Your Community News Source
Winter, 2005

Jackson Township began the new year with a surplus over 1.4 million dollars. Through sound financial management and conservative spending the Township will not have to raise taxes as many other municipalities have this year. Also by continuing these practices, this insures that Jackson Township will remain financially sound for future generations. The Jackson Township Supervisors unanimously approved a budget for 2005 of $ 2,872,740.24. The breakdown is as follows: General Fund-$906,745.00, State Fund-$140,000.00, Fire Hydrant Fund-$10,000.00, Rescue Fund-$9,000.00, Capital Reserve Fund-$1,750,995.24 and Senior Center Fund-$56,000.00. The Capital Reserve Fund currently stands at 1.4 million and continues to grow monthly.

If you received this newsletter and your name or address information is incorrect, or if you know of any resident of Jackson Township who didnít receive it, please call the Township Office at 749-0725.

If you have a junked vehicle that needs removed from your property and youíre not sure how to go about it, perhaps the following information will help. Al Gillin who operates a licensed junkyard along Adams Avenue has agreed to tow any junked vehicles that you would like to have removed from your property. According to Mr. Gillin, in most cases there will be no charge to any Township resident for this service unless there is great difficulty getting to the vehicle to pick it up. If you wish to have junked vehicles removed from your property, you may contact Mr. Gillin at 322-4366 to see if you qualify for this free service.

Jackson Township welcomes anyone interested in serving on a Authority, Board or Commission to submit a letter of interest in the event that any openings should occur. If you are interested, your letter would be kept on file at the Township office where you would be contacted if an opening would occur. Authorities include the Sewer Authority and Water Authority. Commissions include Planning & Recreation. There is also the Zoning Hearing Board. All letters should be mailed to Jackson Township Supervisors, 513 Pike Road, Johnstown, PA 15909.

As we start out a new year with new opportunities and challenges, it is a good time to reflect over the progress, accomplishments and challenges of Jackson Township over the last year. 2004 was a busy year in Jackson Township and hopefully this article will give you a glance of some of the highlights. Several projects are underway that could boost the local economy. The most notable one is the Route 22 Reconstruction Project which will cost 35 million dollars to widen the heavily travelled corridor to 4 lanes and on Chickaree Mountain, 5 lanes. The project will include adding an interchange at Dishong Mountain Road while improving other intersections and constructing "turn around" roads, service roads and interchange lighting including the interchange at Route 271. This project more than any other could change the landscape of Jackson Township forever as anticipated development occurs along the busy highway. Completion for the project is scheduled for 2007. This past year marked the reopening of the Old Bethlehem # 33 Mine on Swigle Mountain Road. The new mine is called Madison Mine and is owned by Amfire Mining and could add as many as 75 jobs when in full production. The proposed multi-million dollar Landfill Gas Conversion Project is still going forward and developers have their financing in place. Work has also begun on cleaning up a large "boney pile" located near Route 271 and Loraine Road. The boney will be transported to a co-gen plant in Ebensburg and used as fuel. The site will eventually be completely reclaimed.

Jackson Township Planning Commission is in the process of formulating a new Comprehensive Plan which will provide an in-depth analysis of the Township. The plan will address many subjects including housing, emergency services, economics, education, environment, population, highways, sewer, water, recreation and more. During the plan development process, there will be ample opportunities for residents, groups, businesses, churches, schools, etc. to provide input. A Comprehensive Plan is a blueprint and guide and can be a useful tool to help map development and growth within the Township. Richard C. Sutter & Associates of Hollidaysburg is helping to develop the Plan which will take approximately 14 months to complete. Much of the cost will be covered by available grants. The Planning Commission is also working to update the Subdivision Ordinance. Cambria County completed it's GIS Mapping Project and Jackson Township entered into a user sharing agreement with the County in order that this information can be put on computer and utilized by the Township as well as the Water Authority, Sewer Authority, Fire Company, and others who may benefit. This new technology will be used in the development of the Jackson Township Comprehensive Plan as well as the Master Recreation Plan. The Zoning Hearing Board continues to serve the Township by presiding over various hearings throughout the year over land use issues.

Many local road projects were completed last year to continue a concentrated effort to maintain local streets and roads on a regular maintenance program to keep them safe and in top condition for residents to use and enjoy. Roads that were paved entirely or in part were Loraine Road, Kagey Street & Woodland Street. Roads that were seal coated entirely or in part were Adams Avenue, Blackburn Road, Bracken Street, Price Street, Glenn Street, Hunts Road, Kepple Road, Loraine Road, Mackall Street, Maple Leaf Street, Marhefka Drive, Mile Hill Road, Price Street, Sharkey Road, Simmons Lane and Wagner Road. The road crew worked endlessly on improving and maintaining drainage along various Township roads as well as overall maintenance. During 2004 the Township Supervisors adopted two additional streets, Raymond Drive and Eagle Drive, into the local road system. Lines were painted on at least nine roads and various signs erected to improve safety in certain areas. An additional safety feature you may have noticed is the reflective sheeting on various telephone poles and trees that are within five feet or less of the roadway. The sheeting provides for greater safety for night driving or in fog conditions. Mike Schenk is currently helping with this task as part of an Eagle Scout Project. Another Eagle Scout Project being done by Aaron Henry involves conducting an inventory of all street signs in the Township and making sure they meet new standards which require larger lettering to be in place by the year 2012. Speed limit signs were posted on additional Township roads and the Supervisors requested that PennDOT do a speed limit study on Swigle Mountain Road in light of the opening of the Madison Mine. The Township also renewed a contract with PennDOT to be reimbursed for performing winter maintenance on Benshoff Hill Road. During 2004 many street lights were erected and have made a great difference in making Township intersections and streets safer for vehicles and pedestrians. Approximately 70 street lights were erected as a result of a study done by the Planning Commission.

Jackson Township started an "Adopt A Township Highway" program where families, neighbors, groups, churches or schools can adopt a section of Township highway. The program involves volunteering to conduct litter clean-ups several times a year. Several groups have already volunteered for the new program including Neighbors Who Care and the Mile Hill Road Neighbors. In another clean-up effort, Jackson Township with cooperation with the Cambria County Solid Waste Authority cleaned up several areas with the help of prison labor. Those areas included Lynx Lane, a gas pipeline area just off Dishong Mountain Road and several other Township roads. The clean-up resulted in 14 tons of trash and 100 tires that were collected and disposed of at the Laurel Highlands Landfill. The Township also held a successful Spring Clean-Up and just negotiated a new contract for garbage collection which is far more favorable to the residents than ones of the past. Jackson Township remains in sound financial condition with the Capital Reserve Fund finishing the year with about 1.4 million dollars. Local taxes will remain the same for the new year with no increase needed continuing the trend of having no tax increase for over 20 years. All Township audits conducted by Certified Public Accounts, Federal & Local Agencies had no findings and the recordkeeping was praised. Jackson Township has made strides in updating their vehicle fleet this year with the purchase of a new 10 Ton Truck, Pick-Up Truck and Police Vehicle. Two of the vehicles replaced existing ones that were nearly 20 years old.

Last year several new ordinances were enacted or amended. The Pennsylvania State Building Code went into effect July 1, 2004 with a smooth transition. The new law requires inspections on building projects. Jackson Township joined the Cambria County Building Codes Agency which coordinates building permits and inspections for applicable projects. Amendments made to the Zoning Ordinance included changes that reduced setbacks in the Agricultural Zone as well as for solid fences. Other changes were made addressing signs, lot size and accessory buildings and were all favorable to residents. An additional amendment reinforces protection for hunting. New Sewage Ordinance and Stormwater Ordinances were enacted to conform with current State laws and regulations. There were various other resolutions and updating of ordinances during the year as well. The Police Department increased patrols on all Township & State roads and provided 24 hour police coverage as well as regularly checking on Township businesses. The Police Dept. workforce remained stable with no officers leaving last year. The Supervisors successfully negotiated a new contract for three years with the Jackson Township Police Association. Officer Melanie Kline will be going to Iraq with the National Guard so two additional part-time policemen, Scott E. Eger & James H. Braunns Jr. were hired. The Supervisors also passed a new Hazard Mitigation Plan as recommended by the Cambria County Dept. of Emergency Services. The Jackson Township Vol. Fire Company served the Township and it's residents well in 2004. A new "four wheel drive" ambulance was purchased and in use at the start of 2004. There were many activities and events scheduled including the annual Halloween Parade and a Safety Day at the Jackson Township Elementary School. Many fundraising events were held as well which were well supported by the community. The Fire Company earned several awards at the Cambria County Firemans Convention including the Grand Champion Award. Jackson Township was also chosen to host the Convention in 2005. Construction activity was up in Jackson Township during 2004 with 172 building permits being issued with a value of over 4 million. This shattered the previous record of 2.5 million set the previous year. Most of the permits involved new residential construction or additions and accessory buildings to existing homes. The most notable non-residential project was the construction of a new church hall at St. Pauls Lutheran Church. Another project involved constructing a cell tower at Jackson Elementary to provide internet service from the Central Cambria School Complex in Ebensburg. During the year Jackson Township purchased the old NAPA Auto Parts Property along Pike Road which adjoins the current Municipal Building. By obtaining the property, there is now the possibility of expansion at the current Municipal Building Complex which previously was "land-locked".

The Jackson Township Recreation Commission grew to a full nine member board and is playing a very important role in developing parks and recreational activities. Leidy Park was the site of several projects including a ball field, fencing, walking track, and a multi-purpose field that could be used for various activities. A Community Development Block Grant of $25,000 will help add additional toddler playground equipment at Leidy. In addition, a set of bleachers is also being reconstructed at Leidy by Ryan Davis as part of an Eagle Scout Project. Two new backstops will be erected at Mitchell to replace existing ones. This project is made possible through a Community Initiative Grant from the Cambria County Commissioners. With the pace increasing of recreation development, the Recreation Commission joined and became members of the Pennsylvania Recreation & Parks Society. The Recreation Commission has also taken over the maintenance of the park area behind the Senior Center which was recently named Jackson Township Veterans Memorial Park. Improvements were made on the landscaping at the Center and additional landscaping is proposed for the park area. The Commission is also planning on having a Memorial erected to honor all Veterans of Jackson Township. In still another development of the park, a grant was also applied for to construct lighting and electrical facilities. One of the major new undertakings involves the Recreation Commission working with Pashek & Associates to help develop a Master Recreation Plan for Jackson Township. The Recreation Plan will go hand-in-hand with the Comprehensive Plan and lay out a strategy to help develop recreational resources for Jackson. A grant has been submitted to the Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources to help defray the cost. Jackson Township held it's first ever Heritage Festival and it was an overwhelming success with over 40 food and craft booths set up as well as a full host of entertainment and activities for all ages. The event was very well attended and helped bring everyone in the community together for a weekend of fun and enjoyment. The Festival will become an annual event and plans are being made for a bigger and better festival in 2005.

Sewage and water infrastructure is continuing to expand which will assure that Jackson Township will be an attractive place to live and work. The Jackson - East-Taylor Sewer Authority is still pursuing funding for a project that will encompass two new areas including Brazil Lane and Cherrywood Estates. In addition the Sewer Authority received a grant to install heavy-duty plastic casing under the new Route 22 allowing for the possibility of future expansion along the Fords Corner Road area as well as the Northerly side of Route 22. Many water projects are on the board or have been completed. One project that was completed with the help of Community Block Grant Funds provided water to 9 homes along Solar Street near Route 22. Another project funded by CDBG Funds has begun with engineering studies underway on the long-awaited Wagner Road and Pintail Road water project which will provide water to approximately 22 homes who have experienced water problems in the past. Construction is complete on the new Salt Lick - Ebensburg water line which opened up water service to an un-serviced part of Jackson Township along Adams Avenue, Ogden Road and continuing out to Route 22. The line will provide water service to approximately 30 homes, install 10 fire hydrants and provide the opportunity for the Jackson Township Water Authority to construct "spur" lines off the main line to service additional residents. In addition the Board of Supervisors approved the construction of an extension off the water line that will connect with the Jackson Township water line along Pike Road once a DEP permit is approved. This will add water service to another 20 homes and most importantly provide a backup water supply source to Jackson Township in the event that any problems arise with obtaining water from Nanty Glo in the event that contamination or drought conditions occur. Another spur line to begin construction would service 18 homes along another portion of Ogden Road not on the main Salt Lick - Ebensburg line. The Water Authority estimates this line will cost approximately $80,000 which they will totally fund with the help of the Supervisors who approved a loan for $35,000 at their December 30th meeting.

The Senior Center continues to grow with well over 400 members. A handicapped accessible walking track was completed along with the installation of several new benches, a shuffleboard court, and split rail fence surrounding the park area. An exercise room was also opened with state-of-the-art equipment for Senior Center members to use and enjoy. A new program sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross / Blue Shield called Silver Sneakers was also started which involves exercise classes being held twice a week at the Center. The Senior Center held it's first ever Memorial Day Service and it's 2nd annual Veterans Day Service. Both were well attended. The Center also held it's first ever Health & Wellness Fair as well as a host of other activities, seminars and classes during 2004 covering issues that concern Senior Citizens and the Community in general. Jackson Township continues to keep communications open to all residents so they are well informed. This includes holding public meetings, maintaining a website plus publishing newsletters which are mailed out quarterly to all residents. The Jackson Township News earned a 3rd place State Award from the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors for the most improved newsletter. Email newsletters are also mailed at least monthly to those that are interested in receiving them. Also in 2004 an updated Map & Guide was mailed to all households in the Township. In other news, the November general election brought out residents in huge numbers with two precincts reporting over 70% and Vinco reporting over 80% turnout. Precinct # 1 was also relocated from the auction barn on Fords Corner Road to the Pike Grace Brethren Church. 2005 should be another busy year of growth and development in the Township. The Supervisors welcome you to be a contributing part of Jackson Township's future.

~Be sure to check your mail box and post making sure itís secure and can withstand the weight of the heavy snow being plowed off the roads.

~Plow or shovel the snow to the right of your driveway. This will avoid the snow from being re-deposited in your driveway when being plowed by Township Road Workers.

~Use caution and slow down when driving on snowy or icy roads and be sure to leave a little earlier to arrive at your destination safely and on time.

The Board of Supervisors met on January 3rd to reorganize for the New Year. Dave Bracken was re-appointed as Chairman and Bruce Baker as Vice-Chairman of the 2005 Board. Dave Hirko was re-appointed as Secretary-Treasurer and Bill Barbin Solicitor. Lehman Engineers was retained as Township Engineer. Harry Baker was re-appointed as Zoning Officer and Barry Rouzer as Vacancy Board Chairman. There were several re-appointments to various Township boards and commissions including Don Knopsnyder to a 4 year term to the Planning Commission, Don Hrapchak to a 5 year term on the Water Authority, Darin Brown to a 5 year term on the Recreation Commission, Bill Ragley to a 3 year term on the Zoning Hearing Board and Janet Hagerich to a 3 year term as an Alternate Member on the Zoning Hearing Board. Dave Bracken & Bruce Baker were re-appointed as Roadmasters. Bob Stephens was appointed as Representative to the Cambria County Sewage Enforcement Agency & the Cambria County Building Codes Agency while Dave Hirko was appointed Alternate Member. Dave Bracken was appointed as Voting Member at the State Township Convention while Bob Stephens was appointed as Alternate. Dave Hirko was re-appointed as Driveway Encroachment Officer. The Supervisors set meetings dates for the last Thursday of every month except in November when it would be the 17th. The Board also approved the 2005 list of Fire Company Activities.

Jackson Township will hold the line on taxes once again this year with no increase. There are however some changes you should be aware of. Cambria County went form a 50% assessment value to a 100% assessment value. Each municipality was to reduce their millage by half so where Jackson Township previously had a 7% millage rate on real estate, the new amount would be 3 Ĺ%. The same 50% reduction would apply to the Fire Hydrant & Rescue Service taxes as well. Cambria County is also looking at doing a County-wide reassessment. According to P. J. Stephens, Cambria County Commissioner, the last reassessment was done in 1971. The hope is that the reassessment would create tax fairness to everyone. Currently Cambria County ranks 64 out of 67 counties in tax fairness. An updated reassessment would rectify this problem. The Commissioners are hoping that the Reassessment would begin sometime in mid-2006 and be completed by the end of 2008 with the new tax assessments being in affect at the beginning of 2009. Another change from the State of PA is to change the previous Occupational Privilege Tax to a Emergency & Municipal Services Tax. Municipalities would be permitted to raise the previously charged $10 amount up to $52 per worker in that municipality. No change is taking place in Jackson Township however several other municipalities in Cambria County are choosing to charge the maximum amount of $52 per employee. The new law could greatly benefit cities such as Johnstown and Pittsburgh that have lost population yet have many people working there and depending upon the city to provide services such as police and fire protection.

The newly named Jackson Township Veterans Memorial Park is beginning to take shape and is certain to become a showcase that the residents of Jackson Township can be proud of. Before Veterans Day last year the Jackson Township Recreation Commission made some landscaping improvements to the parking lot islands and around the Senior Center Building. Since then additional landscaping has been done in the park area including the installation of over two dozen Bradford Pear Trees. In addition several Crimson King Maples, Burning Bushes, Arborvitae and Sandcherrys were planted by Rayís Nursery of Johnstown. The trees should help to shade some of the benches, horseshoe pits and walking path over time. Designs are being developed for a monument / memorial that will honor all Veterans who have served from Jackson Township. The Recreation Commission is currently soliciting names and information of those who wish to be listed. The response from just word-of-mouth has been excellent so far with over 100 applications received. Applications have been received from throughout Pennsylvania and even other states including Ohio, New Jersey and Georgia submitting names of Jackson Township Veterans. There is a form in this newsletter that can be sent in with all of the pertinent information. Each Veteran must have a form submitted to be considered for the monument / memorial. If additional forms are needed they can be printed off of the Jackson Township Website at www.jacksontwppa.com If you have no computer access available, additional forms can be picked up at the Municipal Building, Senior Center, Water Authority or Sewer Authority. The monument / memorial will not only honor those killed in action but all Veterans. Although the design for the monument / memorial is not definite yet, it will be placed on a concrete pad in the form of a star design. Each point on the star will have a flag representing each branch of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force & Coast Guard). An American Flag & POW Flag will arise on a centrally located pole just behind the proposed monument. The actual design and shape of the monument will depend on how many Veterans names are received. It is hoped that the monument to honor Veterans will be in place by the Memorial Day Ceremony in May. Some of the ideas for the monument include having the logo of each branch of the Armed Forces displayed and having an eternal flame. Additional improvements will be coming in the future. A grant was applied for that would help pay for lighting and electrical facilities in the park. Also a new decorative bridge will be built connecting the Senior Center & Fire Company parking lots. The recycling bins are to be moved to the side of the Senior Center parking lot and the storage shed will be moved to the lower end of the Park near the walking trail. In addition some flowers will be planted in the Spring.

The Jackson Township Heritage Festival was a huge success in 2004 for a first-time event. Many attending the event were asking if this would be an annual event and it seemed to be unanimous that it would be. From start to finish the festival brought people together from Jackson Township and surrounding communities for a weekend of food, fun and entertainment. The business community supported the event and without their help it would not have been possible. The Heritage Festival will be held this year on Saturday, July 16 & Sunday, July 17. Although many details need to be worked out, some can be shared at this time. Festival hours will be 10-7 on Saturday and 12-6 on Sunday. Entertainment on Saturday will include the Jackson Senior Line Dancers, Classic Clowns and Clay Bowser. A dance sponsored by the Jackson Vol. Fire Company will be held from 7 to 11 featuring the Fabulous Flashbacks who were a big hit last year with their Oldies Show. Sunday will feature The Masters who perform gospel music and are based out of Jackson Township. In addition Beavercreek who put on an excellent concert with Bluegrass Music will once again be performing. A dance will be held from 6 to 9 featuring The Polka Family who are from northeastern PA and play throughout the eastern and midwestern states and have quite a following. For those of you who would wish to have a booth at the Heritage Festival this year, contact Dave Hirko at 749-0725 or Paulette Baker at 322-1863 to receive an application. There are many expenses to hosting the festival and the budget is over $9,000 for 2005. In order to put on a successful festival this year we are once again counting on local support. If you or your business would like to be a sponsor, please call Dave Hirko at 749-0725 to receive an application. By being a sponsor you will be recognized in advertisements in the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat & all five Mainline Newspapers as well as flyers and posters displayed throughout Cambria County. In addition a program distributed to everyone attending will also recognize those helping to sponsor this event. We hope youíll consider being a part of the Jackson Township Heritage Festival in 2005.

Submitted by Police Chief, Bob Fatula
September, 2004 through November, 2004
911 Calls Dispatched to Police: 1,093
Reportable incidents: 107
~Criminal Mischief-20
~DUI (Driving Under the Influence)-10
~Disorderly Conduct-9
~Public Drunkenness-3
~Receiving Stolen Property-3
~Vehicle Theft-3
~Child Abuse-2
~Dog Law-1
~Eluding Police-1
~False Information to Police-1
~Resisting Arrest-1
~Sex Offences-1
~Underage Drinking-1
Total Accidents Handled: 41
Non-Traffic Citations issued: 33
Traffic Citations Issued: 105
Criminal Charges Filed: 66
DUI (Driving Under the Influence)-10
~Disorderly Conduct-9
~Dog Law-4
~Receiving Stolen Property-4
~Criminal Mischief-3
~Public Drunkenness-3
~Eluding Police-1
~False Information to Police-1
~Resisting Arrest-1
~Underage Drinking-1

The Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company would like to wish all of the residents of Jackson Township a very Happy New Year! The Fire Company would also like to express their gratitude and thanks for the continuing support of the residents in making their fundraising events a success, most recently being the Turkey Raffle.  For the third time in 2004, Jackson had to say good-bye to one of their firefighters. Aaron Rusin was killed in the line of duty while fighting in Iraq on October 10, 2004. Even though Aaron was only a member of the Fire Company for three short years, you could always count on him to help at every fire or ambulance run. He was a quiet young man with a quick smile, even temperament, and manners you donít often experience in todayís youth. Aaron trained every chance he could at the Cambria County Fire School and always tried to sharpen his skills so he would be ready when he was needed. He never missed a meeting or failed to help out at any of the fundraisers that are needed to support the Fire Company. Each member of the Fire Company has their own story to tell about Aaron and he is always remembered with a smile. Aaron will be greatly missed by all. There will be a fundraiser in Aaronís memory to be scheduled at a later date. All proceeds will go to the Aaron Rusin Scholarship Fund at Central Cambria High School. More information will be coming on this event. Upcoming events include a Casino Night scheduled for February 5th. Tickets are $25.00 per couple. On February 13th there will be a Golf Raffle, on Sunday, April 3rd a Gun Raffle with doors opening at 12:00 noon and April 16th a Jewelery Raffle with doors opening at 5:00 pm. Last but not least, there is the regular Bingo scheduled each and every Sunday evening sponsored by the Fire Company Auxiliary. In addition the Auxiliary will hold Fish Frys during Lent. The menu includes Baked or Fried Fish, choice of French Fries or Macaroni & Cheese, Cole Slaw and Dessert. For information on any of the events, please call the Fire Company at 322-0808.  Officers were elected for 2005. They include President-Kevin Grove, Vice-President-Dave Grove, Secretary-Jetta Ehrhart, Assistant Secretary-Sue Krawcion, Treasurer-Mark Sloan, Assistant Treasurer-George Straub, Financial Secretary-Elmer Grove, Assistant Financial Secretary-Dave Smith, Fire Chief-Elmer Grove, Fire Police Captain-Mick Bezek and Trustee-Don Ochenrider. The newly elected Officers look forward to serving the Volunteer Fire Company and the residents of Jackson Township for the coming year.

Since the Jackson Senior Center opened itís doors on May 10, 1998, the membership has grown to over 450 members making it one of the most active in Cambria County. The Center serves three lunches weekly of which two are meals supplied by the Area Agency on Aging and one meal is prepared by members of the Jackson Center. Some of the activities offered to members are dinners, parties, bingo, line dancing, weekly pinochle, ceramics and others too numerous to mention. Special guest speakers often come to the Center to talk about various topics and items of concern to Senior Citizens. In addition over 7 classes have been held to train over 70 members in beginning computer skills. Movies are shown weekly on the Centers 60 inch television. An elaborate model train display which was one of the Centers very first projects continues to be very popular with young and old alike. The display is so large, it has itís own room in the Center. The Center started to "pitch" horseshoes on a regular basis and this past summer, the Cambria County Senior Horseshoe Games were held at the Center. Bus trips are scheduled to various locations and events based on the interest of members. If you are interested in joining the Center or being a volunteer, feel free to stop in and take a tour. The Jackson Senior Center is a great place to meet and socialize. Membership is only $10.00 per year and anyone that is age 50 or older is eligible to join.  Tax Assistance will once again be offered in February and March. A trained individual will be on hand to assist individuals in preparing their 2004 tax returns. This will include preparing Federal, State and Rent or Property Tax rebate filing. There will be no assistance given to partnership or large business returns. Appointments will be scheduled every Wednesday in February & March from 9 to 11:30 am starting February 2nd and every Monday evening from 6:30 to 8 pm beginning February 7th. Appointments can be made at the Center in person or via telephone to Betty Lybarger at 322-3327. All appointments should be kept or cancelled in advance so someone else can take advantage of the free service. The Centerís Knitting Club would like to thank all the knitters & crocheters who helped make 80 hat and mitten sets which were given to the Retired Senior Volunteer Program who had Cambria County Head Start distribute them to needy children throughout the County. In another charity project, Center members helped the Retired Mens Club of Johnstown with their project of collecting good, clean luggage that they no longer have a use for. Over 25 pieces of luggage was donated and distributed thru the Foster Childrenís Program. Another charitable project was entitled the "Sock It To Us Program" which involved Center members collecting over 75 pairs of new adult and childrens socks. The socks were donated to the Retired Senior Volunteer Program as part of the "Make A Difference Day" project. The socks were donated to Cambria County Shelter Care Victim Services and Children and Youth Services for needy children. Many thanks go out to all who helped to make these projects a huge success! Conemaugh Health Priority Care will hold a Community Blood Screening on Saturday, March 19, 2005 from 7 - 9 am at the Center. This is a complete multiphasic blood screen with lipid profile. Appointments will be taken beginning February 14th by calling 322-3327 Tuesday thru Thursday.

~Waste Management Spreads Good Will for Christmas
- Waste Management who operates the Laurel Highlands Landfill once again distributed turkeys for Christmas to those families in need. Churches in Jackson Township submitted a number of turkeys needed for families they considered to be needy. Approximately 100 turkeys were distributed to representatives of the Township churches. Brad Minemyer of Waste Management said "We are happy with the relationship we have with Jackson Township and we were more than happy to contribute the turkeys during the holiday season".

~PennDOT Conducts Speed Limit Study - The Supervisors requested PennDOT to conduct a speed limit study on Swigle Mountain Road after several complaints were received about trucks going to fast. In light of the opening of the Madison Mine and increased truck traffic they felt it was important to have the study conducted so the road could be posted at a safe speed for travel. The section of road previously not posted was from Burkhartís Crossroads to the Croyle Township line. After PennDOT completed the study they found that the road should be posted at 45 mph.

~Discounts on Insurance - You may qualify for a discount on your homeowners insurance rate if you are near a fire hydrant. Also business owners may qualify for a discount being Jackson Township offers 24 hour police protection. Be sure to check to see if you qualify for any discounts with your insurance policies based on this information.

~3 Year Police Agreement Approved - The Jackson Township Board of Supervisors completed negotiations with the Jackson Township Police Association for a 3 year contract covering all full and part time police officers. Both the Board & Union approved the contract which addresses wage increases and benefits.

~Garbage Contract Under Negotiation - The Township Supervisors are currently negotiating a new contract for garbage pick-up in Jackson Township. The old contract expired at the end of 2004 but until a new contract is negotiated and approved, Waste Management will continue to service customers under the old contract picking up the green Township garbage bags that can be purchased at Bi-Lo, Direct Value Outlet, Sheetz & Vinco Pharmacy.

Jackson Township has a valuable source of information to help keep you informed. If you havenít checked out the Township Website, please feel free to visit
www.jacksontwppa.com The website is constantly updated with new information. As always, you can read the monthly approved minutes of the Board of Supervisors Meetings and check out the updated Calendar of Events to find out whatís going on in Jackson Township. If you have any ideas of what you would like to see on the website, please feel free to contact Dave Hirko at 749-0725.

There is always something new on the Jackson Township Website. If you havenít explored the website, itís a great way to know whatís going on in your community. Here are some new items that may be of interest:

~Veterans - Page now shows those who have filled out forms for the proposed monument to be erected at Veterans Memorial Park in Vinco behind the Senior Center. The ones in color are those that forms have been received for and the colors designate what branch of service someone was in.

~Kids Page is always updated with various links to sites kids can use and enjoy. There is everything from homework help to fun and games.

~Supervisors - Read all approved minutes of the Board of Supervisors to keep informed on whatís going on in Jackson Township.

~Finance - Page updated to show the newly approved 2005 Budget for Jackson Township.

~Taxes - Updated to reflect new millage rates.

~Calendar - Updated with new meeting dates and events for Jackson Township.

~Building Code - Click on the Building Permits link on this page to view building activity and construction value in Jackson Township for 2004.

~Newsletters - Read all newsletters mailed to Township residents as well as online newsletters. There is a place where you can add your email address to receive the online newsletters.

~Roads - New link to available Litter Clean-Up Programs.

~Ordinances - Master Ordinance Index link added where you can view Ordinances & Resolutions.

If you have any suggestions of what you would like to see on the Jackson Twp. Website, please call Dave Hirko at 749-0725 or email to office@jacksontwppa.com

Township residents who have access to the internet can now join our new email group to receive up-to-date Township news by email. We would like to invite you to join Jackson Township Online News where you can receive online newsletters, announcements, and important information concerning Jackson Township. To subscribe just go to the Jackson Township website at
www.jacksontwppa.com and subscribe to the Jackson Township Online News by entering your email address in the space provided. You will then be sent a confirmation verifying that you wish to subscribe to the online news. You must return the confirmation via email to be added to the newsletter list. We also encourage you to invite others to join. If you encounter any problem signing up, just email us at office@jacksontwppa.com or call us at the Township office at 749-0725 and you can be added manually.

If you are planning on a building project be sure to visit or call either the Jackson Township Office at 749-0725 or Harry Baker, Zoning Officer at 322-1425. Your project could involve zoning, stormwater or planning. Also with the new Pennsylvania State Uniform Construction Code, inspections may be required as well. Be sure to allow plenty of time to get any necessary permits prior to building. By doing this, your project can be addressed in plenty of time before you actually begin construction. Also if you are planning to pave or alter your driveway, a driveway permit is required. Roadmasters Bruce Baker & Dave Bracken said that driveway permits are not to inconvenience residents but are necessary to make sure there is a swale or pipe to direct stormwater. They also make sure that driveways are not higher than the road so snow plows donít catch the edge of the driveway. When a driveway enters onto a Township road, a safe sight distance is also very important. PennDOT requires permits for driveways entering onto State roads within the Township.

On behalf of the Township Supervisors, staff and volunteers serving on various Boards & Authorities of Jackson Township, we extend our warmest wishes for every family to have a healthy and happy New Year!

~ Thanks! ~
We would also like to take this opportunity to recognize those who willingly served Jackson Township in 2004 and especially those who volunteer their time and talents to help make Jackson Township a great place to live.

Brian Alexander - Fire Co. Asst. Secretary
Frank (Buck) Alexander - Road Crew/ Asst. Road Foreman
Bruce Baker - Board of Supervisors Vice-Chairman, Roadmaster, Planning Commission Chairman, Sewage Enforcement Agency, Building Code Agency, Cambria County Assoc. Of Township Officials Vice-President
Harry Baker - Zoning Officer
Paulette Baker - Tax Collector
Alex Ballow - Tax Assessor
William Barbin - Solicitor
Ashley Baxter - Recreation Commission
Jennifer Baxter - Recreation Commission Recording Secretary
Joe Baxter - Recreation Commission Chairman, Sewer Authority Board Secretary
Phil Boyer
- Senior Center Treasurer
David Bracken - Board of Supervisors Chairman, Roadmaster, Fire Company Asst. Treasurer
James Braunns Jr. - Police Officer
Darrin Brown - Recreation Commission
Debra Buksa - Water Authority Secretary
George Burkey - Auditor, Sewer Authority Board Treasurer
Tim Burkey
- Sewer Authority
Jeff Croft - Emergency Mgmt. Coordinator
Dowey Croyle - Sewer Authority Board Chairman
Jacqueline Crusan
- Recreation Commission
Brian Daughenbaugh - Sewer Authority
Tim Davis - Recreation Commission
Dan Ditchcreek - Road Crew
Walt Ditchcreek - Water Authority Board Chairman
Ray Dodson - Water Authority Board Treasurer
Scott Eger - Police Officer
Jetta Ehrhart - Fire Company Secretary
Bob Fatula - Chief of Police
Connie Fetzer - Administrative Assistant, Planning Commission Recording Secretary
Rick Fetzer - Zoning Hearing Board Chairman
Tim Ford
- Road Crew
Gary Frombach - Constable
Georgia Frombach - Water Authority Secretary
Al Gailey
- Planning Commission
Alice Gary - Senior Center Vice-President
Alfred George - Recreation Commission
Tim Gillespie - Fire Company Trustee
Mary Govekar - Senior Center Secretary
Elmer Grove - Fire Chief, Fire Co. Financial Secretary
Kevin Grove - Fire Company Vice-President
Janet Hagerich - Zoning Hearing Board Alternate
Bill Headrick
- Auditors Chairman
Dave Hirko - Manager, Secretary, Treasurer, Sewage Enforcement Agency, Building Code Agency
Tim Hofecker - Fire Company President
Don Hrapchak - Water Authority Board Asst. Secretary-Treasurer
Jackson Township Adopt-A-Highway Volunteers
Jackson Township Election Poll Workers
Jackson Township Heritage Festival Committee & Volunteers
Jackson Township Senior & Handicapped Center Volunteers & Helpers
Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company Members
Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary Members
Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Police
Melanie Kline
- Police Officer
Don Knopsnyder - Planning Commission Vice-Chairman
Betty Lybarger - Senior Center
Samuel Marchu - Zoning Hearing Board Alternate
Ralph Mayer - Road Crew/Asst. Shop Foreman
Gina Mumau - Recreation Commission
Deb Nagel - Planning Commission Secretary
William Newman II - Police Officer
Nancy Oleksa
- Sewer Authority Administrative Assistant
Al Pagano - Recreation Commission
Ellen Pentrack-Ocilka - Zoning Hearing Board
David Pilot - Police Officer
Rob Piper Jr. - Water Authority Board Vice-Chairman
Jason Ponczek
- Police Officer
Ed Porada - Auditors Secretary
Laird Rager - Planning Commission
Bill Ragley - Zoning Hearing Board Vice-Chairman
Barry Rouzer - Vacancy Board Chairman
Frank Singel - Senior Center President
John Sirko - Road Crew
Al Slippy - Recreation Commission Secretary
Mark Sloan
- Fire Company Treasurer
Dave Smith - Water Authority, Fire Company Asst. Financial Secretary
Karl Smith - Water Authority Foreman, Fire Company Police Captain
Bob Stephens - Board of Supervisors
Shane Strobel - Police Officer
John Wallet - Water Authority Board Secretary
Mary Ann Zanghi -
District Justice
Scott Zelek - Police Officer
There are hundreds of volunteers in Jackson Township too numerous to mention who serve in some capacity for many great organizations such as the Fire Company, Senior Center, Historical Society, Schools, Churches, Food Pantry, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, Little League, Recreation & Sports, Nanty Glo Library, Civic Organizations, etc. Thanks for all the work you do and know that it is very much appreciated!