JACKSON TOWNSHIP NEWS
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JACKSON STARTS 2005 WITH
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.
INFORMATION NEED UPDATED?
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.
JUNK VEHICLE REMOVAL
OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE
LOOKING BACK ON 2004
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.
WINTER WEATHER TIPS
~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.
SUPERVISORS REORGANIZE FOR 2005
VETERANS PARK TAKING SHAPE
PLANNING UNDERWAY FOR HERITAGE FESTIVAL 2005
FIRE COMPANY NEWS & EVENTS
SENIOR CENTER NEWS
~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.www.jacksontwppa.com
WHATíS NEW ON THE WEBSITE
~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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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NEW YEAR GREETINGS
- 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