Conewago Township supervisors learned Monday about efforts under way to enhance residents’ safety and well-being.

Conewago Township Police Chief Gary Baumgardner showed the supervisors flyers which will be distributed on the annual National Night Out, which is Aug. 2 this year.

Conewago will join neighboring municipalities in recognizing the nationwide campaign when police host public gatherings in towns across the country each year on the first Tuesday evening in August.

Guidance for parents in supervising children’s online activity, avoiding fraud and scams, and suicide prevention were among the materials, which are available at the police department.

The chief provided examples of handouts for children and young people, including coloring books and brochures to help them make healthy life choices.

Baumgardner praised local businesses that contributed to the effort.

“There was no cost to the taxpayers,” he said.

Baumgardner also shared statewide statistics on Pennsylvania’s “Steer Clear/Move Over” enforcement.

Since 2001, the law has required drivers to slow down and change lanes when in the vicinity of an emergency vehicle with flashing lights.

The law was expanded in 2021.

First-time offenders are fined $500 for failure to comply, and points are assessed against a violators.

From January 2018 to March 2022, 77 percent of 15,210 accused violators pled guilty, said Baumgardner. He did not have a breakdown by counties or local jurisdictions.

More park complaints

The township’s most controversial issue in recent months has been the Plum Creek Recreation Facility.

Use of the rec park, located at the site of the former Hanover airport, mushroomed to the point supervisors declined to renew agreements with several soccer leagues until the park’s development is further along.

Residents in homes adjacent to the park have voiced complaints about noise, traffic generating dust clouds, and illegal parking.

At Monday’s meeting, Dessie Bowers, whose home abuts the park, told the supervisors park users have trespassed on her property, made rude comments, and created hazards by illegal parking.

Speaking of clouds of dust created by heavy vehicular traffic, Bowers said, “I’ve had my house washed. I can never open my windows.” Residue from chemicals applied to the roadway as dust-mitigation efforts “have ruined our vehicles,” said Bowers, claiming the chemicals are leaching into her well.

Board Chair Charlotte Shaffer acknowledged difficulties experienced by residents living adjacent to the park.

The board took short-term action to reduce problems by limiting park usage to only two sports leagues, said Shaffer.

She reminded residents the park development plan includes redesigning roads and additional parking areas, which should alleviate the problems. Implementation has been delayed because of the pandemic, Shaffer said.

“We plan to break ground in 2024,” Shaffer said, while acknowledging in the short-term the township has limited ability to remedy the situation.

Shaffer and other supervisors encouraged Bowers to attend their future workshop meetings where her concerns can be addressed more fully.

“It’s your home. You should be concerned,” Shaffer countered when Bowers said she does not want to become burdensome with her complaints.

The supervisors meet next on Monday, July 18, at 6:30 p.m., preceded by a 5:30 p.m. workshop open to the public. Meetings are held at the township office at 541 Oxford Ave., Hanover, with livestreamed and recorded available on Facebook.

Contact Michael Cooper-White at mcooper-white@outlook.com.

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