Manheim Township municipal building

Manheim Township municipal building.

When: Manheim Township Commissioners virtual meeting, Jan. 11.

What happened: Commissioners Sam Mecum and Tom O’Brien switched roles as board officers. O’Brien, formerly vice president, is now president. Mecum, formerly the president, is now vice president.

Background: Commissioner Barry Kauffman, who proposed the switch, said he did so at the request of Mecum, who served as president for seven years and “needs to step back a bit.”

Comment: All commissioners thanked Mecum for his service as president, including Commissioner Donna DiMeo, who said she “agreed with Mecum about 80% of the time but respected him 100% of the time.” DiMeo is the sole Republican on the board.

Interim manager: Keystone Municipal Solutions is assisting in recruiting, screening and interviewing candidates for a new manager. In a special meeting Dec. 28, the board appointed Benjamin Marchant to serve as interim manager, effective Jan. 4. He will lead daily operations of all municipal departments: police, fire/rescue, public works, code enforcement, planning and zoning, finance, parks and recreation and library services.

Background: Marchant has 20 years of experience in local government, including 12 years as a municipal manager, most recently for Springettsbury Township in York County, where he oversaw a $31 million operating budget and 101 employees in seven departments.  

Police appointments: The board appointed Michael T. Piacentino to the rank of lieutenant and Michael W. Naff to the rank of sergeant for Manheim Township Police Department.

Land development plans: The board approved preliminary/final plans for the former Stehli Silk Mill, 701 Martha Ave., and the Lancaster Airport Transportation and Maintenance Facility, 500 Airport Road. Commissioners also approved final subdivision and land development  plans for the second and third phases of the Stoner Farm, 1051 Eden Road.

Background: The $35 million Stehli Silk Mill project includes 165 apartments on the 11-acre property with multiple buildings totaling 200,000 square feet. Phase two and three of the Stoner Farm project, with four phases on about 50 acres, calls for 48 single-family homes and 18 semi-detached homes. Phase one was for 42 single-family homes.

What’s next: The board will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 19, to appoint members to the new Citizens’ Police Advisory Committee, which meets the third Thursday of the month at the Manheim Township Public Library.

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