JACKSON TOWNSHIP NEWS

Your Community News Source
February
, 2003

RESIDENTS WIN WITH RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT
The residents of Jackson Township got an early Christmas present at the Deceber 19th, 2002 Board of Supervisors Meeting. During that meeting the Supervisors reviewed and adopted the 2003 budget. Upon review of the budget, it was noted that revenues from the Laurel Highlands Landfill continued to rise throughout 2002 and that the trend of increased revenue was expected to continue during 2003.

After reviewing the additional incoming funds to Jackson Township, Supervisor Bruce Baker stated that he would like to start giving back to the residents. He said he would like to see a reduction in Real Estate Taxes and proposed lowering the millage on municipal taxes from 8 to 7 mills. After some discussion among the board, Supervisor Dave Bracken agreed that the 1 mill reduction would be a good start. Supervisor Baker noted that we are very fortunate to be a host community to a landfill and with some other plants and projects slated for construction in the Township, we should continue to realize additional revenue sources and be able to give even more back to the residents of Jackson in the way of additional tax cuts.

At the meeting it was mentioned that Jackson Township has not had a tax increase for over 20 years. While previous Supervisors held the line from increasing taxes, this was the first time that taxes were actually lowered. Jackson Township is the only municipality in Cambria County to lower taxes and perhaps in the whole Central Pennsylvania Region. After discussion on the tax reduction by the Board, Supervisors Bruce Baker and Dave Bracken voted for the tax reduction while Bob Stephens voted against it.

2003 BUDGET ADOPTED
The Jackson Township Supervisors unanimously approved a budget for 2003 of $2,326,640. The breakdown is as follows: General Fund-$737,840.00, State Fund-$175,000.00, Fire Hydrant Fund-$10,000.00, Rescue Fund-$9,000.00, Capital Reserve Fund-$1,319,000.00 and Senior Center Fund-$75,800.00. The Capital Reserve Fund went over the 1 million dollar mark in January and continues to grow monthly. This is a milestone the Township can be proud of and it can reassure residents that Jackson Township is starting the new year in sound financial health.

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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 didn’t receive it, please call the Township Office at 749-0725.
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STREET LIGHT TO BE INSTALLED AT OLD NANTY GLO ROAD & ROUTE 271
After receiving a complaint / suggestion from a resident who resides on Old Nanty Glo Road about a safety concern at the intersection of that road and Route 271, Supervisor Bruce Baker went out to survey the area. Baker said that this is a very dark area and that an arc light would greatly improve visibility and hopefully reduce the number of accidents that have recently plagued this busy area.

A visit by Supervisor Baker with PennDOT revealed that they could not help in any way. Baker then checked with Penelec and requested a design request. It was then determined that they could install a light on an existing pole at no cost to Jackson Township. The only cost incurred would be that of the monthly electric bill. With a unanimous vote, the Supervisors approved the installation. Depending on the weather, the light should be up around mid to late January.

TIMBERING TO HELP DEVELOP RECREATION FACILITIES IN JACKSON
The Jackson Township Supervisors voted to proceed with timbering on Township owned property with monies received being used to help develop recreation facilities in the Township. One site that was mentioned was property along Lorain Road. A forester will be hired to determine what timber can be removed. Some of the suggested uses of monies from the timbering are to develop a park along Lorain Road. It is too early to determine what facilities could be located at that park until many factors are considered. Supervisor Bruce Baker said perhaps some picnic pavilions or horseshoe pits could be located there. As plans develop for Lorain Park, details will be shared with Township residents. Additional recreational development at Mitchell and Leidy Parks may also be considered. A similar timbering project in 2002 at Mitchell Park netted $30,000 in funds to the Recreation Commission. So far, playground equipment was purchased for Mitchell and Leidy Parks that will be installed in Spring of 2003. The remainder will be used to develop ball fields at Leidy Lane.

WATER LINE COULD CREATE ECONOMIC BOOM FOR JACKSON TOWNSHIP
A proposed water line going from Salt Lick Reservoir to Ebensburg could create an economic boom for Jackson Township. Under the plan, more than 50,000 feet of pipe, about 10 miles of line would wind from Mineral Point through Jackson Township and Nanty Glo through Cambria Township and onto Ebensburg’s treatment plant. The Johnstown water authority has agreed to install the first 20,000 feet from the planned Salt Lick Treatment Plant, and Ebensburg will do the rest. The waterline probably would run through undeveloped rural land in Jackson Township that could be prime land in a few years when the final pieces of Route 22 become a four-lane highway.

When completed, the proposed Salt Lick Treatment Plant could handle 4.5 million gallons of water per day. Work could start in early 2004. Economic development specialists point to the area along Route 22 in Cambria & Jackson Townships as a potential hot spot for commercial growth as it's expanded into a four lane highway all the way to Pittsburgh.

POLICE REPORT
The following is a report submitted by Jackson Township Police Chief, Bob Fatula summarizing police activity during 2002.

JACKSON TOWNSHIP POLICE REPORT
2002

ACCIDENTS   55
 
CRIMINAL ARRESTS
Assault 19  
Reckless Endangerment 5  
Terroristic Threats 6  
Sexual Offenses 5  
Robbery 2  
Theft 19  
Receiving Stolen Property 16  
Drugs 4  
DUI (Driving While Under the Influence) 19  
Endangering the Welfare of Children 1  
Corruption of Children 2  
Giving Alcohol to Children 2  
Vehicle Thefrt 3  
Tampering with Records 1  
Identity Theft 1  
Harassment 13  
Disorderly Conduct 39  
Trespassing 1  
Public Drunkeness 8  
Criminal Mischief 15  
Burglary 1  
Total Criminal Arrests   182
 
TRAFFIC CITATIONS   727
 
TOTAL INCIDENTS HANDLED DURING 2002   2789

ROADMASTERS REPORT
Supervisors and Roadmasters Bruce Baker and Dave Bracken said the winter weather thus far has kept the road crew working at peak capacity at times. Even with a few break-downs, the guys make the repairs and go right back at it. So far winter hasn’t let up much and we have depleted our antiskid and salt supplies many times over with several months of winter weather still yet to come. Baker said, "Until you’re actually involved with the winter maintenance of these roads, you really wouldn’t know what’s involved and how much time is put in".

Baker went on to say, "This is the type of winter that will beat up our roads and equipment" and pointed out that the heavy snow coming off the end of a snow plow will test your mail boxes and that a few have failed the test. He suggested that it would be a good idea to check your mail box and post, making sure it’s secure and can withstand the weight of the heavy snow being plowed off of the roads. The Roadmasters and the Police Department would like to remind everyone to use caution and slow down when driving on snowy or icy roads and to leave a little earlier to arrive at your destination safely and on time.

Baker said, "Our driver’s, Denny, Ralph, Buck, Tim and John do a fantastic job clearing our roads and with over 40 miles of Township roads to plow, we probably have the best maintained roads of any Township in the County." Supervisors & Roadmasters Dave Bracken and Bruce Baker would like to thank road crew drivers, Denny Mackell, Frank "Buck" Alexander, Tim Ford and John Sirko Jr. for working Christmas day to insure that the roads would be clear for Township residents visiting family and friends.

LOOKING BACK AT 2002
2002 was filled with lots of good news and happenings for Jackson Township. Although some feared the implementation of zoning in Jackson Township would hinder development, that appeared not to be the case with 110 building permits being issued. New homes continue to be constructed and many residents are remodeling existing ones adding to their property value. Many commercial property owners expressed a continued commitment to Jackson Township by remodeling and upgrading their facilities. The Vinco Shopping Center was completely remodeled, a new Bi-Lo Supermarket opened and the Vinco Hardware put on a new facade on their existing building. Near Route 22, a new indoor mini-golf and recreation center is preparing for a grand opening as well as an ice cream stand uniquely created from a train caboose scheduled to open in 2003.

Schools and churches also added to the progress made during 2002. The largest of these projects was the construction of a multi-purpose building at the Cambria County Christian School. Others included a new roof put on St. John Vianney's Church and the adding of a new lighted sign located at the Jackson Elementary School which was purchased by the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). There are many larger projects in the works that will create revenue, expand the tax base and create jobs in Jackson Township. Those included are the Conectiv Power Plant slated to open off Dishong Road around 2004-2005. Land acquisition and permits are currently in progress. That 600 million dollar project will create about 50 permanent jobs and about 400-600 temporary construction jobs for a period of about 2 years. Another project in the works is the preparation to reopen an old Bethlehem Mine along Swigle Mountain Road. The new deep mine will be called Madison Mine and will employ about 75 people when it opens. This will be the first deep mine to open in Cambria County for a long time. Still another developer is proposing a 13-14 million dollar project to recycle landfill gases and convert them to natural gas. Many people are continually looking at the Route 22 area for possible new commercial development. Another project that will help clean up Jackson Township will be up and running soon. That is the cleaning up of a large "boney pile" located near Route 271 and Lorain Road. The boney will be transported to a co-gen plant in Ebensburg and used as fuel. The site will eventually be completely reclaimed. During 2002, Route 271 was completely repaved and refurbished by PennDOT.

Township roads were also paved or / and improved including Pennway Drive, Snyder Road, Pike Road, Griffith Avenue, Woodland Street, Kagey Street, Ford's Corner Road, Venture Street, Kline Avenue, Bald Eagle Street and Shepard Street. Perhaps the biggest news was the finalizing of the Route 22 reconstruction which will be a 2-3 year project. The cost of reconstruction of Route 22 in Jackson Township will cost approximately 35 million. The project will add a lighted interchange at Dishong Road as well as install lighting at the Route 271 & Route 22 Interchange. The Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company were hosts of the annual County Fireman’s Convention which turned out to be a huge success and the firemen are also in the process of purchasing a new fire truck to insure the continued safety and protection of Township residents and property. 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 will be expanding the current sewer system into two new areas including Brazil Lane and Cherrywood Estates. In addition, community block grants are being used to help secure water for several areas of the Township including residents on Solar Street, Wagner Road and Pintail Road. Perhaps one of the biggest developments will be the construction of a water line from Salt Lick Dam in Mineral Point through Jackson Township and then along Route 22 towards Cambria Township and Ebensburg. The potential for development will be much greater with the additional water available from the new line.

The Senior Center added new professional horseshoe courts this year. A new handicapped access entrance is currently under construction and a new walking trail will be built in 2003. The center has grown to well over 300 members strong. This past year the Jackson Township Recreation Commission made many improvements to Township parks. Those include new fencing, paved parking area and handicapped "walk-way", new picnic tables, park entrance sign and two new scorekeeper stands at Mitchell Park. At Leidy improvements included a new park entrance sign, two volleyball courts and new picnic tables. A water line was also extended and trees were cleared to prepare the way for the proposed new ball fields that will begin construction in 2003. Also for the younger residents of Jackson Township, new playground equipment has been purchased and is ready to be installed in 2003 at both Leidy & Mitchell Parks. Another improvement made by the Supervisors this year was the refurbishing of the Recycling Center located in Mundys Corner near the Municipal Building. Many drainage problems were addressed by the Road Crew over the Summer months. New speed limits were established on several Township roads as well as weight limit signs to insure that Township roads will be protected for all citizens to safely use and enjoy. Township communications have improved with the further development of the Jackson Township website and with periodic newsletters sent via mail and the internet to Township residents.

2003 should be another busy year of growth and development in the Township. Should you have any ideas or suggestions for the coming year, please feel free to share them with the Supervisors via phone, letter or email. The Supervisors welcome you to be a contributing part of Jackson Township's future.

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. Well over 80 turkeys were distributed as representatives of the Township churches picked up the turkeys to be distributed. 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".

GROUPS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY PROGRAM
Jackson Township is inviting all groups, organizations, churches, schools or even groups of neighbors if they would consider adopting a section of highway in Jackson Township. There are currently two programs available. One is thru PennDOT's Adopt-A-Highway Program. There are many two mile sections available on Route 22, Swigle Mountain Road, Benshoff Hill Road, Chickoree Hill Road and Route 271. Generally a group would clean up that section of highway twice a year. PennDOT furnishes bags, gloves, signs and arranges for pick up of any collected garbage or junk. The other program is Pennsylvania Cleanways. This program can be on any Township road. There is more information on the Jackson Township Website at www.jacksontwppa.com  under the Roads section. If you would like additional information, please feel free to contact Dave Hirko at the Township office at 749-0725.

SPRING CLEAN-UP SET FOR 2003
Spring Clean-Up as been scheduled for May 5th thru 9th, 2003. Pick up will be on your regular collection day. You will be allowed one large item. Items that will not be picked up are yard waste, branches, construction materials, refrigerators, air conditioners, batteries, car parts, old paint, hazardous material, freezers and tires. Refrigerators, freezers or air conditioners can be picked up ONLY after the Freon is properly removed. Certification of Freon removal is required. Township residents wishing to haul their own refuse to the landfill may do so with a FREE permit issued at the Township Office only during the week of Spring Clean-Up. To insure the continuation of Spring Clean-Up, regular weekly garbage should be in regular Township garbage bags.

JOIN JACKSON TOWNSHIP ONLINE NEWS
Township residents who have access to the internet can now join our new email group to receive up-to-date Township news by email. Supervisor Bruce Baker and Manager Dave Hirko came up with the idea of establishing an email group to help keep residents better informed. It is Supervisor Bruce Baker’s hope to help unify this great community of Jackson Township. 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 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.

www.jacksontwppa.com
Check out the Jackson Township website where you can find a wealth of information such as meeting dates, phone numbers, water and sewer authority information, ordinances, recycling, garbage pick-up, upcoming events, link resources and much more. You can also view the minutes of the Township Supervisors monthly meetings. We hope to be adding additional information in the future and hope that you will ‘bookmark’ this website in your favorite places to keep up-to-date on your township. You can also contact the Jackson Township office at the following email address: office@jacksontwppa.com

PLANNING A BUILDING PROJECT?
Spring is just around the corner! If you are planning on building a new building or adding on to an existing building, be sure to stop at the Township Office to apply for a building permit. No permits are necessary for remodeling an existing structure such as installing new roofing, siding, windows, etc. Also if you are planning to pave or alter your driveway, a driveway permit is required.

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