Your Community News Source
Summer, 2003

Township Roadmasters Dave Bracken & Bruce Baker completed a road inspection of Jackson Township Roads this Spring. This year, Jackson Township residents will benefit from extensive road improvements that will be one of the largest undertakings in Jackson Townshipís history. "There are many roads that need paving or chipping work done on them and this year the work will be contracted out." said Dave Bracken, Roadmaster. He added "PennDOT requirements for paving and chipping are growing more stringent each year and professional contractors have the updated equipment and can meet the strict requirements and specifications to continue qualifying for liquid fuels funds which help to pay for the road projects." According to Bob Mills of PennDOT, nearly every municipality within Cambria & Blair Counties are now contracting the paving and chipping work out for the reasons specified above. The Jackson Township Road Crew along with Roadmasters Dave Bracken & Bruce Baker will be busy doing preparation work for paving and chipping, berm and shoulder work, drainage work and all other maintenance as required.

The following roads are entirely or in part scheduled to be paved in 2003: Adams Avenue, Coyote Street, Dry Run Street, First Street, Leidy Lane Extension, Meiers Street, Pike Road, Warrior Street.

The following roads are entirely or in part scheduled to be seal coated (tar & chipped) in 2003: Adams Avenue, Anderson Drive, Balsam Street, Brazil Lane, Courter Avenue, Fairview Avenue, Fir Street, Fords Corner Road, Gillen Lane, Kagey Street, Kissell Lane, Leidy Lane, Lyle Street, Maywood Street, Ogden Road, Pike Road, Poplar Street, Rose Branch Street, Stoneridge Street, Thomas Street, Trout Street, Turkey Path Road, Wagner Road, Woodland Street.

The above road projects are part of an ongoing plan to maintain all Township roads and insure that they are in the best condition possible for residents to safely use and enjoy.

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.

School taxes were mailed later than usual this year. This was due to delayed passage of the School District Budget which was dependant upon the State to pass their budget in order that they would know how much funding they would be receiving from the State. Due to the delay in distribution of State funds to the School Districts, the tax bills were mailed later than usual. Paulette Baker said "I want to assure residents that I will extend the first Discount Period for 7 extra days to accommodate for the delayed mailing." Mrs. Baker went on to explain that by doing so, the amount of days to meet the first Discount Period will remain the same as previous years despite the delay in mailing.

Jon Wiese of Conectiv Energy personally stopped by the Jackson Township Municipal Building to talk with the Township Manager and Board of Supervisors on the Hinckston Power Plant Project which was proposed for a site just off of Dishong Mountain Road. Last summer PHI acquired Conectiv Energy. An announcement was made by Conectiv and it's parent holding company that two new generation projects were cancelled. Those projects are the East Donegal Plant in Lancaster County and the Hinckston Run Power Plant proposed for Jackson Township, Cambria County. The power plant project was estimated to be in excess of 600 million dollars and would have created an economic boom for not only Jackson Township but the surrounding areas in Cambria & Indiana Counties. It was projected that 600 temporary construction jobs would have been created over a two year period and 50 permanent jobs once the plant would be in operation.

The reasons given for the cancellation of the project were as follows:
-A downturn in the economy
-Very distressed energy market
-Unprecedented volatility in the oil and gas industry

Jon Wiese of Conectiv expressed his sincere gratitude to the Board of Supervisors, Township Manager, Cambria County and the residents of Jackson Township who have been very supportive of the power plant project. The turbines were near completion and were scheduled to be delivered within a few months at the time of the announcement. Also the last major permit, the air permit would have been in place by July. Approximately 5 million dollars was already invested in the site. PHI / Conectiv cancelled the order for the turbines and wrote off a loss of 93 million dollars for the two proposed projects. Although no land purchases were made, everything was in place to move forward on the options to purchase. Jon Wiese of Conectiv expressed his sincere thanks to the community and Township officials for being excellent to work with. He praised Jackson Township for being extremely cooperative and was impressed by their
willingness to work with them on this project.

To say the least, this is a great loss of potential jobs, tax revenue and spin-off business for the community. On the other hand, other projects are still moving forward. Those include the reopening and expanding of the former Pennzoil plant in Mundys Corner by the new owners, Warren Oil. The Warren Oil plant could have up to 50 employees within two years. Also moving forward is the proposed reopening of the old Bethlehem Mine along Swigle Mountain Road. The proposed mine could possibly open early next year and will be called the Madison Mine. The new mine will create approximately 75 full time jobs. Also in the works is a landfill gas conversion plant that will convert landfill gasses into gas that can be used for residential and business use. That 13 million dollar project is being developed by Crouse & Company.

Also soon to begin is the proposed New Route 22 project. That project could begin as early as this Fall and will cost $35 million to expand and improve the road through Jackson Township. Another project on the "fast track" is the proposed water line from Salt Lick Reservoir which will run through Jackson Township and then along Route 22 towards Ebensburg Borough. The new water lines will encourage development in the Eastern part of Jackson which borders Cambria Township.

There continues to be interest in developing commercial and industrial properties within the Township. Development is sure to continue within Jackson Township with the new improved Route 22 making Jackson a prime location for businesses and companies to locate. This will lead to more jobs, tax revenue and economic growth.

The Supervisors passed a Resolution at their April meeting that will ease up the requirements for Jackson Township to adopt pre-existing private roads within the Township. For the Township to consider taking over any private roads, they must meet the criteria as follows: (1) The private lane must be the primary means of access to three or more residences or businesses, (2) It must not require any new drainage facilities to be installed in order to meet PennDOT liquid fuels eligibility criteria, (3) The property owners must provide a survey of the private lane to be taken over, (4) All owners must sign the appropriate dedication of land, establishing a 33 foot right-of-way and on "dead end" lanes a turn-around area must be provided, (5) That at least one existing household residence or occupied business be served for every 150 feet of roadway accepted and (6) That the roadway can be brought into compliance with PennDOT liquid fuels tax eligibility requirements.

The major change in the policy is that previously a road was required to be paved before the Township would consider taking over that road. The paving cost often was the MAJOR obstacle to residents requesting a road be taken over because of the extremely high cost. With that cost now removed, residents along private roads can obtain an application at the Township Office and submit it to the Board of Supervisors for review. If the residents meet the 6 criteria factors above, the Township can then consider taking over the road as part of the Jackson Township Road System.

The Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company would like to announce that they now have "Pet Finder" decals available at the Fire Hall. The new decal is similar to the "Tot Finder" one that many people have on the window of a childís bedroom. Now you can have a decal that will let Firemen know that there is a pet in the home in case of an emergency. If you would like a "Pet Finder" decal you are welcome to stop by the Jackson Township Fire Hall to pick one up for the safety of your beloved pet. For additional information, you can call the Jackson Twp. Vol. Fire Company at 322-3155.

The Jackson Township Board of Supervisors at their June 26th meeting voted unanimously to contribute $99,450 to the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company to use for purchasing fire apparatus needed to outfit a new Rescue & Fire Truck. The Fire Companyís expenses have grown dramatically to over $400,000 last year and fund drives and raffles could not cover the expense of the apparatus for the new truck. Without the contribution from the Township Board of Supervisors, the Fire Company would have had to go in debt and take out a loan. Chairman David Bracken said "The Fire Company receives Ĺ mill Rescue Tax which brings in about $8200 a year and then relies on fundraisers to cover the rest of their expenses." He added "There is no way they could begin to cover this large of an expense without going in debt". Barry Emerson of the Jackson Township Fire Company expressed his sincere gratitude for the donation and of the continuing support from Board of Supervisors as well as all Jackson Township residents.

Submitted by Police Chief, Bob Fatula

911 Calls Dispatched to Police
Reportable incidents: 38 |
Criminal Mischief 10
-Theft 7
-Harassment 6
-Domestic Violence 5
-DUI (Driving while under the influence) 5
-Assault 2
-Burglary 2
-Vehicle Theft 1
Total Accidents Handled: 15
Non-Traffic Citations issued: 3
Traffic Citations Issued: 317
Traffic Arrests 6
Criminal Charges Filed: 12
DUI (Driving while under the influence) 5
-Assault 2
-Criminal Mischief 2
-Harassment 2
-Domestic Violence 1

In an effort to serve you better, the Police Department is requesting that residents cooperate in posting their street numbers on their homes. Chief Robert Fatula advises, "When we are called to a home for an emergency, time is always critical. That means finding that residence as quickly as possible. Walk out to the street in front of your home and see if your house numbers can be easily seen. If they can be, then we have a greater chance of possibly saving a life."

Chief Fatula offers these guidelines:
*The numbers on residences should be at least 3 inches high and the numbers on businesses should be at least 4 inches high.

*Numbers should be a contrasting color to the background.

*Numbers should be placed on, above, or at the side of the main entrance, so that they can be easily detected from the street.

*If the entrance is more than 50 feet from the street, or cannot be seen from the street, a second set of numbers should also be displayed on the mailbox or on a post at the street or end of the drive.

*Remember - your mailman always comes the same way. Police cars and fire trucks may come from any direction. Be sure to mark both sides of your mailbox or mark your house number in such a way that it may be easily seen, no matter which direction they are approaching.

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 Bakerís 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.

The Board of Supervisors voted to pass Ordinance # 124 to enter into an Inter-Municipal Agreement with at least 17 other local Townships to administer the Pennsylvania State Uniform Construction Code which is to take effect on a yet to be determined date after January 1, 2004. The agency which will be called the Cambria-Somerset Building Codes Agency will help local Townships control the cost and availability of inspectors required for new construction when the State Building Code goes into effect. By acting now, the Agency can submit an application for grant money that is available from the State to start-up. For Townships or Municipalities who "opt out" of the State Building Code, the law would remain in effect for residents and then they would have to call Harrisburg directly to obtain an inspector and pay whatever rate that inspector would charge. By "opting out" a Township would also lose all control over any building activity in the Township and
individuals could be affected when they would try to sell their property or even obtain a bank loan.

Forty-Five States already have uniform building codes. Pennsylvania's Uniform Construction Code will only require contractors or individuals building to meet minimum requirements. The Code should eliminate "fly by night" contractors and provide greater safety for all residents of Pennsylvania. The proposed Inter-Municipal Agency will work similar to the Cambria-Somerset Sewage Enforcement Agency which has successfully administered all on-lot sewage in Jackson and many other Townships since its beginning. The Sewage Agency was oariginally formed to meet PaDEP requirements. Having an agency with many Townships participating allows the cost to be lower but still provides the convenience of having local "contact people" that can address the needs of the citizens.
There have been some conflicting reports in the media on delays which would affect as to when the code would be enforced ranging anywhere from 30 days to 2 years. Supervisor Baker said that the Building Code is coming and itís not a matter of if itís coming but when its coming. To enter into The Cambria-Somerset Building Codes Agency would cost the Township $1000 which may be refundable once the organization gets up and running. The $1000 contribution will be required from each member Township of the newly formed organization in order that they can submit an application for matching State Grants. Bill Davis of Croyle Township who is heading up the new Agency said no money will be required until a definite date is established by the State as to when enforcement of the new law will take affect.

Supervisor Bob Stephens voted against joining the Agency and said he would rather have the State enforce the Building Code in Jackson Township. Supervisor Bruce Baker said the responsible thing for this Township to do is to protect its citizens by maintaining local control over building activity and permits as well as the newly required inspections.

Beautification awards were recently given by the Greater Johnstown Chamber of Commerce at itís June Meeting and one Jackson Township business earned this prestigious award. Pit Stop 271 located along Route 271 in Mundys Corner was given a Beautification Award by the Chamber. Beatification Awards are given monthly to businesses or organizations that have made a substantial effort to make their location and thus the community more attractive. Congratulations are extended to Michele Kubat, Manager as well as John Bahorik and John Hamula for earning this award and putting Jackson Township in the spotlight.

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. Be sure to allow plenty of time to get your permit prior to building. By doing this, your permit can be addressed in plenty of time before you actually begin construction. 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.

Roadmasters Bruce Baker & Dave Bracken said that driveway permits are not to inconvenience residents but are 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.

Work is currently underway on the installation of playground equipment at Leidy Lane Park. Some final soil testing was performed by Norac Labs to insure that the ground was free of any possibly contamination. All test results found that Leidy Park was free of any possibly PCB contamination. Also in the planning stage is the development of a new ballfield at Leidy Park. The new ballfield will be made possible through a grant received from the office of Rep. Thomas Yewcic. Also at Mitchell Park, new lines were added to the parking lot. In the past the Handicapped spaces were being blocked off and the new lines will insure that access to those spaces remains open.

Municipal Garage Roof: Work should soon begin on replacing the deteriorated Municipal Garage Roof. Bids were advertised for the roof replacement and the Board of Supervisors will decide on accepting any qualified bid to replace the roof.

Senior Center News : The walking trail to be constructed at the Senior Center is still on track. Some delays in construction are attributed to the heavy rains this Spring. The Center is also working with Gary Pagano of Windber Medical Center Healthstyles to construct an excercise room at the Senior Center. The Center is also looking into adding a pool table for recreational use by Center members. Some upcoming events include a craft & flea market scheduled for Saturday, August 23rd from 9 to 3. Cost is $10.00 a table. Interested vendors should contact the Senior Center anytime Tuesday thru Thursday from 9 - 3 by calling 322-3327. Denise Lehew of Lee Regional Healthcare will be speaking on Thursday, August 28th on stroke recognition, treatment and recovery. The seminar is free and open to the public. On Saturday, September 20th, Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center will be holding blood screenings from 7 - 9:30 am. Cost is $20.00 per person. For a PSA (Prostrate Screening) the cost is $35.00. To have a blood screening, you must schedule an appointment by calling the Senior Center anytime Tues. - Thurs. From 9 to 3 at 322-3327.

Website: The Jackson Township website is filled with a wealth of information that will help to keep you informed on any important news or events taking place. You can even read the minutes of monthly Board of Supervisors Meetings. Kids will find their own special pages on the website. To view the Township website go to: www.jacksontwppa.com