Your Community News Source
Winter, 2006

Jackson Township began the new year with a surplus over 1.3 million dollars. The Jackson Township Supervisors passed an approved a budget for 2006 of $2,987,205.00. The breakdown is as follows: General Fund-$1,108,240.00, State Fund-$140,630, Fire Hydrant Fund-$10,500.00, Rescue Fund -$8,500.00, Capital Reserve Fund-$1,661,435.00 and Senior Center Fund-$57,900.00. The Township Capital Reserve Fund is over 1.3 million while we were able to carry out many substantial improvements and projects during the past year. We are fortunate that Jackson will not have to raise taxes as many other municipalities have this year. Also by balancing financial growth while helping the Township move and progress forward, Jackson will remain financially sound for future generations.

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.

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. 2005 was a busy year in Jackson Township and hopefully this article will give you a glance of some of the highlights.

Economic Development
Several projects are underway that could boost the local economy. The most notable one is the 35 million dollar Route 22 Reconstruction Project which will widen the heavily traveled corridor to 4 lanes and on Chickaree Mountain, 5 lanes. The project includes construction of an interchange at Dishong Mountain Road, improving other intersections and constructing "turn around" roads, service roads and interchange lighting at Dishong Mountain Road and Route 271. This project more than any other could change the landscape of Jackson Township as anticipated development occurs along the busy highway. Completion for the project is scheduled for 2007 but with the nice weather during 2005, they may be finished much sooner. The 8.2 million dollar Landfill Gas Conversion Project is close to becoming a reality as pipe is being laid for transporting gas 1.5 miles from the landfill to a Dominion Peoples distribution line. The project is expected to produce 1.5 million cubic feet of gas per day. Construction has also begun on the Gas Conversion Plant located at the Laurel Highlands Landfill. The project will bring in additional revenue to the Township as well as extend the life of the Laurel Highlands Landfill. Through an agreement with JRE, a coalition of Johnstown Wire Technologies, JWF Industries and the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority, the lower cost energy will help sustain nearly 1,000 jobs in the Johnstown area. Work continues with Babcox & Wilcox cleaning up a large "boney pile" located near Route 271 and Loraine Road. The boney is being transported to a co-gen plant in Ebensburg and used as fuel. The site will eventually be completely reclaimed. Interest and inquiries have been made to local realtors on various properties along Route 22 which according to PennDOT has traffic flow of 17,000 vehicles a day. Interest has been expressed on locating a truck terminal along Route 22. Additional interest has been shown on commercial development along Route 271 as well. Jackson Township has been approached by US Wind Force of Wexford on a project that includes the development of windmills across multiple properties for about two miles on the ridge of Dishong Mountain. US Wind Force is getting ready to submit a zoning application for a test tower which will measure wind speeds on the mountaintop for a year to determine whether a wind farm would be feasible. US Wind Force is an independent developer of renewable energy projects with active ventures in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. With Gamesa locating a new plant in neighboring Cambria Township, there seems to be much interest in the development of wind energy throughout Cambria County. At the November Board of Supervisors, a vote was made to hire C.J. Webb to develop an ordinance on windmills for Jackson Township to protect residents by establishing setbacks and addressing other matters or concerns. Attorney Webb developed an ordinance for Portage Township after much negotiation and research with windmill companies and developers.

Planning For The Future
Jackson Township Planning Commission is in the process of developing a much needed Comprehensive Plan which will provide an in-depth analysis of the Township. The plan addresses many subjects including housing, emergency services, economics, education, environment, population, highways, sewer, water, recreation and more. Background studies have been completed and a survey was mailed to all residents in the Fall edition of the Jackson Township News. Public meetings will be scheduled in order that there will be ample opportunity 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 continues will takes approximately 14 months to complete. The Planning Commission is also working to update the Subdivision Ordinance as well as recommend that the Townshipís Zoning Ordinance are all compatible with each other and the Comprehensive Plan. An additional recommendation was made by the Planning Commission to have Richard C. Sutter & Associates review the Zoning Map. 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. Layers can be added to the online maps which can show sewer & water lines, tax information, drainage facilities and any other information of importance. Eventually residents and others will be able to view maps and tax information on their home computer rather than make a trip to the County Courthouse. The Recreation Commission is also in the process of completing a Master Recreation, Parks & Open Space Plan. This information will also compliment the new Comprehensive Plan. The Zoning Hearing Board continues to serve the Township by presiding over various hearings and matters throughout the year over land use issues and Harry Baker addresses Zoning Permits as applications are submitted as well as other problems and complaints that may occur. An effort is being made to get property owners to clean up their properties. One of the most notable ones that the Township is trying to get the owner to clean-up is Leisure Village. An amendment to the Zoning Ordinance was made which made improvements to the sign section and reduced the new minimum lot size in the Agricultural Zones from 2 acres to 1 acre. Implementation of the Pennsylvania State Building Code has now been existence for over a year with minimal problems. The Cambria County Building Codes Enforcement Agency is appointed by Jackson Township to help administer the code and any necessary inspections. For the 6th consecutive year, building permits in Jackson topped the 2 million dollar mark. One of the largest tracts of land in Jackson Township was recently sold from Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund to The Conservation Fund. The ground involves approximately 3500 acres in the Dishong Mountain area. You can view the website of the new owner at www.conservationfund.org.  With proper planning, zoning and land use, Jackson Township can have controlled growth while protecting the residents, businesses and industry that already call Jackson Township home as well as the environment.

Roads and Related Improvements
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 Leidy Lane & Loraine Road. Roads that were seal coated entirely or in part were Bald Eagle Street, Broadwing Street, Chaser Street, Cherrywood Drive, Eagle Drive, Finntown Road, Fords Corner Road, Kline Avenue, Lyle Street, Raymond Drive, Smith Avenue, Snably Avenue, Venture Street and Zurenda Lane. Additional road paving and patching on Pike Road East was completed by the Jackson Road Department and paid for by Amfire Mining as part of a six month renewable Road Bond established. The road crew worked endlessly on improving and maintaining drainage along various Township roads as well as overall maintenance. A drainage project in the Adams Area near the Vinco Plaza will be done this year. The project will be completed in conjunction with the Cambria County Conservation District. Guardrails were replaced along Pike Road just past Swigle Mountain Road as well as new guardrails installed along Raymond Drive off of Route 271. Lines were painted on at least five roads and various signs erected to improve safety in certain areas. Another safety improvement was PennDOT posting a reduced speed limit on Swigle Mountain Road after the Township requested that a study be done due to coal truck traffic and concerns from residents. Swigle Mountain Road was also paved in itís entirety by PennDOT. Jackson Township also approved a new 5 year contract with PennDOT to be reimbursed for performing winter maintenance on Benshoff Hill Road. During 2005 several additional street lights were erected and have made a great difference in making Township intersections and streets safer for vehicles and pedestrians. A new truck was also purchased for the Road Department to help keep the Township fleet updated. The old one-ton truck that it replaced was sold to the Jackson-East Taylor Sewer Authority for $1.00. This is a great example of everyone working together as a team. Several unnamed streets were given names to comply with the Cambria County 911 Emergency System. New street names included Cyrus Lane, Deerfield Lane and Stoneridge Street Extension. Traffic signals were also replaced from the old bulb / lamp style to the new LED signals which are guaranteed to last a minimum of 5 years.

Township Remains Financially Solid
Jackson Township remains in sound financial condition with the Capital Reserve Fund finishing the year with about 1.3 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. In addition to revenues from the Laurel Highlands Landfill, additional revenue of $21,000 to $35,000 annually will come in from the Landfill Gas Conversion Project and could potentially come in from the development of any windmills. With the development of the Brazil-Cherrywood Sewage Project and possible other sewer and water lines, more homes and businesses can be built in Jackson adding to the Townshipís tax base and insuring that local taxes can continue to be one of the lowest in the County. All Township audits conducted by Certified Public Accounts, Federal, State & Local Agencies had no findings and the detailed record keeping was praised.

Emergency Services
The Jackson Township Police Department continues to provide 24 hour police protection. More emphasis has been put on patrolling neighborhoods to help make Township residents feel as safe as possible. Another service provided by the Police is making regular security checks to Township businesses. The police recently have made an effort to crack down on coal trucks exceeding the speed limit after receiving several complaints from residents. The Police Department recently received a $15,000 grant from Homeland Security in cooperation with Congressman John Murthaís office. Part of the grant will be applied towards the purchase of a new 2005 Police Vehicle. The Jackson Police Department has a good team of officers. Chief Fatula directs the Department of part-time officers. Officer Melanie Kline, one of Jackson Townshipís full-time officers is currently serving in Iraq with the National Guard and will return later this year. Two Youth Drug & Alcohol Fairs were held during the summer. The program is sponsored by Judge Gerard Long and the Cambria County Courts. Both events were well attended. Leidy had attendance of 46 while over 100 attended the Mitchell Fair. The record turnouts were the result of much promotion and advertising of the events throughout Jackson Township. The Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Department provided another outstanding year of service to the residents. 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. One of the highlights was holding the First Annual Aaron Rusin Battle of the Barrel on the Saturday of the Heritage Festival. Money raised was put towards a scholarship fund in memory of Aaron Rusin, a dedicated, young firefighter who was killed in Iraq. The Fire Company also hosted a very successful Cambria County Firemenís Convention. To help out the Fire Company, the Board of Supervisors also approved a Mutual Aid Agreement that would insure that all services and activities performed by the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company are covered for insurance purposes. Jackson Township passed a Resolution that the Township would become NIMS Compliant as required by the State of Pennsylvania and Federal Government. NIMS stands for National Incident Management System and greater emphasis was put on this program after Hurricane Katrina. Township employees along with those from the Water & Sewer Authorities, Police Department and Fire Department are required to take two basic courses which outline what procedures and steps to take in the event of an emergency. By being NIMS Compliant, the Township and residents will qualify for disaster assistance if an emergency should occur.

Recreation Plans for Growth
The Jackson Township Recreation Commission has taken on many projects this year and planning for more. Pashek Associates was hired as a consultant to help develop a Master Recreation, Parks & Open Space Plan for Jackson Township. This is being done with the help of a $25,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources. The plan will address the current and future needs of Jackson Township. The development of the plan is based on many factors including feedback and input from residents from a survey mailed to 40% of the residents, public meetings and key person interviews.  One of the biggest projects completed this year was the Veterans Monument / Memorial which was dedicated on Veterans Day. The monument has over 870 names on it honoring Veterans and was set on a concrete star-shaped base with flags flying representing each branch of the Military and the United States flag which is illuminated at night. Names will be added each year before the Memorial & Veterans Day services. About 30 additional names are ready to be engraved on the monument for 2006 bringing the total to over 900 names. A Dept. of Community & Economic Development grant of $45,000 was received from State Rep. Tom Yewcic which will be used to add lighting along the walking path at Veterans Memorial Park as well as lighting for the parking lot between the Senior Center & Fire Company. As part of this grant, new electrical facilities were added to Veterans Memorial Park for various events including the Heritage Festival. Plans are underway for the 2006 Heritage Festival and an under 21 dance will be added for Friday evening. During 2005 a new handicapped accessible bridge was constructed to join the Senior Center & Fire Company parking lots. Two new backstops were erected at Mitchell Park with the help of a $5,000 grant from the Cambria County Commissioners. Concrete was poured in the dugout areas. A multi-purpose utility field was constructed at Leidy and a $25,000 CDBG Grant was received for construction of additional playground equipment to be installed this year. New park signs were installed at Mitchell, Leidy & Veterans Park. This included some landscaping as well.

Sewer & Water are Key Components
Sewer & Water are seen as key components to the future growth and development of Jackson Township. The Brazil Lane and Cherrywood Estates sewer line is coming nearer to reality as the Sewer Authority (JETSA) is pursuing surveying and getting the permits necessary to approach Pennvest for a loan. A $250,000 grant was approved by the Board of Supervisors to help spur the Sewer Project forward. When completed the new line will serve approx. 200 homes, Mitchell Park and create the potential for new development.  Studies are also being done to explore the possibilities of sewage along the Route 22 corridor and possible spur lines on Fords Corner Road, Loraine Road, Finntown Road, Mile Hill Road, Pike Road West and East and Ogden Road areas. Any of these areas would be in the future and would be dependent upon the need and available grants / funding. A grant enabled JETSA to have heavy-duty plastic casing installed under the new Route 22 in order that future expansion could occur. A new sewer line will also be constructed by the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority as a component of the new Landfill Gas Project. The new line will travel along Dishong Mountain Road and will transport sewage / leachate from the Laurel Highlands Landfill to the Dornick Point Treatment Plant. The line will also make sewage available to those who wish to have it but because this is a privately funded project, tap-ins are not mandatory. The Jackson Township Water Authority saw the completion of the Solar Street water line near Route 22 that services 9 families. Community Block Grant Funds helped complete this project. CDBG Funds have also been designated for the last four years towards the Wagner Road and Pintail Road water project which will serve approximately 22 homes, many of whom experienced water problems in the past. Engineering work is moving forward and construction should start in 2006 when the remainder of the funding is in place. A study was also done on part of Chickaree Hill Road but this line would require additional grants or funding to move forward. The Salt Lick-Ebensburg water line was completed and residents along that line from Salt Lick dam to Cambria Township are being advised by the Ebensburg Municipal Authority as to how to tap into the new line. 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. One of the spur lines that was completed was a water line along Pike Road. This line will service 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 if any contamination or drought conditions should occur. Another spur line which was completed was along a portion of Ogden Road which will serve 18 homes. The Jackson Water Authority is in the process of obtaining a permit from the PaDEP before this line will become active. The Board of Supervisors was able to pay for Pike Project and assisted the Authority with a loan for the Ogden Project. In another project, the Authority refurbished the water tank at Mundys Corner.  A water improvement project by the Croyle Township Water Authority was also approved which affects 6 families near the Jackson-Croyle Twp. line. The project involves replacing 6" with 8" line and a new water tank.

Senior Center
The Senior Center continues to grow with well over 400 members. The Senior Center held a Memorial Day Service and played a vital part in the Veterans Day Monument / Memorial Dedication Ceremony. The Center played host to a wide variety of activities, seminars and classes during 2005 covering issues that concern Senior Citizens and the Community in general. A DCED grant was received from State Rep. Tom Yewcic for $8,000.00 for the purchase of new computers, printers and high speed internet access for the Senior Center. New fire alarms were installed on the 2nd & 3rd floor of the Senior Center Building as well as a new Wet Chemical Ansol System for the kitchen to stay compliant with current fire & safety regulations. New concrete steps were added on the front of the Magistrates Entrance to the building.

Township Faces Challenging Role
Running a Township the size of Jackson is like running a large business. There are numerous challenges and administrative tasks which seem to grow more each year.  The Board of Supervisors get involved in all aspects of the Township and work to insure that Federal and State laws and policies are being followed. Some of the continuing matters being addressed by the Board are sewage regulations, sewer & water line projects, stormwater management, emergency services, developing ordinances and policies, and too many others to mention.  During 2005 a new garbage contract was negotiated which allows for unlimited curbside service and large items as well. In addition each household is entitled to receive one free pass to the Landfill each quarter. The Cambria County recycling bins were relocated from Vinco at the Senior Center to Mundys Corner along Pike Road near the Municipal Building. The move was made to make room for the Veterans Monument.  In another matter two utility poles were relocated that were on the road right-of-way of Leidy Lane to improve safety. A similar situation exists on Adams Avenue which is not resolved at this time. During 2005 the Board approved a 3 year labor contract with the Jackson Township Police Association and also adopted a new Police Complaint Policy as well as a Property & Evidence Control Policy.

Residents Get Involved
There are countless residents that are involved in serving on various commissions and boards, the Fire Company, Senior Center, churches, schools and volunteer & civic organizations. One project led by Paulette Baker and several local churches was establishing a collection point for hurricane relief at the Municipal Building. The drive was very successful and all items were transported to the Salvation Army to distribute to Hurricane Katrina victims. Elections were held in November and Jackson Township had a higher turnout than Cambria County overall. Precinct # 2 (Fire Hall) had the highest voter turnout of 52% followed by #1 (Pike Church) with 47% and # 3 (Municipal Building) with 43%. Incumbent Bruce Baker won the Supervisors race. Paulette Baker was re-elected to Tax Collector and Alex Ballow won the Assessor position on a write-in. Ed Porada was re-elected as Township Auditor and Marcia Shaheen & Frank Singel won the two Jackson seats on the Central Cambria School Board.  Last year many youth got involved in carrying out community projects while qualifying for Boy Scout Eagle Projects as well as Senior Projects for Central Cambria School District. Ryan Hirko & Matt Ocipa completed a stream clean-up and stenciling project along streams and storm drains entering Hinckston Run which will be used for the public participation portion of Jackson Townships MS4 Stormwater Permit with the PaDEP. Other projects completed by Jackson Township youth qualifying for Eagle Scout status were an inventory of street signs and painting guardrail at Mitchell Park by Aaron Henry, putting reflective tape on utility poles and trees near the roadway done by Mike Schenk and the rebuilding of a set of bleachers at Leidy Park by Ryan Davis.

Township Alive with Activity
Jackson Township is alive with activity and considering our prime location in the center of Cambria County, the new Route 22 corridor under construction, and hundreds or possibly thousands of new jobs in the works in neighboring Cambria Township, we are only at the tip of the iceberg. A key component to keeping everyone informed on what is happening is communications. This includes holding public meetings, maintaining a website, emailing online newsletters and publishing newsletters which are mailed out quarterly to all residents. 2006 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 2006 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. Debra Nagel was reappointed to serve another 4 year term on the Planning Commission, Ray Dodson was reappointed to another 5 year term on the Water Authority. Brian Emerson was appointed to serve a 5 year term on the Jackson-East Taylor Sewer Authority. Brian is filling the position formerly held by Dowey Croyle whoís term ended in 2005. Dowey faithfully served Jackson Township for over 25 years on JETSA and as a Township Supervisor. Joe Baxter was reappointed to an additional 5 year term on the Recreation Commission. Karl Smith was newly appointed to a 5 year term on the Recreation Commission to fill a position that was vacant. Rick Fetzer was reappointed to another 5 year term on Zoning Hearing Board. Sam Marchu, alternate member of the Zoning Hearing Board was appointed to be a full-time member filling the remainder of the term of Bill Ragley who resigned at the end of 2005. Lynda Shirk was newly appointed to the role of alternate member. Dave Bracken & Bruce Baker were re-appointed as Roadmasters. Bruce Baker 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 Bruce Baker 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 for 2006. The Board also approved the 2006 list of Fire Company Activities.

The Supervisors have expressed some concerns over the limited options given to them by PennDOT concerning access at two key intersections. The intersections are Chickaree Hill Road / Mile Hill Road and Fordís Corner Road. A letter dated November 30, 2005 was written from Township Solicitor, Bill Barbin to Thomas Prestash, Principal Engineer of PennDOT District 9 in Hollidaysburg, PA. The letter expresses concern on the segment of Route 22 between Dishong Mountain Road and Mundyís Corner and states that improvements made will greatly increase speed on the road while only improving sight limits a small amount.  It goes on to state that the area where Route 22 crosses the ridge top is prone to heavy fog at night and frequent blinding snow squalls that severely restrict visibility and this segment has always been an area of many accidents. The Supervisors originally wanted PennDOT to consider an overpass at the Chickaree Hill Road / Mile Hill Road intersection. This intersection is of utmost importance being that at least 100 trucks a day enter and exit Route 22 going to the landfill. Laurel Sand & Stone also uses this road and there is interest in locating a truck terminal there as well. The Supervisors were told that PennDOT only considers intersections at State Roads. Although Mile Hill Road is a Township road, Chickaree Hill Road IS a State Road. At the Fords Corner intersection, the Supervisors requested that a interchange be built with an underpass connecting Fordís Corner Road and Pike Road. PennDOTís response to both requests was there was no money available to build the interchanges which they claim would cost over 2 million each. PennDOT then gave the Supervisors options for each intersection including full access which would mean crossing 4 to 5 lanes to make a left turn, limited access (slotted left turn option) which would restrict left turns - residents would have to travel to the nearest "jug handle" or turn around to go the opposite direction on Route 22, or installing traffic lights. PennDOT said traffic lights are not recommended on a road like Route 22 and can be the cause of accidents. PennDOT minutes from a recent job meeting went so far as to state that the restrictions on access are being imposed at the request of the Township. The letter sent to PennDOT states that this is not true and that Jackson Township requests that full access, both east and west, be maintained during and after construction of those intersections and that this can be accomplished with overpasses and limited access facilities. The Township was never notified that there was a decision for it to make trading off safety for access. Another concern is that the detours created for construction are unnecessarily lengthy and create hazards and anxiety to local residents, especially those living along Whitetail Road. The letter says that a small amount of construction would connect the Whitetail Road to Red Oak Lane which still has access to Route 22. This would have worked with minimal cost until a large stormwater pond was constructed between the two roads. It goes on to say that a detour on Mile Hill Road with no other way out in the winter is extremely dangerous. Similarly a local access road could have connected Fordís Corner Road and Turkey Path Road which still has access to Route 22. Loraine Road is also a poor road on which to have a detour in the winter as it is very steep and at the bottom you have nowhere to go but up Pergrim Hill. The letter states that these decisions made by PennDOT have resulted in detours that are several miles long. This means several minutes more for an ambulance or fire truck. It says these detours do not have to be and they could be remedied with a minimal amount of additional work. The letter closes by asking PennDOT to sit down with the Supervisors and discuss possible solutions. The letter was copied to the Cambria County Commissioners, Rep. Thomas Yewcic, Sen. John Wozniak and Congressman John Murtha. A meeting has been scheduled with Dave Sherman of PennDOT, the Cambria County Commissioners and the Jackson Township Supervisors for the end of January, 2006.

Jackson Township received good news from JARI (Johnstown Area Region Industries) that we will benefit from a $50,000 grant to pave Pennzoil Drive which leads to the Warren Oil Company Property. According to Linda Thompson, Executive Director of JARI, the grant was made possible with the help of Senator John Wozniak. When Jackson Township adopted Pennzoil Drive into the Township Road System several years back, part of the agreement was JARI was going to pave Pennzoil Drive with funds that were available for economic development. According to Thompson, the grant is now official and the paving job will be bid out in the spring of 2006. The road improvements will also help keep down dust and dirt from trucks entering or exiting the property as well as provide a top quality access road to the former "Family Drive In" property.

As many of you know, the Jackson Township Recreation Commission is developing a Master Parks & Open Spaces Plan. In 2005 they received a $25,000 Planning Grant from the Pennsylvania Dept. Of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR). The grant is a matching grant and Pashek Associates has been doing the consulting work for this project. Once a plan is in place, Jackson Township will be looked upon more favorably for larger grants which can be used to develop actual recreational facilities at our parks. As part of this planning process a survey on recreation was mailed to 40% of the households in Jackson Township. The results of this survey provides many interesting facts and also shows what forms of recreation the residents of the Township are interested in. According to the survey, 41% of the households have at least one member participating in organized sports. The number one factor that prevented residents from participating in recreational activities was not being interested in what activities were offered. One question asked was what type of activities do you wish were offered so you could take part in them. The top five responses showed that the highest number of residents were interested in exercise & fitness, swimming, music & concerts, nature activities and bus trips. One question asked how many times a year does members of your household use local recreation facilities. The highest number of responses listed 1-6 times a year with the second highest being 12 or more times a year. When asked which of the following facilities do you currently use, the highest number of responses was playgrounds at parks followed by the playground at Jackson Elementary and then a tie for third place listing the Mitchell Park ballfields and the Senior Center. A question asking what types of new facilities are needed showed that the number one response was for an indoor swimming pool followed by permanent restrooms at parks, exercise & fitness facility, hiking trails, biking trails, community & recreation center and outdoor swimming pool. 86% of those surveyed said parks and recreation were important to them. 70% said cultural opportunities (art, theater, music) were important. 45% answered that they were not satisfied with the overall parks and recreation opportunities available to them while 73% said they were satisfied with the current maintenance of existing facilities.  Of members of households responding to the survey, 44% of the family members were age 35-64 years. 17% were over 65, 15% were 20-34, 11% were 0-9, 7% were 10-14 and 6% were 15-19 years. 85% of the respondents have lived in the Township for more than 10 years followed by 10% living here less than 5 years and 5% for 5-10 years.  When spending tax dollars, 44% of those surveyed said they felt that tax money should be spent on development of existing parks and 42% felt the same on trail development. 8% said they felt no money should be spent on recreation. When asked about public funds for parks and recreation, 52% felt they should be increased, 6% decreased and 33% stay the same. These results combined with input from public meetings and key person interviews will be used in developing the plan. Some of the ideas expressed at the first public meeting held on October 19th at the Senior Center included having a recreation & community center, legal motorized vehicle trails, acquisition and development of old reclaimed rock dump, campgrounds, developing Loraine Park, areas with pavilions-restrooms-electric to rent, diversity and having ballfields for football and soccer, supporting freshwater streams for trout, year-round recreational programming, considering the waterline right-of-way for trail use to connect to the Ghost Town Trail and / or the Staple Bend Tunnel and a shooting range. Key person interviews were done with 15 people. Those selected were leaders of local sports organizations, municipal staff, teachers, pastors, local business owners, parents and staff from Senior Center. Some of the comments brought out from key person interviews were that the Township should not plan for more facilities than it can afford to build and maintain, donít duplicate facilities that exist in neighboring municipalities, should tap into the volunteer resources of local churches, patrol parks at night to prevent vandalism and that there is a need to keep young people from leaving the Township.

The Jackson Township Heritage Festival has grown quite popular during the last two years and planning is underway for the 3rd Annual Jackson Heritage Festival. Last year, 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 15 & Sunday, July 16. 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 that can be confirmed is a new country band, Gashouse Annie. A popular band in Western PA they have opened for numerous concerts featuring Willie Nelson, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn and many more. They will be performing from 2 to 5. Back by popular demand are the Fabulous Flashbacks who will perform from 7 to 11. They were a big hit last year with their Oldies Show. Sunday will begin with a Community Church Service from 10:30 to 11:30 featuring Rev. Darryl "Doc" Dawson of New Day and special music. The Masters who perform gospel music and are based out of Jackson Township will put on a concert from 12-1:30. Beavercreek, a real crowd pleaser put on an excellent show with Bluegrass Music the last two years and will once again be performing from 2-5. 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. Last year the standing-room only crowd enjoyed the bands music and showmanship. This year an under 21 dance will be added to the Festival schedule. It will be held on Friday, July 14th. Details are to be announced and the dance will feature a live band or bands plus refreshments. 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 2006. 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 2006.

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.

Recreation Commission -
Candidate will be considered for a five year term to the Jackson Township Recreation Commission which meets once a month plus any special meetings. Position involves working with current recreation needs and projects as well as planning for future needs. Term of service expires December 31, 2008. To be considered please send a brief note or letter to the Jackson Township Supervisors, 513 Pike Road, Johnstown, PA 15909 or email office@jacksontwppa.com.

Heritage Festival - Help needed for planning the 2006 Jackson Heritage Festival.
Leaders needed in the following areas:
Volunteer Coordinator

Volunteers needed in the following areas:
Under 21 Dance
Festival Layout
Sponsors & Fundraising
Childrenís Activities

For more information on what each committee entails or If interested in leading or helping on a committee, please call Dave Hirko at 749-0725 or email office@jacksontwppa.com

Submitted by Police Chief, Bob Fatula
September-November, 2005

911 Calls Dispatched to Police: 1,111
Reportable incidents: 97
~DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-14
~Receiving Stolen Property-7
~Criminal Mischief-6
~Theft of Services-4
~Disorderly Conduct-2
~Public Drunkenness-2
~Theft of Services-2
~Criminal Trespassing-1
~Dog Law-1
~Indecent Exposure-1
~Possible Drug paraphernalia-1
~Vehicle Theft-1
Total Accidents Handled: 27
Non-Traffic Citations issued: 8
Traffic Citations Issued: 95
Criminal Charges Filed: 60
DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-14
~Receiving Stolen Property-7
~Theft of Services-4
~Criminal Mischief-2
~Disorderly Conduct-2
~Public Drunkenness-2
~Criminal Trespassing-1
~Dog Law-1
~Possible Drug Paraphernalia-1

The Jackson Township Water Authority is still having problems with undetectable leaks in the system. They are asking for your help in locating the leak or leaks. Indications of a possible leak might include one or more of the following:

~Noise in your basement where the water comes into the house (meter)
~Water running above ground when all else is frozen.
~Bare spots in your yard when everything else is covered with snow.
~Large ice build-up where there usually is none.

During the winter months we are asking that any resident living close to a fire hydrant makes sure itís accessible for their own safety as well as for others. Within the next couple of months, residents along the Ogden Street and Pike Road will need to be tapped into the newly installed water lines. At this time the new water line is not operational, but the fire hydrants are on-line for fire protection purposes. Once all the legalities are finalized, the Jackson Township Water Authority will send residents along these new lines a letter with all of the details and dates regarding tapping in. In another matter, the Jackson Township Water Authority Board passed a motion under the advisement of their solicitor to require that all new customers physically come into the office and sign a service agreement.

The Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! They hope that you enjoyed your holidays as itís hard to believe that another year has passed. They would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents and non-residents for the support they have given them for 2005. New officers have been elected for 2006. They are as follows: President-Tim Hofecker, Vice-President-Dave Grove, Secretary-Jetta Ehrhart, Assistant Secretary-Angela Shoemaker, Treasurer-Mark Sloan, Financial Secretary-Elmer Grove, Assistant Financial Secretary-David Smith, Trustee-Chris Fedora, Fire Chief-Elmer Grove, Fire Police Captain-Mick Bezek, Cambria County Convention Delegates-Stella Fedora, Mick Bezek and George Burkey, Central District Convention Delegates-Michelle Smoter, Stella Fedora and George Gillen Jr. And Ambulance Committee Member-Angela Shoemaker. Upcoming events include Casino Night which will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2006. Fish Frys will be held every Friday during Lent starting on March 3, 2006. A Golf Raffle is scheduled for Sunday, March 5, 2006 and a Jewelry Raffle sponsored by the Auxiliary will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2006. A Gun Raffle will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2006 and Bingo is held every Sunday evening. For information on any of these events, call the Fire Hall at 322-3155.  A reminder is given that during the winter months, fire prevention is most important! Be sure to thaw frozen pipes safely, burn candles responsibly, use your fireplace safely and if you are using an alternate method of heat (kerosun or space heater), make sure the curtains are a safe distance from the flame.

The Jackson Senior Center is always alive with a host of special events and activities. One of the more recent ones was a seminar held on November 29th when Mr. Dave Ulerich, District Manager of the Social Security Administration held a special local meeting on the new Medicare Part D Drug Program. About 50 individuals from the community showed up to get information on the different options seniors have. Mr. Ulerich explained who is eligible for extra help to pay the rising costs of premiums, co-payments and deductibles of the new Prescription Drug Program The Centerís Knitting Club would like to thank all the knitters and crocheters who helped make a total of 108 hats, mittens and scarves which were given to the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and then donated to the Victim Services or Cambria / Somerset County who supply special services to children, women and men who have been victimized by violent crimes. Thanks to all those who helped for a job well done. The annual Childrenís Christmas Party was held on December 10th for all children age 12 and under related to members of the Center. There were 40 children that came and saw a Puppet Show, talked to Santa and received a treat. This year the Center participated in another "Sock It To Us Program" collecting over 75 pairs of new adult and children socks. The socks were donated to the Retired Senior Volunteer Program as part of the "Make A Difference Day" Project which donated them to the Cambria County Shelter Care, Victim Services and Children and Youth Services for needy children. The socks help the needy stay warm in the winter. Thanks to all those who donated socks for this project. Upcoming events include special assistance on tax preparation for Seniors. In February and March 2006 a trained Tax Assistance individual will once again be at the Center to assist individuals in preparing their 2005 tax returns. This will include preparing Federal, State and rent or property tax rebate filing. Tax assistance will also be given to individuals with small businesses and rentals. Appointments will be scheduled every Wednesday in February and March, 2006 from 9:00A am to 11:30 am beginning February 1 and every Monday night from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm starting February 6, 2006. Appointments can be made by calling Betty Lybarger at the Center at 322-3327. The center is planning to host a "Living Well Workshop - a chronic disease self-management program. This program is for individuals with chronic health problems and will include subjects such as dealing with pain, fatigue frustration, isolation, medication usage, evaluating treatment options, exercise & movement to maintain strength, nutrition and communicating effectively with family and friends. No date has yet been set but it requires a commitment of six weekly sessions of 1 to 1 Ĺ hours per session. Those interested can sign up for the program at the Center.  The Center for Priority Care from Conemaugh Health will once again be holding a Community Blood Screening on Saturday, March 18, 2006 from 7:00 am to 9:00 am at the Center. It is a complete multiphasic blood screen with lipid profile. Appointments will be taken beginning February 14, 2006 by calling 322-3327. The Center has information and some applications on the following programs offered to the seniors of Pennsylvania including: (LIHEAP) Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Medicare Part B Premium Assistance, Food Stamps, PA PACE and PACENET Prescription Drug Assistance Programs, Automobile Registration Renewal at reduced fees, Healthy Horizons Medicaid Program, new Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program and Personal Care and Nursing Homes in Cambria County. Some of the activities offered to the members in the last quarter are lunch 3 times a week, Silver Sneakersí Exercise Program 3 days a week, parties, bingo, knitting, line dancing and weekly pinochle parties. Also speakers held seminars on Urinary Incontinence and Health Issues Concerning the Aged Population. Flu Shots were given to over 140 members and residents and plans are being made to offer this program again in 2006. Anyone interested in visiting or taking a quick tour of the Center is invited to stop in. Membership offered to those age 50 and older is constantly growing and is only $10.00 a year. Senior Center hours are Monday from 7:00 - 9:00 pm, Tuesday & Wednesday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

~Need to Sign Up For New Garbage Service? - Jackson Townshipís garbage contract provides for unlimited curbside garbage pick-up as well as any large items you have to dispose of with a few exceptions (i.e. - hazardous items, Freon, tires, etc.) If you are interested in signing up for garbage service you need to call 1-800-677-4884. The cost for 2006 is $36.90 per quarter.

~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 90 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".

~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.

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. Check out the updated pages including the Links page where there are hundreds of resources for you to use. The kids have their own links section. . just click on the Jackson Township Kids Page and check out Kidslinks. To see some of the pages that have been updated recently , click on "Whats New" on the home page. 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

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 Pennsylvania State Building 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.

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.

The Laurel Highlands Landfill offers recycling. Tires can also be put in a recycling bin for a minimal cost of $1.00 per normal-sized vehicle tire. This does not apply to any commercial establishments

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.

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 2005 and especially those who volunteer their time and talents to help make Jackson Township a great place to live.

Frank (Buck) Alexander - Road Crew
Bruce Baker
- Board of Supervisors Vice-Chairman, Roadmaster, Planning Commission Chairman, 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 Vice-Chairman
Mick Bezek - Fire Police Captain
Phil Boyer - Senior Center Treasurer
David Bracken - Board of Supervisors Chairman, Roadmaster
Darrin Brown - Recreation Commission
Debra Buksa - Water Authority Secretary
George Burkey - Auditor, Sewer Authority Board Treasurer
Tim Burkey
- Sewer Authority
Gloria Charney - Senior Center
George Cooper - Water Authority
Dowey Croyle - Sewer Authority Board Chairman
Jeff Croft
- Emergency Mgmt. Coordinator
Tim Davis - Recreation Commission
Brian Daughenbaugh - Sewer Authority
Dan Ditchcreek - Road Crew
Walt Ditchcreek - Water Authority Board Chairman
Ray Dodson - Water Authority Board Treasurer
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 & Assistant Road Foreman
Gary Frombach - Constable
Georgia Frombach - Water Authority Secretary
Al Gailey
- Planning Commission
Alice Gary - Senior Center Vice-President
Alfred George - Recreation Commission
Mary Govekar - Senior Center Secretary
Dave Grove - Fire Company Vice-President
Elmer Grove - Fire Company Fire Chief & Financial Secretary
Kevin Grove - Fire Company President
Janet Hagerich - Zoning Hearing Board Alternate
Bill Headrick
- Auditors Chairman
Dave Hirko - Manager, Secretary, Treasurer, Sewage Enforcement Agency, Building Code Agency, Road Encroachment Officer
Matt Hirko - Police Officer
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
Sue Krawcion - Fire Company Assistant Secretary
Betty Lybarger - Senior Center
Samuel Marchu - Zoning Hearing Board Alternate
Ralph Mayer - Road Crew/Asst. Shop Foreman
John Miller - Police Officer
Deb Nagel - Planning Commission Secretary
Don Ochenrider - Fire Company Trustee
Nancy Oleksa - Sewer Authority Administrative Assistant
Al Pagano - Recreation Commission
Ellen Pentrack-Ocilka - Zoning Hearing Board Secretary
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
David Smith - Water Authority & Fire Company Assistant Financial Secretary
Karl Smith - Water Authority Foreman
Ken Smith Jr.
- Police Officer
Bob Stephens - Board of Supervisors, Cambria County Sewage Enforcement Agency, Cambria County Building Codes Enforcement Agency
George Straub - Fire Company Assistant Treasurer
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!