Movement on the Hotel Locust and Hotel Columbia? Maybe! Drones in Columbia? Yes! Maybe?

cedc to land bank

So, finally, the Columbia Economic Development Corporation [CEDC] has made some movement with the hotel property across from the current borough offices complex. The minutes from the Lancaster Land Bank Authority’s April 24 meeting, shows that the CEDC “requested the Land Bank Authority take ownership … .”

There’s no mention of this at the CEDC Website nor its facebook page, There are NO MEETING MINUTES POSTED at the CEDC’s Website either.

Could find no mention of this at the Columbia Borough Website either.


“There is great importance in keeping proper meeting minutes because they are the only means the board has to provide proof of the decisions made in the board room.” That’s the guidance from The Foundation Group in this article: “Importance of Nonprofit Board Meeting Minutes.”

Every nonprofit entity — from kids’ athletic programs to religious organizations to volunteer fire companies — should have open meetings announced and post agendas and meeting minutes.

Sure everyone knows hand written minutes are the history of one person’s note-taking and rewriting what happened at the meeting.

Minutes are defined as the written record of a meeting which typically describes the events of the meeting, as well as a list of attendees, and a description of the issues being discussed by those present. Organizations should either find or create a formatted template to be used for all meetings. The time, location, and a list of those present should be indicated in the minutes. Guests should be specifically indicated to show who does and does not have voting privileges. The content of the minutes does not have to be a transcript of the discussion, but the minutes should contain a summary of the discussion as well as decisions made by a vote of the board members.”

Could find no mention of this CEDC transaction at the Columbia Borough Website either.

Did learn this though, at the minutes from the Community Development Committee meeting for the May 21 meeting:  “Frank Doutrich inquired about the Borough’s use of drone for Code Enforcement. Chairman Berntheizel confirmed that the Borough does own a drone but it is not in use by the Code Enforcement department at this time.”

In the minutes of the Legislative Committee meeting miuntes 50918 there’s more about the drone: “EMC Helm noted that the Borough’s EMOC has purchased a professional use Drone (“still in the box”), as EMC/First responders under go the necessary training and licensing required for its operation.”

There are a bunch of acronyms thrown about in the Legislative Committee minutes. Let’s hazard Wild Assed Guess (WAG) of some of the above. EMC: Emergency Management Coordinator. EMOC: Emergency Management Operations Center.

Curiously, since September 11, 2001, the United States has been struggling to implement the principles of a National Incident Management System including the concept of “plain speak” or not using acronyms. Yet, the the emergency response system is replete with acronym lovers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] has published a list, a long list, of acronyms that will dazzle and confuse.

In August, 2005, FEMA stated, “Recently NIMS, the Incident Command System [ICS] and the use of plain language have been a matter of public discussion within the response community. The NIMS Integration Center wants you to know that it sees the use of plain language in emergency response situations as matter of public safety, especially the safety of first responders and those affected by the incident.

“NIMS implementation is a long-term effort and won’t end in 2006. NIMS compliance
requirements aren’t going to go away in 2007 or 2008 either. However, continued resistance to complying with NIMS requirements and use plain language will result in the loss of federal preparedness funding.”  Yeah, that’s not happened!


  1. The CEDC website that I looked at still had Jim Smith listed and he has not been a member for the past 2 or 3 years. It is in dire need of updating.

  2. I would have to agree. It didn’t seem like they ever tried to clean up the facade to “stage” the building in order to attract potential buyers. It took years for them to even fix the torn awning. I asked at a meeting one time why they didn’t either fix the awning or remove it because it looked bad to leave it hang there in disrepair. Every borough official going in and out of the municipal offices on Locust Street had to look at that every single day.

  3. Just had a digital conversation with a reader who wondered how the CEDC managed to buy the building from Sara Froelinger back in 2014 for $150,000 when the 2014 IRS Form 990 published by Columbia news, views & reviews doesn’t reflect the purchase nor did the CEDC have that kind of funds in 2014.

    Shady stuff goes on in non-transparent organizations.

    The transaction actually cost another $3,065 in closing costs fees and charges.

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