Glo Fiber, powered by Shenandoah Telecommunications Co., has reached an agreement with municipal officials to deploy fiber-to-the-home broadband services to Mount Joy borough.
Throughout the 18- to 24-month construction process, Glo Fiber will bring a fiber network to more than 3,700 homes and businesses in the area, a release said, enabling multi-gigabit internet access with symmetrical upload and download speeds up to 5G. Glo Fiber said it can ensure high speeds, low latency and increased reliability because it uses Edinburg, Virginia-based Shentel’s 8,300-mile regional fiber network.
Engineering work is underway, and construction is scheduled to begin in late 2024.
Glo Fiber has customers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia.
“The borough looks forward to Glo Fiber operating in Mount Joy,” said Mount Joy Borough Manager Mark Pugliese. “Borough Council voted unanimously in favor of setting up a franchise agreement with Glo Fiber, permitting Glo Fiber to operate within the borough limits. In the end, our residents will have an opportunity to choose who they want to purchase services from. Up until now, there were little options.”
Added Chris Kyle, vice president of industry and regulatory affairs at Shentel: “We are excited to continue expanding our footprint in Lancaster County. Mount Joy marks our 30th franchise in Pennsylvania as we continue to bring Glo Fiber to residents and businesses throughout the commonwealth. Not surprisingly, we have seen a great response from Lancaster County localities as they realize just how crucial fiber-to-the-home infrastructure is in today’s world.”
The Lancaster County Career and Technology Center sold a single-family home, built by their students, in Mount Joy on July 15.
The house sold for $415,900 after taking a few years to complete due to some setbacks from COVID-19, the school said in a press release.
The house was a group project, completed by students in the senior construction, painting and interior finishes, carpentry, electrical, cabinetry, plumbing, HVAC, architectural CAD and heavy equipment operating programs.
The three bedroom, two and a half bath, single-family home is located on a 2,000-square-foot subdivision of the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center’s Mount Joy Campus. The house is entirely built and constructed by the students, with subcontractors only stepping in to handle a few aspects such as laying the foundation and insulation, the school said.
LCCTC has had students building houses for decades. In the future, LCCTC plans to continue subdividing the surrounding land and have two houses under construction each year- one that students are finishing and one that students are just starting. This allows students to experience the entire process of building a house from start to finish.
Richard Martin, LCCTC’s construction coordinator, manages the project. He’s in his sixth year at Lancaster County CTC and worked as a homebuilder prior to joining the organization.
Martin takes care of organizing the plans, specifications, purchasing materials and scheduling subcontractors. Martin’s work in the background allows the instructors to have more time with students, which ensures that students receive more hands-on experience, the school said.
“This project is the highlight of their year,” Martin said. “These kids are here because they want to be working with their hands; that’s what they’re excited about and this project gives them that opportunity.”
Martin also noted that the project benefits the community by supporting the industries that LCCTC is preparing students for. “A strong industry means more available jobs for individuals within the community. We’re making sure students are leaving here with skills that employers are looking for.”
Lancaster and Berks counties have nearly 3.9 million commercial birds to the recent Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak, according to Penn State Extension and the state Department of Agriculture.
While the federal government is stepping in to pay for the cleanup and disposition of infected flocks and will cover the cost of replacing them, there is no stipulation for covering the loss of egg production during the cleanup phase to farmers.
And while consumers are paying more than double for eggs at the store, grocers are seeing a major drop in profit margins while trying to keep prices as low as possible.
John Boney, Penn State Extension poultry specialist and assistant professor of poultry science, said 3,845,200 birds in Lancaster County and 44,100 birds in Berks County have been destroyed due to the outbreak to date.
“Lancaster County is our most poultry dense county in the state,” he said.
The infected farms will not see income during this time of disposal and cleanup.
“Some will probably not stay in business,” he said.
Boney explained that the active cleanup is still underway, so farmers are not dealing with the bottom line yet. That will happen closer to mid-July when, he said, hopefully reflocking can begin.
That’s because, while the outbreak is ongoing, those in the control zone are still being tested on a regular basis and new flocks can’t be brought in.
“All flocks must test negative so the virus can be eradicated,” he said.
“It’s too early to know what the costs of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak Pennsylvania will be,” said Shannon Powers of the state Department of Agriculture. “The cost will be borne by the poultry businesses, state and federal government and to some extent, by consumers paying higher prices for eggs and poultry.”
As of May 9, nine commercial chicken and duck flocks in Pennsylvania have been affected with a loss of 3,889,300 birds, she said. Costs to farms and various agencies involved in the response will be determined in the coming months as contracts, personnel, supplies and other expenditures are finalized and indemnity funds for farms processed.
For local grocers like Scott Karns, president and CEO of Karns Foods, Mechanicsburg, profit margins are being held as low as possible to keep egg prices down.
“We’ve seen prices double and they continue to climb weekly,” he said.
While he can still get eggs, mostly from non-infected Biglerville, “once prices go up, they continue to go up,” he said.
Egg prices are just the start. Karns said he is expecting price increases in bakery items, frozen dinners; basically anything made with eggs.
“There has been a significant increase in the cost of chicken due to the cost of the feed,” he said. “We’ve been expecting that because of a lack of supply of wheat and corn used in the feed.”
On top of that, Karns said the government is asking for an increase in the production of ethanol fuel, which uses corn.
“It doesn’t look good for the next year,” he said.
Farmers and the veterinarians and others tied to the poultry industry are in an incredibly stressful time, in an atmosphere of uncertainty and little rest, compounded by fuel, fertilizer and other input costs that were already increasing due to global events happening prior to the HPAI outbreak, Powers agreed.
Karns is buying large eggs wholesale for $2.81 a dozen and selling them for $2.99.
“That’s not much of profit margin and when you add in the loss for cracked eggs, it’s not enough to pay the bill,.” he said
Jeff Hummer, president of Hummers Meats Inc., Mount Joy, echoed the problem.
“The availability hasn’t been affected, but the pricing has,” he said.
He too has been paying double the past few weeks and is seeing sales volumes decrease.
“People are hesitant to buy at these prices,” he said. “Chicken prices have gone up as well and people are holding off to see if they will come back down.”
Karns said coming off the Easter holiday when eggs are in demand makes this the worst time for an outbreak.
“Summer travel makes demand for eggs increase too. People go to buffets, so eggs are in demand,” he said. “We are going to see this for at least six months.”
Farms must have biosecurity plans and meet additional reporting requirements to receive compensation, Powers said.
USDA provides compensation for depopulation (euthanizing birds), as well as waste disposal and virus elimination, which must be completed before affected farms can begin to safely restock. However, “USDA cannot offer indemnity for income or production losses suffered due to downtime or other business disruptions,” she said.
“We were prepared for this poultry industry emergency. Since 2015-16, Governor Tom Wolf has ensured that $2 million has always been readily available for Pennsylvania to have a quick response to Avian Influenza. That funding, in addition to rapid response funding for agricultural emergencies established under the PA Farm Bill, means Pennsylvania has $3.5 million available for immediate response needs,” Powers said.
In addition, the Wolf Administration has provided $3 million to fund the Center for Poultry Excellence — which trains and equips the industry in biosecurity and safe, quality poultry and egg production — since establishing it in 2019 and proposed $1 million in funding for 2022-2023.
“The administration is in conversation with the General Assembly to assess whether additional funds will need to be appropriated to support the response,” she said.
Boney said teams from Penn State Extension serve on Avian Task Force to serve as experts in high alert situations.
He said it has been six days since the last outbreak in Berks County on May 3 and “that is good news.”
The disease comes from migratory birds, which are active right now.
“We know the virus is spread by people, tools, shared equipment and wild birds on the premises,“ Boney said.
Standing water and feed spills draw wild birds to farms, but the disease can also be carried in the air and moved by wind, he said. “There are a lot of opportunities for spread.”
The last outbreak in Pennsylvania was in 1983-84.
Protecting Pennsylvania’s $7.1 billion poultry industry is a year-round top priority.
“Our PA Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System is made up of the finest diagnostic laboratories in the world,” Powers said. “Together, the labs processed more than 200,000 samples last year. We are carefully monitoring the surge in testing demand and planning to meet ramped up need.”
There are 95 state Department of Agriculture, USDA and contracted experts working as first responders on affected farms to quickly and safely contain the outbreak, and at the department’s main building in Harrisburg. The number of direct responders is growing.
Farmers face unique stresses that isolate them in the best of times. With the outbreak, Pennsylvania now offers the AgriStress HelpLine available to Pennsylvania farmers, farm families and farm workers who need mental health support or a place to turn to talk about their stress.
The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 833-897-2474 to speak with a healthcare professional anonymously at any time.
Two Lancaster County firms are among nine across the state to receive low-interest loans from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority, Governor Tom Wolf said today.
“The PIDA loans approved today provide the support needed for these nine businesses to expand and succeed,” said Wolf. “Through the acquisition of new property, the expansion of existing buildings, and the purchase of new equipment, this funding ensures these businesses can grow their operations right here in Pennsylvania.”
Fox Chapel Publishing Co. Inc., through the EDC Finance Corp., has been approved for a 15-year $1,800,000 loan at a 1.5 % reset interest rate to build a 37,500-square-foot addition to its existing 41,000-square-foot facility located at 950 Square Street, Mount Joy.
The new addition will allow for as many as nine pallets of books to be stacked vertically, giving the new warehouse a total capacity of 7,500 to 8,000 pallets of books. The total project cost is $4,000,000 and Fox Chapel has committed to retain 50 jobs within three years.
Hoober Inc., through the EDC Finance Corp., has been approved for a 15-year $1,533,000 loan at a 1.5 % reset interest rate to construct a 22,400-square-foot free standing building directly adjacent to its existing 51,580-square-foot facility located at 3452 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse.
The project will include upgrades and site improvements to the existing building and will add a connection between the two structures resulting in a new entrance, offices, restrooms, and a meeting room. The total project cost is $3,066,000 and the company has committed to retaining 86 jobs within three years.
To date in 2022, PIDA has approved $8,845,000 in low-interest loans that have resulted in $16,170,748 in private investment and supported 269 created and retained full-time jobs. Since 2015, PIDA has approved $361,778,277 in low-interest loans that have resulted in $727,981,169 in private investment and supported 14,765 created and retained full-time jobs.
After more than 20 years as a community fixture, the Country Table Restaurant in Mount Joy will close.
Tom and Rosemarie Daly, the owners of the eatery at 720-740 E. Main St., are retiring, a release said.
The restaurant will officially shut its doors April 16.
The Bake Shoppe, operated by the couple’s son and daughter-in-law, Tom Jr. and Jessica Daly, will remain open, as well as First Citizens Bank. The restaurant space will be available for lease, and the whole property is available for sale.
According to a listing from High Associates Ltd., which is marketing the 4.01-acre property, the asking price for the three-unit, 16,153-square-foot retail center is $2.9 million.
The 8,080-square-foot restaurant space features a large, open dining area with a separate room for additional dining or private parties. Within the past three years, the owners made several upgrades to the property, including new roofing, parking and landscaping improvements. There are approximately 180 parking spaces.
“We are so grateful for the many years that we have had to serve you and your families – you have become our friends,” Tom and Rosemarie Daly said in a statement.
“We have watched your children grow up before our eyes, as you have watched ours. We have cried tears with you when you have had to say final goodbyes to your loved ones, we miss them with you. … To our amazing staff both past and present … your commitment to great service and the serving of our community is appreciated and valued. … Please know that much prayer and consideration went into this decision and we feel the time is right for us to say goodbye.
“… Our search will continue for someone to take over the restaurant side or put a new business in that space. It has been an honor to serve you all and we will miss seeing you! We look forward to getting some much-needed rest and spending lots of time together and with our children and 10 grandchildren.”
Stauffers of Kissel Hill’s new Stauffers Fresh Foods at 945 E. Main Street (Route 230) in the Mount Joy Square Shopping Center opened Wednesday, May 19. The new location, in Rapho Township, will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
It joins SKH’s Lititz and Rohrerstown locations. More than a hundred team members joined the Stauffers Mount Joy team, led by store manager John Welsh, who previously managed the Lititz store, for the grand opening. Welsh has been with Stauffers for 40 years.
Eric Stauffer, Fresh Foods COO said the 45,000-square-foot Mount Joy food store was completely renovated.
“The store layout was designed with the customer at the top of mind, and offers a complete shopping experience that customers have to expect from Stauffers,” he said.
Special features of the new Mount Joy store include:
Produce department offering fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, drinks and fresh cut options.
Full-service meat department with on-site butchers that custom cut for oven, grill or pan.
Seafood department featuring fresh and frozen fillets, shellfish, salads and dips.
A deli that features their Signature line and local vendors, plus domestic and imported meats, cheese and Mediterranean fare.
Bakery offering an array of baked goods, desserts, and cakes.
Bulk foods selection of sweets, snacks, and dry ingredients for cooking and baking.
Bulk coffee & tea selection from local roasters Whiff Roasters & East Indies
Under-the-Tent seasonal food events on weekends will be available mid-summer. New to this store are fresh popped popcorn and a coffee bar as you enter the store.
“In 1932, my grandfather opened a roadside produce stand in Lititz, Stauffer said. “As a third generation Stauffer, our company proudly continues to build on this legacy.
The Mount Joy store was formerly one of four Darrenkamp’s grocery stores. The family-owned grocer closed all of its locations in November 2018.
Completing its expansion into northwest Lancaster County, Stauffers of Kissel Hill announced on its website that its newest store, in Mount Joy Square Shopping Center, will open May 19 at 10 a.m.
The Stauffers Fresh Foods store is on the site of the former Darrenkamps Mount Joy supermarket, which closed in 2018. It is expected have 120 employees.
GCM Inc., Mount Joy, did the renovations.
This 45,000-square-foot grocery will offer fresh produce, a full-service deli, fresh seafood, a meat department with in-house meat cutters, a bake shop with in-house cake decorators, ready-to-eat prepared meals, a large selection of locally sourced products, natural and organic products, bulk foods, imported and domestic cheeses, and gourmet local coffee and teas.
The store, open every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., also will include online grocery ordering for pickup and delivery, as well as seasonal under-the-tent weekend food events.
Stauffers is a family-owned business founded in 1932.
In addition to the Fresh Foods store in Mount Joy, the company operates Fresh Foods and Home & Garden Stores in Rohrerstown and Lititz and Home & Garden Stores in Mechanicsburg, Linglestown, Hummelstown, East York and Dover.
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