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South Middleton Township supervisors approved a final land development plan on Thursday night for a commercial phase at the SummerBridge at RockLedge apartment complex.

The commercial phase is the fifth and final phase of the SummerBridge complex on Eastgate Drive that also includes 298 apartment units. SummerBridge is cited as the only community living area of its size in the Northeast that runs on solar energy. Project developer is Brian McNew, owner of EarthNet Energy of Chambersburg.

SummerBridge’s commercial phase will involve the construction of two 20,000-square-foot buildings on a 2.9-acre parcel in the complex’s western end. The parcel is zoned as village commercial and is occupied by construction trailers, said project engineer John Snyder of RGS Associates

Snyder wouldn’t identify potential tenants for the commercial buildings on Thursday but said the buildings would be occupied by “valued services.” Supervisor Tom Faley said earlier that shops and medical offices are likely tenants for the project. Construction is to begin “within the next few months,” Snyder said, and it will take six to eight months to complete.

Snyder said he’s represented SummerBridge to township officials through seven years of planning. Supervisors initially approved a final land development plan for the complex in November 2014, followed by a portion of the project’s first phase opening in September 2015.

“It’s been a good seven years,” Snyder told the board.

Other news

In other news, South Middleton Township supervisors accepted two proposals on Thursday from Rettew Associates to design bridge replacement projects in the township. Rettew will design plans for the Zion Road Bridge for $64,500 and for the South Mountain Bridge for $71,450. Engineer Brian O’Neill of Rettew said engineering and obtaining necessary permits for the projects is expected to take a year or so.

Although no construction dates have been set for the projects, O’Neill said the time windows for construction are relatively narrow because both bridges span trout streams. Construction for these is prohibited from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28 and June 16 to Sept. 30 of any year.

Also, South Middleton supervisors authorized township staff to apply for a Municipal Assistance Program grant for up to $17,500 from the state Department of Community and Economic Development. The township would use the grant to fund a master plan for the Walnut Bottom Corridor in relation to a comprehensive plan update that’s now in the works, township manager Cory Adams said on Thursday.

The study is intended to provide recommendations and actions relating to future land use and infrastructure investments in the area, particularly in the vicinity of I-81.

Also on Thursday, South Middleton supervisor Ron Hamilton said he plans to run for a second six-year term in this year’s general election. Hamilton said he’s running on a ticket with Shelly Capozzi, who is seeking to fill supervisor Tom Faley’s seat after Faley retires in December. Both are Republicans who will cross-file in the election.

Hamilton is the township’s emergency management coordinator and emergency services administrator. Capozzi is serving a second term on the township’s zoning hearing board and previously served on the South Middleton School Board for eight years.

Finally, township supervisors appointed Erin Pittman to fill a vacancy on the township’s Parks and Recreation Board. Pittman has worked as a teacher for 17 years in the South Middleton and Harrisburg school districts, as well as serving as an assistant swim coach at Boiling Springs High School and other activities.

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