Ordinance Approvals, Fire Code Updates – Chambersburg Borough Council Meeting Recap

CHAMBERSBURG – The Monday night, 25 March 2024, Borough Council meeting began with a period of public comment, during which Mrs. Rose Wilson took the stand to speak briefly about First Lutheran Church in Chambersburg. Wilson mentioned the charitable work her church performed in the area, as well as the various programs they hosted. She also invited the Council and community to utilize their facility, including their sanctuary space, fellowship hall, and classrooms.

President Allen Coffman made a statement regarding multiple crime-related incidents that had occurred in town during the past few weeks. He stressed that this type of activity is unusual in Chambersburg and that the police department has done an admirable job of handling the incidents thus far, assuring the public that all cases would no doubt be resolved quickly. Following this, the Council approved the consent agenda and moved into discussion of the regular agenda.

The Borough’s Bond Counsel provided a report regarding two separate ordinances. The first involved an issuance of a tax-exempt bond to finance several different undertakings, including: acquisition of land and engineering for the future public works campus by the Sanitation Department; Storm Sewer Utility capital improvements projects; and an Electric Department substation project, in the approximate net amount of $9,195,157. The second involved an incurrence of debt in the form of a bank loan issued by the F&M Trust Bank of Chambersburg, PA in the maximum principal amount of $1,770,000, as well as authorization for proper officials to execute loan documents. The Council approved both ordinances, with ten in favor and zero opposed.

Fire Chief Dustin Ulrich presented the recommended amendments to the Fire Prevention Code in order to adopt the 2018 edition of the International Fire Code. Major additions include: regulations regarding residential fire sprinkler systems; annual inspections of cooking equipment and LP-gas systems/tanks for mobile food preparation vehicles; and regulations regarding propane storage containers. Ulrich also suggested certain deviations from the standard code, such as: exempting Airbnb short-term rentals from the required installation of sprinkler systems; and requiring that permanent propane installations be monitored and frequently inspected. The Council unanimously voted to advertise the ordinance with these proposed changes.

Deputy Borough Manager Phil Wolgemuth introduced the ordinance to amend the Brush, Grass, and Weeds Code, the Property Maintenance Code, the Streets and Sidewalks Code, and the Tattoo and Body Piercing Establishments Code as previously discussed by the Council. This ordinance was approved, with Councilmember John Huber opposed and all other members in favor.

The meeting concluded with Vice President Thomas Newcomer addressing a previously-made request to place a 4-way stop sign at the intersection of Parkwood Drive and Phoenix Drive. Newcomer reasserted that the intersection does not meet the parameters for such a request. He further suggested that the Council make a motion to put the issue to bed for the next few years, which the Council unanimously approved.