton Economic Development Corporation, agreed.

“IDP’s connection to Steelton, their knowledge of the town and its needs, their development vision, and their track record of success in Central Pennsylvania ensure that they will see a top-notch development to the finish line,’’ Beck said.

Plans for the Steel Works call for five separate buildings spanning the 102 – 230 North Front Street, including a free-standing, 20,000-square-foot supermarket. A pair of four-story and three-story buildings will include a 6,000-square-foot brewpub along with a mix of retail and office space on the first floors and apartments above. Construction is expected to begin late fall next year and continue for 12 to 36 months.

“One of best ways we can help improve the lives of our residents is by transforming blighted and unused commercial properties and allow them to shine again, as we are doing in Steelton,’’ said Commissioner Mike Pries. “This project will have a positive economic ripple effect throughout the borough.’’

In addition to parking in the rear of the development, plans call for a large park and amphitheater able to host events and small concerts called the “Brickyard’’ in recognition of the former brickyard on old the old steel mill site.

“Everyone knows I’m proud to be from Steelton, and today I’m doubly proud that a fellow Steelton native is allowing our borough to take a huge step to a new and prosperous future,’’ said Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III. “The Steel Works is the kind of project that will show other developers what is possible in Steelton.’’

Bowser praised county and local officials for creating the incentives that made it possible to obtain additional financing to make the project work. Developers typically get financing by showing the value of existing new construction, but in Steelton and other former factory towns that isn’t possible, which is why public sector assistance is critical, he said.

“The Steel Works will benefit the borough on multiple fronts,’’ Bowser said. “It will create new jobs and over time generate new tax revenue and, I think most importantly, it starts to build confidence in the real estate investment community that Steelton is a good community in which to do economic development projects.’’

Future developers will also be able to take advantage of the tax incentives enjoyed by The Steel Works as part of the borough-wide Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) Program enacted last year.

As with The Steel Works, new construction and improvements done in the downtown commercial district along Front Street, between Conestoga Street to Strawberry Alley are eligible for 10 years of property tax relief

That downtown zone also encompasses the 100 block of Adams Street to cover the Adams Street Townhouse Project, featuring 12, three-bedroom townhomes selling at below-market rates to qualifying buyers. The Tri-County Housing Development Authority is the developer and expects to begin construction on the first six homes later this year.

New construction or renovation done outside the downtown zone is eligible for reduced property taxes over nine years. Under the plan, property outside the commercial zone can receive 100 percent abatement for the first five years, 80 percent in year six; 60 percent in year 7; 40 percent in year 8; and a 20 percent break in year nine before paying the full amount on improved properties in year 10.

Proposed No Parking Street Sweeper Ordinance

In an effort to improve quality of life in the East End, Steelton Borough Council is considering an ordinance establishing permanent designated street sweeper routes throughout the year to allow regular cleaning of East End streets.

The proposed ordinance will establish “No Parking” restrictions on designated streets during certain dates and times which impact on-street parking locations during certain times of the week.

These “No Parking” restrictions would be enforces from April 1st thru November 30th if the proposed ordinance is established.

In addition to the East End area, parts of several additional Borough streets are proposed to be added to the “No Parking” restrictions. Please review the proposed ordinance below for the list of streets included. Additional Streets consist of:

  • Swatara Street
  • Sweetbrier Alley
  • Mohn Street
  • Paxton Street
  • Bailey Street
  • Reading Street
  • South Third Street
  • Bessemer Street
  • Lebanon Street
  • Conestoga Street
  • Short Street
  • Fourth Street
  • Chambers Street
  • Ridge Street
  • Third Street
  • Washington Street

The Borough will also hold a 14 day public comment period in which residents may submit comments in writing for Council’s review. The public comment period will last from Monday, April 2nd until Monday, April 15th at 4:30 pm. Written comments may be submitted to Doug Brown, Borough Manager, at dbrown@steeltonpa.com or mailed to:

ATTN: Street Sweeper Comments
123 North Front Street
Steelton, PA 17113

After reviewing public comments, Borough Council will consider passing the ordinance establishing a permanent street sweeper route and “No Parking” restrictions in the East End as well as the above list of additional streets.

Please call Doug Brown at 717-939-9842 ext. 5030 or by email at dbrown@steeltonpa.com with any questions.

Proposed Ordinance

Proposed Maps – East End

Below are the proposed “No Parking” restrictions. The lines are located on the side of the streets that will be restricted. An online interactive map can be found here. (Works best on PC) The interactive map can will allow you to zoom in to better see which side of the street will be restricted. Each time frame can be selected individually.

Mondays – 9:00 am to 11:30 am

Mondays – 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Fridays – 7:30 am to 9:30 am

Fridays – 9:30 am to 11:30 am