Category Archives: Uncategorized

Community Question–UGI Meter Work

Back in November, HBG City Planner Geoff Knight stopped by our Member Social to offer a Q&A session about historical properties. Mr. Knight is following up with us regarding a question he received about the 2nd Street UGI gas meter work that is being proposed and the meeting that was held to discuss the project. The property owner was concerned that it would result in having multiple meters on the exterior of their multi-unit building, and they wanted to know whether the City would approve the work and what recourse(s) there was. Mr. Knight’s response to this question is below:

The short answer to “will the City approve this?” is that the City has no regulatory authority in this matter. Utilities such as UGI are regulated by the Pennsylvania Utility Commission (PUC) and their authority (to my understanding) supersedes that of local zoning authority (which is also why we are not able to regulate the installation of satellite dishes on building façades). However, the PUC does make provisions for utility companies to grant waivers to owners of property in historic districts or that are individual historic resources; they don’t have to offer these waivers, but UGI does. The waiver will allow you to request that the gas meter be replaced on the interior of the building, although UGI still has to install a gas regulator on the exterior of the building.

They are somewhat limited in where specifically they can install these regulators (as they need to use the existing infrastructure and access points as much as possible), but they are able to place the regulators in an area that might not be as visible. For instance, some of the properties in the neighborhood have asked that the regulators be installed near the stoop so that they’re less apparent visually and can be blocked by planters. Here is a link to the waiver request webpage on their website: https://www.ugi.com/meter-safety-relocation/ (see the Natural Gas Meter Relocation and Placement section near the bottom).

After you reach out to UGI, let me know if you have any issues and whether they’re able to accommodate your request to reinstall the interior meters. Up to this point in my interactions with neighborhood property owners and UGI, it’s just been single-family dwellings, so I’m not sure how they’ll treat an apartment building.

Any additional questions on this issue can be sent to info@friendsofmidtown.org and we will happily forward to Mr. Knight!

Friends of Midtown Announces 2019 Board of Directors Roster

Gathering at the first board meeting of 2019 was community group Friends of Midtown’s (FOM) new slate of Board members. The group totals 19 directors heading into the year.

“Twenty-eighteen was a year that the organization experienced quite a bit of transition: leadership changes, the departure of more than seven board members throughout the year,” says FOM President Kate Moyer. “It was important to me to rebuild our board of directors and position Friends of Midtown for growth and change in 2019 so we can continue to support our community and fulfill our mission.”

Eight new members were added to the board at the end of 2018, with a ninth being added at the January 2019 board meeting. Board members span a spectrum of professions and areas of expertise. The 2019 FOM Board of Directors includes:

  • Kate Moyer, President
  • Andrea Black, Vice President
  • Eileen Carson, Treasurer
  • Rachel Reese, Beautification Co-Chair
  • Cate Rowe, Beautification Co-Chair
  • Cody Moyer, Business Chair
  • Mike Ishman, Communication Chair
  • Andy Hughes, Dog Park Co-Chair
  • Annie Hughes, Dog Park Co-Chair
  • Molly Haragan, Events Chair
  • Brian Ostella, Membership Chair
  • Brian Esworthy, Safety Co-Chair
  • Jack McGettigan, Safety Co-Chair
  • Autumn Anderson, Board Member at Large
  • Elyse Irvis, Board Member at Large
  • Hannah Ison, Board Member at Large
  • Nate Lotze, Board Member at Large
  • Sarah Porter, Board Member at Large
  • Katie Talada, Board Member at Large

2018 Holiday Decorating Contest

Our goal is to foster a sense of community and neighborhood beautification by rewarding residents and business owners who go above-and-beyond in decorating their homes or businesses for the holiday season. This event is intended to be fun, festive, and fulfilling! 

Check out the contestants here!

We have five gorgeous Midtown properties competing this year:

Becky Esworthy: 227 Reily Street
Stephanie Godinez: 213 Boas
Garret Harner: 314 Boas Street
John Kern: 223 Herr Street
Tatsiana Siauko: 1401 Wyeth Street

YOU can vote for your favorite property for our People’s Choice Award by going to: https://chuffed.org/proje…/friends-of-midtown-beautification

$1.00 = 1 vote

When you vote (okay, fine, donate) make sure you leave a comment of where you want your votes to go!

All proceeds benefit beautification efforts in Midtown! Think of all of the wonderful things we have done this year — from planting 20 trees to removing graffiti to monthly cleanups and weeding the Sunken Gardens. We have been busy, and we rely on volunteers and donations to make our projects a success.

We are also thrilled this year to have our two honored formal judges John Traynor, owner of HMAC and president of Midtown Action Council, and Kate Moyer, president of Friends of Midtown. John and Kate will be using their professional judging skills this week to select the best decorated house for the formal judging contest. Because why have only one award, when you can have two?

We want to thank YOU and all of our competitors for a great year! Let the judging begin!

Our goal is to foster a sense of community and neighborhood beautification by rewarding residents and business owners who go above-and-beyond in decorating their homes or businesses for the holiday season. This event is intended to be fun, festive, and fulfilling! 

All Midtown Harrisburg properties are eligible, excepting any property owned by or employing a judge.

Competing locations must be registered by November 30, 2018 & decorated by December 6, 2018.

Judging will begin December 9, 2018.

There will be two judging methods:

  1. Formal Judging: Judges selected by Friends of Midtown’s Beautification Committee will tour the community between December 8th and December 15th and rank homes and businesses based on overall appearance.  The top site will receive an award and recognition.
  2. People’s Choice Award: Members of the public have December 8-15 to get out and see their neighbor’s creativity and vote for their favorite(s)!  The People’s Choice Award will be determined by online voting.  Any person can purchase as many ballots as he or she wants, and can vote as many times as desired (all proceeds will benefit Friends of Midtown’s Beautification efforts)!  The winner will receive an award and recognition.

Homes and businesses will be judged based on outdoor decorations only

Judges will not enter your property.

To compete, you must complete the 2018 Holiday Decorating Contest Rules-Application and submit it via email to beautification@friendsofmidtown.org by November 30th 2018. 

IMPORTANT DATES:

November 30th 2018:  Applications must be submitted by close of business to beautification@friendsofmidtown.org.  Once a resident has filed the application, they will be sent a sign that will indicate participation in FOM’s Holiday Decorating Contest.

December 6th 2018:  Houses must be decorated for judging, and photo of the home must be sent to beautification@friendsofmidtown.org.

December 8th – December 15th 2018:  Voting will occur online  (Votes are cast by making a donation in support of your favorite residence or business decoration.  The public can ‘vote’ as many times for as many different properties as they wish.

Street Trees for Midtown

Well-maintained trees in residential neighborhoods can significantly increase the value of homes and properties by creating as sense of privacy and adding beauty to the landscape.

Friends of Midtown’s Street Tree Project will help address areas in need of urban canopy cover identified in a 2013 inventory of Harrisburg City street tree health.  Increasing age diversity to create a stable urban canopy, would improve aesthetics and resilience to storm damages and pest outbreaks.  All tree species will be in accordance with the City of Harrisburg’s Approved Street Tree List.

To plant these trees, Friends of Midtown has been awarded a TreeVitalize grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. All we need to do now is raise the $3000 in matching funds and gather some volunteers. You may contribute at our YouCaring fundraising site. To volunteer, contact our Beautification Committee.

 

 

Winter 2018 Newsletter

Like to plan ahead? Most events and meetings through December are included in Friends of Midtown’s 2018-01 Newsletter,  which was recently mailed to everyone in the 17102 ZIP code . A copy is linked if you don’t receive one.

If you live in 17102 and didn’t receive one in the mail, please contact our Communications Committee at media@friendsofmidtown.org so we can address this problem with the USPS. If your business would like to reach this same audience with an advertisement, please contact our Communications Committee. 

Communications Survey

Friends of Midtown periodically evaluates its communications strategy and is seeking your input to determine current effectiveness and receive suggestions on how to improve. As a token of appreciation for you taking a couple minutes to complete this survey, you will receive a coupon code for $1 off the new #ShopMidtown coupon book.  If you’d like to assist us in our outreach to the community, please e-mail outreach@friendsofmidtown.org.

Midtown Person of 2017

Friends of Midtown is seeking nominees for Midtown Person of 2017.

A nominee should demonstrate the core goals of the Friends of Midtown: Strengthen the intrinsic physical structures of community by promoting a pedestrian-scaled streetscape that is safe and clean; stimulate Midtown’s economic revitalization by encouraging small business growth that contributes to a more livable community and quality of life for all; spark public participation through events and activities that celebrate Midtown’s diverse culture and contribute to community well-being.

To nominate someone, please send us your name and address, the nominee’s name and address, and a paragraph about the nominee before January 13. The winner will be announced on February 12 at our Winter Social and Annual Meeting.

Holiday Decorating Contest

Friends of Midtown’s Beautification Committee would like to stimulate and enhance a sense of community and neighborhood beautification by rewarding residents and business owners who go above-and- beyond in decorating their home or business for the holiday season.

We will issue first, second, and third place awards based on judge vote. We’ll also award a special “People’s Choice” award to be decided by public vote occurring during December’s 3rd in the Burg. All winners will be recognized publicly.

Vote as many times as you want: 1 vote for $1, 6 votes for $5, 15 votes for $10, or 40 votes for $20. All proceeds benefits FOM Beautification Projects, such as the Midtown dog park, graffiti removal, Treevitalize, community cleanups, and flower barrels.

Any Midtown Harrisburg property may participate for free, unless owned by or employing a judge. Decorations must be visible from the sidewalk.

Timeline:

11/15: Rules and Application Published
11/17: Judges announced: Susquehanna Art Museum Executive Director Alice Anne Schwab, Historic Harrisburg Association Acting Executive Director David Morrison
12/7: Applications due
12/12-15: Judge voting
12/15: Public voting (ballots available 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. during 3rd in the Burg at Broad Street Market and Zeroday Brewing Co.) Here’s a map of participating properties..

After much consideration, the judges were so impressed that they selected two winners:

Best Classical Display: 1502 Green Street, Thomas Robel
Best All-Out Holiday Display: 321 Kelker Street
, David Holsopple and Richard Reigle

The judges also want to recognize the following Honorable Mentions:

227 Reily Street, Brian and Becky Esworthy
2022 Green Street, Mark Crider and Bob Krambuhl
254 Verbeke Street, David Bixler
232 Charles Street
, Dan Fulton

Of the businesses competing, Alice Anne was the sole judge. She has so declared:

Best Classical Display:  1530 N. 2nd Street, note.
Best All-Out Holiday Display: 1230 N. 3rd Street
, Historic Harrisburg Association

We are also proud to announce the People’s Choice Award Winner: 1502 Green Street, Thomas Robel!

Of course, thank you to Zeroday for donating the gift cards and for allowing us to use your space as a polling location, and a shout out to the Broad Street Market for welcoming Friends of Midtown to use your space for a polling location during 3rd in the Burg as well!

Finally, we want to thank those who voted! Thanks to you, we made over $240 in votes — that is money that will go to beautification in our neighborhood. Thank you! If you’d like to make a year-end tax-deductible and fee-free contribution to Friends of Midtown, for Beautification projects or other purposes, please do so through the PayPal Giving Fund, which will boost all donations 1%.

We have hyperlinked the properties so that you can check out the winners and honorable mentions. Please, take advantage of your neighbors’ hard work and check out the displays. You can find the map of the competing homes by following this link.

We wish everyone very happy holidays! Look forward to hearing more from us in the coming months — we have some exciting announcements regarding Treevitalize and graffiti removal coming your way. Of course, if you want to get involved, please contact us at beautification@friendsofmidtown.org.

Halloween Haunted House 2017

Our free Halloween Haunted House returns to Midtown on October 26, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. We’ve developed a spaceship-themed maze in the basement of Histsoric Harrisburg Association (1230 N. 3rd St.). We’ll also have other activities for those trick-or-treaters too young for this scary attraction, plus candy for all!

We could still use some volunteers in the week leading up to and the night of the event, so if you can help, please contact our Events Committee.

Whether you’re participating in the haunted house, taking your children out for candy, or not distributing treats for any reason, please ensure safety by keeping your porch lights on and post this flyer on your door to redirect youth to the Haunted House.

Fall 2017 Newsletter

Like to plan ahead? Most events and meetings through December are included in Friends of Midtown’s Fall Newsletter, which was mailed to everyone in the 17102 ZIP code in the last week. A copy is linked if you don’t receive one.

If you live in 17102 and didn’t receive one in the mail, please contact our Communications Committee at media@friendsofmidtown.org so we can address this problem with the USPS. If your business would like to reach this same audience with an advertisement, please contact our Communications Committee.