Like a homeowner about to move after years at the same address, the City of Lebanon has accumulated a lot of stuff in six decades at the Lebanon Municipal Building that it won’t need at its new downtown city hall.

At its monthly meeting Feb. 28, council continued the housecleaning program it started last year by approving the destruction of old paper records, some dating to 1946, in its Administration, Public Works, and Community and Economic Development departments.

Mayor Sherry Capello and her staff reported that about 30 70-gallon containers of outdated documents have been destroyed so far, with another 30 or so destined for the shredder. The outdated documents include old grant applications, accident reports, road salt contracts, and dumpster permits.

According to Capello, the city is on track for an early May move to its new headquarters in the old Harrisburg Area Community College building in the 700 block of Cumberland Street.

Grant application to improve Southwest Park approved

Council unanimously passed a resolution authorizing Capello to apply to the Commonwealth Financing Authority for a Statewide Local Share Assessment Grant to pay for improvements to the tennis and basketball courts at Southwest Park, also known as Optimist Park.

The program is funded through the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act.

The project would be jointly administered by the city and the Lebanon Valley Tennis Association. If approved, $117,752 would be used to improve the tennis courts and surrounding area. A second phase of the grant would provide $35,000 to refurbish the basketball courts.

Read More: Lebanon Valley Community Tennis Association wants to grow the game by taking it indoors

Other business before City Council

  • With 2022 8% complete, Capello reported that revenues through Jan. 31 were 4.67% of budget projections and expenses at 4.77%. She said that the revenue lag is expected since 2022 property tax payments haven’t started coming in.
  • Council passed a measure to incorporate ordinances passed in 2021 into the city’s Codified Ordinances, allowing all ordinances, old and new, to be indexed and accessed in a single location.
  • Capello told council that she has appointed Vincent Garcia to the city’s Design Review Board, which reviews public murals and street art for compliance with the city’s zoning ordinance. He will complete the unexpired term of Amy Kopecky, who has resigned.
  • Donald Graby of South 21st Street asked council about the application of the city’s rental registration fee to properties that are not actually rented to tenants. The fee is triggered when a property is not owner-occupied, which includes properties that are acquired to be quickly rehabilitated and “flipped.” Capello said that the ordinance establishing the fee contains a “gray area,” and that the city would review it for a possible amendment.
  • Councilman Richard Wertz praised the Lebanon Police Department for quickly arresting a suspect in the Feb. 23 murder of Jean Alvarado Rosado. Capello noted that city police have clearance rates that exceed national rates in almost all crime categories.

The city is hiring a police officer

City police are looking to hire a police officer at a starting salary of $49,300. The application deadline is Friday, March 11.

Click here to apply. For more information, contact Civil Service Commission secretary Sonia Rodriguez at 717-272-6611.

Next council meetings

City Council’s next pre-council planning meeting will be on Thursday, March 24, at 4:45 p.m. The next regular monthly council meeting will be on Monday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m.

Both meetings are open to the public and will be held in council chambers, Room 210, Municipal Building, 400 S. 8th St., Lebanon.

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Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...