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From the Desk of County Commissioner
Marty Qually

(2/2018) In 2012 when Jim Martin, Randy Phiel, and I took office we heard from many county residents that they felt "left out" of County government. Mostly, this was a concern from communities on the outskirts of the County. We completely understood, and since taking office have added Commissioner evening forums to our schedule. The forums have become a great opportunity to have discussions about important issues and they afford the public a chance to meet with us in the evenings, instead of taking time out of their day to attend our weekly morning meetings. We have already started vetting some ideas and have scheduled our first forum of the year, but we are always looking for more topics, so if you have an idea not listed below, do not hesitate to contact us.

We hope to have an update on the challenges facing of our volunteer fire departments. A few years ago the Council of Government, along with the Adams County Volunteer Emergency Services Association and our County Planning office, work on a fire study. This study outlined the volunteer recruitment challenges, services area demands, and budgetary constraints facing our fire departments. Based upon this study some municipalities implemented a dedicated fire tax to supplement local fire company budgets. It may be time for an update on this situation. Volunteer fire companies are too important to the fabric of our community and for our safety to lose, so we all need to learn how we can help them survive.

Along with volunteer fire companies, we all need to learn more about ambulance services in our community. To the average resident, it seems simple, dial 9-1-1 and an ambulance will arrive. So long as they arrive, the details of this vital service are lost in the more pressing need for immediate healthcare. I have a basic understanding of how these details matter, but I know that I am not alone in the need to gain a better understanding. Hopefully, the complicated topic makes the cut and we can help the public learn more about how ambulance services are provide throughout our communities.

Over the past few years Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) regulations have begun to perplex local officials and homeowners alike. No one likes over-regulations, but at the same time we all want to enjoy clean water. Certain municipalities in Adams County are now finding ways to come into compliance, so that that storm water runoff from roads and parking lots is not polluting our creeks and ponds. We hope to have a forum with local municipal and conservation experts to help us understand how residents can assist government in maintaining the quality of waterways in the County.

Lastly, we hope to hold a forum on the cable franchise fees paid by cable providers to our local governments. No this is not a glamorous topic, but honestly it is important to local governments. Large cable companies are constantly trying to find ways to take power away from municipalities and their right to regulate when and where cable lines are run. Local governments also rely on the funding provided through their franchise fees. For every dollar lost to large cable companies, there is another tax dollar that residents have to cough up. This forum will focus on educating local officials on how they can stand up to large corporations and exercise their legal rights.

We have already scheduled our first forum, which will be about the Spotted Lanternfly. It will be held at the Adams County Natural Resources building on Old Harrisburg road on March 27th from 6:30 until 8 p.m.. Penn State extension staff are currently gathering a panel of local experts to lead this presentation to the public. Most residents have not heard about this new invasive insect and hopefully you never see one. While the fruit industry in Adams County is fully aware of this new pest and efforts are already underway to secure State and Federal funds to combat this pest, we need homeowners to also be on the lookout. Below is some information from the Pa Department of Agriculture. For more detail use this link.

The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive plant hopper and has been discovered in Berks County, Pennsylvania. It is native to China, India, Vietnam, and introduced to Korea where it has become a major pest. This insect has the potential to greatly impact the grape, hops and logging industries. Early detection is vital for the protection of Pennsylvania businesses and agriculture.

There is currently a quarantine in eastern counties of Pa, but as close as Lebanon and Lancaster Counties. Basically, the quarantine limits the movement of wood, brush, and certain agricultural and landscaping items. Since we are outside of the quarantine area, what is important here is that we be vigilant in identifying any of these pests. If you suspect that you have seen one of these, please contact our local Penn State Extension office at, 717-334-4216.

The Spotted Lanternfly adult is approximately 1" long and 1/2" wide at rest. The forewing is grey with black spots and the wings tips are reticulated black blocks outlined in grey. The hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band. The legs and head are black; the abdomen is yellow with broad black bands. Immature stages are black with white spots, and develop red patches as they grow.

Trees, such as tree of heaven and willow, will develop weeping wounds. These wounds will leave a greyish or black trail along the trunk. This sap will attract other insects to feed, notably wasps and ants. In late fall, adults will lay egg masses on host trees and nearby smooth surfaces like stone, outdoor furniture, vehicles, and structures. Newly laid egg masses have a grey mud-like covering which can take on a dry cracked appearance over time. Old egg masses appear as rows of 30-50 brownish seed-like deposits in 4-7 columns on the trunk, roughly an inch long.

This year our forums cover a broad array of topics, no one more important than the next. Once we have a finalized list, we will make sure to make it available to the public. We also may have room for a few more topics, so do not hesitate to contact me with your ideas. As always I am available at 717-339-6514 or

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