A new York County park might be in the works.
York County commissioners are considering a land donation from Glatfelter that would give the county 90 acres of land in North Codorus Township.
"The opportunities and possibilities are endless. I personally would like to see it become a park," said Commissioner Doug Hoke.
Referred to as the Lake Lehman property, it was once used to supply water to the Spring Grove paper mill and as drinking water for local residents.
York Water Co. now supplies drinking water for the residents, and Glatfelter uses Lake Marburg as a source of water for the plant.
The lake is almost totally dry but would require some remediation, said Joe Heffner, assistant director of the York County Planning Commission.
A dam was built there in 1942 and would be removed by Glatfelter before the donation, he said.
A stream would also be restored, Heffner said.
Glatfelter plans to remove the dam and will assume the costs associated for that remediation, company spokesman Bill Yanavitch said in an email.
"While the property is no longer core to the mill operations, we believe this potential donation provides an opportunity to put the property to better use for the community," he said.
Upcoming talks: Additional information may be gleaned from talks between the county solicitor and Glatfelter – a move authorized by commissioners on Wednesday.
Commissioner Chris Reilly said he wants to know how the county would use the site and what it would cost to maintain it.
Heffner said it could be used for, among other things, passive recreation and environmental restoration.
The remediation of the property could also help the county meet federally mandated requirements for reducing pollution to improve the Chesapeake Bay, he said.
For example, once the dam is removed and a stream flows through the property, the county could install buffers and other measures meant to prevent or reduce pollution in the stream.
"I don't see a downside," said President Commissioner Steve Chronister.
Buildings: There are two rented homes on the property, Yanavitch said.
If the donation proceeds as it's been laid out and those homes are included in the donation, the county would sell those homes, county spokesman Carl Lindquist said.
The property also includes the Lake Club building, which used to house a privately owned club and has been closed for years.
"We'd have to look into what to do what that building," Lindquist said.
If the building or homes are sold, any profit would be used to maintain the property, he said.
Chronister said the property would be an asset to the county.
North Codorus Township could use a park, Hoke said.
"We have great parks in the eastern and southern parts of the county, but we don't have a lot in the western part of the county," he said.
—Candy Woodall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.