York County commissioners are considering accepting a donation of about 90 acres of land in North Codorus Township from Glatfelter.
Bill Yanavitch, a spokesman for the paper manufacturer, said when the property was originally built, water there was used as part of mill operations. But that’s not the case anymore.
Commissioners on Wednesday authorized their solicitor to discuss the issue with Glatfelter.
Commissioner Chris Reilly said there are two main things to consider: How would the county use the site? And what would be the cost of maintaining it?
Commissioners said there are structures near the entrance of the site that could be sold to create an endowment for the rest of the property. That’s just one idea at this point, Reilly said.
“We’re just trying to think through all the scenarios,” Reilly said, later adding that there are “some exciting opportunities there, and we’re going to look into all of them.”
Joe Heffner, assistant director of the York County Planning Commission, told commissioners that the dam that created Lake Lehman was built in 1942. He said it was used as the water supply for the paper mill, for drinking water, and some recreational uses.
“Today, it’s no longer used for any of those purposes,” he said.
He said Glatfelter is considering a number of options, including donating the land to the county.
What would the county do with it?
He said there are many possible uses for the property, including: passive recreation, environmental preserve and remediation projects.
“I don’t really see any downside,” said President Commissioner Steve Chronister.
Heffner said the dam needs significant repairs right now. He said it appears that Glatfelter will dismantle it, remove it, and return the property to its original condition prior to any transfer.
Check out highlights of the meeting below: