More topics from last Monday’s Council meeting-of-the-whole

What’s up with the Market House? Appears the ceiling paint at the Market House is peeling and there’s the imminent prospect of the peeling paint chips falling down on market house stands. That was a topic of discussion at last Monday’s council meeting-of-the-whole.

None of the councilors could recall when the Market House was painted; though several agreed the painting was part of the “grant” the borough received to renovate the facility.

Then the discussion turned to which party has responsibility for painting the ceiling: The borough (the landlord) or the Market House Trust (the tenant). Councillor Mary Wickenheiser said the paint issue was an identified “pre-existing condition” known before the Market House was handed off to the Trust.

The councilors also issued the fact that two of the exhaust fans in the Market House were inoperative. Other fans in the Market House are not working; the borough financial officer insisted that the Trust “should have put it (the installation of working cooling fans) in the budget” because “that is a capital expense.”

What’s up with 1020 Blunston Street? “ … a better opportunity has come along,” is the way councillor Jim Smith began the conversation about the property at 1020 Blunston Street.

Here’s a little background on that property. In February, 2013 following a council meeting, Columbia news, views & views reported, “One councillor, a member of the Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), introduced an action to have the Borough turn over borough-owned property at 1020 Blunston Street to the CEDC so that organization could dispose of the property in a manner “like” the Turkey Hill Experience and the riverfront properties. Ensuing dialogue revealed that several adjacent property owners had indicated interest in buying the property; however, the interested parties did not want the property at the borough’s offered price of more than $100,000. An earlier appraisal of $122,000 was reduced to a figure somewhere around $70,000. Interestingly, the interested adjoining property owners are also members of the CEDC. The councillor indicated this ‘pass through’ would help provide revenue for the CEDC to help pay for the recently hired executive director. Council approved the action by a four to one vote.”

This LEGAL NOTICE,  published in the Sunday News, Lancaster, PA on July 1, 2012: “SALE OF REAL ESTATE INVITATION TO BID The Borough of Columbia, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, shall accept sealed bids for the purchase of certain real estate owned by the Borough of Columbia until 11 A.M. on August 3, 2012 , at the Borough Office, 308 Locust Street, Columbia, Pennsylvania 17512 at which time such bids shall be opened and read aloud in a public meeting. The two real properties being offered for sale are: 1) 1020 Blunston Street which is a Light Industrial zoned parcel of approximately 1.1 acres and is identified as Tax Parcel Nos. 110-58624. The minimum acceptable bid is $122,800.00. 2) 215 Lawrence St. which is a residential zoned parcel of approximately .07 acres and is identified as Tax Parcel Nos. 110- 66893. The minimum acceptable bid is $18,000. The successful bidder shall receive fee simple title to the property and shall be liable for the payment of any taxes, including realty transfer taxes, fees or other expenses of transfer and recording. The Borough of Columbia makes no warranties or other representations as to condition of the property. The successful bidder shall take the property under and subject to all restrictions and agreements of record and all existing easements and rights-of-way, and will purchase the property “AS IS”. Arrangements can be made to inspect the property or examine any reports and documents in the Borough’s possession by contacting the Borough Manager’s Office at (717) 684-2467 Ext. 218. All bids shall remain open for a minimum of sixty (60) days from the date they are opened. Payment of the purchase price to the Borough shall be made in full within sixty (60) days after formal award of the bid by Borough Council of the Borough of Columbia. The bid shall be made only by an executed bid form (the “Bid Proposal”) furnished by the Borough, and shall include a deposit in the form of a bank check or money order payable to the Borough of Columbia in the amount of ten percent (10%) of the proposed purchase price. Prospective bidders may obtain the Bid Proposal at the Borough Office, 308 Locust Street, Columbia, Pennsylvania 17512, Monday through Friday, except holidays, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m or from the Borough’s website, under forms. The Borough of Columbia expressly reserves the right to reject any and all bids. Norman B. Meiskey, III, Borough Manager.”


At Monday’s meeting Smith deferred to the borough manager to explain a new opportunity for this property.

fivecarriercelltowerPHOTO SOURCE: This photo and good information about cell tower leases at www.cell-tower-leases com

Borough Manager Sam Sulkosky indicated that the borough had received an inquiry from a sub-contractor for Verizon Mobile about leasing the property to erect a 160-foot high cell-tower. There was discussion about how much revenue could be developed from a lease of this nature. Monthly rentals of $600 to $1,800 a month were thrown into the conversation. The borough manager suggested that a legal ad should be published to alert any potential bidders to reply to a request for bids.

Also in the discussion was the subject of when and how much would rental rate increases be. The council voted unanimously to publish a request for proposals to entertain a proposal for a lease of 1020 Blunston for the erection of a cell tower.

Read more about cell towers and leases here:

Cell Tower Location Map for Pennsylvania

Cell Tower Lease Negotiations

Legal Guidance & Specialized Assistance for Landowners

To get a complete picture of the actions and discussions of local government, citizens and property owners are reminded that they must attend council and school board meetings. Any media reporting, by design, is compressed due to time and/or space constraints. Columbia news, views & reviews does audio record the open meetings; citizens wanting a digital file of the recording of this meeting may send an email to


  1. 17512, can you help me out here, will the Borough retain ownership of the land and then lease it to Verizon for the cell tower at a cost of $600-$1800 a month? Seems like a braod range of dollar figures there. The legal notice was posted on July 1st, 2012, is this when Verizon became interested? Why hasn’t something been done on this in the past year? Is the said Councillor who is a member of the CEDC voting on this matter? I know he has in the past voted on issues to benefit the CEDC, just wondering if it’s still going on? Thanks!

  2. It’s often hard for those in attendance at meetings to hear what’s being said, but the discussion at the Monday meeting indicated that the borough will keep the property and lease space for the erection of a cell tower to a sub-contractor or another entity who may submit a higher bid.

    The lease agreements, according to sources we checked, vary greatly in monthly rents predicated on a host of things.

    There was no discussion about when there was interest in the property; the property was going to be turned over to the CEDC as stated.

  3. Jim Smith is on the CEDC and so is Kieth Lutz and Jeff Seibert just to name afew!! Kleen Right wanted that property, like all others around 9th and Blunston st. Keith is part owner of Kleen right while Jim Smith owns alot of property as well. Who are these people trying to fool, they want what is for them only!! They work as a team under CEDC so the can move on with what makes them best, GREED and more GREED!!! They could care less about TAXES and other important things. KLEEN RIGHT gets a big tax break! By the way does anyone see the roof on the Turkey Hill Experience! It should have been put on, that is what the blue print showed before they built it! Some one or some group pocketed the money!! One more thing before i sign off is that Jim Smith might say he doesnt own property he signd off to his wife and daughter so there would be no conflict while he is on council!! They dont call this town LITTLE CHICAGO for nothing!!!!!!

  4. I’m tired of these clowns on the CEDC taking and taking and taking, all while dancing on the bruised backs of the taxpayers!! And just as shameful are the council members who vote for the betterment of the CEDC at the expense of the taxpayers!!! SHAME SHAME SHAME!!!!

  5. Tiny Tim, Tiny Tim, where for art thou? Bad-Ass Mr. Big and Viscious Vera are attacking your cronies from the CEDC, don’t you want to come and defend them?!?! LMAO

  6. oh you guys, you are so silly.
    Let me say I shouldn’t be referred to as Tiny Tim, just Tiny. Those with vertical impairment can always” look up in life.” The cronies of whom you speak, CEDC, are not my cronies and need not my defense. They are proven successful business men, that may be why you have harbored professional jealousy toward them. Personally I know little about them as persons but have been told they are leading business men in the community, proposing, implementing many good opportunities in the community. If along the way they profit by these business ventures, like buying buildings at a reasonable cost and renting them, influencing decisions that serve their best interest maybe not those of the citizens, is business model in effect by the federal government. Don’t know much about Mr. Greenya and the current situation, perhaps you can explain if his performance was judged by you as so “poor” how in this good earth did he last so long in this important position? Now judging by your remarks in this blog you support the principles of the corrupt federal government but cannot endorse the same behavior in the local community is puzzling. Your remarks usually are in support of those endorsed by Barry Soetoro which could mean he has your vote. In the end MR Big/Watching from the outside, Vern and Vera and Tiny have the communities best interest at heart. Click on this link for a photo of your here.
    You all have a good day, it is time for my therapy.

    • Tiny, I have a problem with these so called business men, their ventures and their low life organization when they are costing the taxpayers money. I am not jealous of people who are flagrantly lacking morals, values and ethic, who don’t care who they step on to get what they want. But again, I come back to blaming council for voting to utilize this organization for property transfers when they could be running them thru the municipal authority.

  7. Tiny Tim(Yes, I’ll keep referring to you as such, because that’s the name your parents gave you)…Me thinks I told you why Mr. Greenya survived as many years as he did and that’s because Sheriff Lutz protected him as he does the whole police department. Safety costs for the Borough continue to rise because the police get whatever they want on Lutz’ watch. It’s not going to get any better with the rising salaries and benefits that they’re entitled too. Another point that needs re-iterated is that you played a major part and must accept responsibility for Greenya becoming police chief, so this is on you as well. I’m not sure why you deny knowing the CEDC except you think it’ll mask your true identity, when Ron Sahd, Jim Smith and Keith Kutz are friends of yours. Although, with the taking of taxpayer money for their projects, I wouldn’t want people to know I associate with them either.

    Vernon…after 12 years of Sheriff Lutz at the helm of this Borough, and the lack of improvements for the taxpayer money that he’s helped spend, I’ll vote for a change of leadership, and if it’s Sandy Duncan, then she has my vote.

    Good day to all!

  8. Watching from the Outside, you need not get nasty and bring parents into the discussion, Tiny Tim is not the name given me by parents, I insist you need to call me only TINY!!!!
    Those CEDC guys mentioned must have some $ and apparently have found a way in which to “earn” even more $. Vera makes sense regarding “running things thru the municipal authority” rather than thru CEDC. Sounds like corruption in the council, recall my suggestion that local politics parallel those of the current federal ” Soetoro band of thieves.
    Watching from the Outside, your logic pointed at Vernon…”after 12 years of Sheriff Lutz at the helm of this Borough, and the lack of improvements for the taxpayer money that he’s helped spend, I’ll vote for a change of leadership” is the same kind of warped logic that we as a nation are now dealing with, you and Soetoro how sad it is. Better choose a good candidate for mayor and the person you mentioned is clearly not qualified!!!!! On the brighter side of things it is a pleasant view I have from my room looking out into the coolest little community.
    You almost have me thinking changes in borough council are needed, how do we go forward.
    Off to bingo, have a great evening.


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