JACKSON TOWNSHIP ONLINE NEWS

JACKSON TOWNSHIP NEWS
January 5, 2006

 
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DECEMBER 29th SUPERVISORS MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
~The Supervisors approved Resolution 06-05 adopting the proposed budget for Jackson Township for 2006 as follows:  General Fund-$1,102,240.00,  State Fund-$140,630.00, 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 Total of all funds for the 2006 Budget is $2,981,205.00.

~The Board passed a motion to appoint Barnes, Saly & Company, Certified Public Accountants, to perform the audit of Township records for the calendar year, 2005.

~The Supervisors approved the request by the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company to add Eric Reitler and Stella Fedora to the roster of the Jackson Township Fire Police.

~Renewed a contract with the Humane Society of Cambria County to become effective on January 1, 2006. The Humane Society provides an Animal Control Officer who addresses animal complaints within Jackson Township.

~Made a motion to enter into an agreement with Richard C. Sutter & Associates to provide planning and development services at the rate of $75.00 per hour as needed, not to exceed a maximum of $24,500.00.  Some of the services that could be included are developing a new subdivision ordinance, keeping the zoning ordinance updated and making sure all planning and development ordinances and the Comprehensive Plan are all compatible with one another and complying with current State and Federal laws.     

~The Supervisors made a motion to transfer all real and personal assets which were part of the 2005 Pike Road Water Line Extension Project to the Jackson Township Water Authority. 

~The Board passed a motion to adopt Ordinance # 138 which requires mandatory tap-ins into a water line being replaced by the Croyle Township Water Authority which extends into Jackson Township.  The Ordinance was necessary to obtain funding for the project which affects six households already on the existing water line.

~The Board voted to appoint Karl Smith to a five-year term on the Jackson Township Recreation Commission to fill a current vacancy.  Karl has been active in various sports and recreational activities and will be able to make a positive contribution to the Recreation Commission.

~The Board approved a contribution of $1000.00 to the East Taylor-Jackson Little League to help support their 2006 season.

~Received letter from Dale Wyse of Wyse Cemetery Memorials thanking the Jackson Township Supervisors and the Jackson Township Recreation Commission for the opportunity to erect the Jackson Township Veterans Memorial.  Mr. Wyse also provided the Township Municipal Building and Senior Center Building with two framed pictures of the monument.

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SUPERVISORS REORGANIZE FOR 2006
~Dave Bracken was re-appointed to Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

~Bruce Baker was re-appointed to Vice-Chairman of the Supervisors.

~Dave Hirko was re-appointed to the position of Secretary-Treasurer.

~Dave Bracken & Bruce Baker were re-appointed to the position of Roadmaster.

~The Supervisors were affirmed as employees of the Township.

~Bill Barbin was re-appointed to Township Solicitor. The motion passed 2 to 1 with Stephens dissenting.

~P. Joseph Lehman was re-appointed as Township Engineer.

~Barry Rouzer was re-appointed to the position of Vacancy Board Chairman. The motion passed 2 to 1 with Stephens dissenting.

~Harry Baker was re-appointed to the position of Zoning Officer.

~Berkheimer Associates was re-appointed to collect the EIT & Emergency & Municipal Services Taxes.

~First National Bank of Pennsylvania, Ameriserv & PLGIT were re-appointed as Township depositories.

~Meeting dates were set for the last Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm.

~Adopted tax structure for 2006. (No change from last year)

~Approved Supervisors & Manager to attend County & State Conventions.

~Appointed Dave Bracken as Voting Delegate to the State Convention.

~Appointed Bruce Baker as Alternate Voting Delegate to the State Convention.

~Approved Township Auditors, Tax collector, Tax Assessor & Zoning Officer to attend County Conventions.

~Re-appointed Dave Hirko as Driveway & Street Encroachment Officer.

~Approved Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company's list of activities for 2006.

~Appointed Sam Marchu to fulfill the remainder of Bill Ragley's original term as a member on the Jackson Township Zoning Hearing Board.  Sam Marchu was previously an alternate member.

~Appointed Lynda Shirk to a three year term as alternate member on the Jackson Township Zoning Hearing Board.

~Re-appointed Rick Fetzer to a three year term as a member on the Jackson Township Zoning Hearing Board.

~Re-appointed Debra Nagel to a four year term as a member on the Jackson Township Planning Commission.

~Re-appointed Joe Baxter to a five year term as a member on the Jackson Township Recreation Commission.

~Appointed Brian Emerson to a five year term as a member on the Jackson Township-East Taylor Sewer Authority.  Brian will fill the position formerly held by Dowey Croyle who faithfully served the Authority and Township for many years.

~Re-appointed Ray Dodson to a five year term as a member on the Jackson Township Water Authority.

~Appointed Bruce Baker as Attending Member to the Cambria County Sewage Enforcement Agency.

~Appointed Dave Hirko as Alternate Attending Member to the Cambria County Sewage Enforcement Agency.

~Appointed Bruce Baker as Attending Member to the Cambria County Building Codes Enforcement Agency.

~Appointed Dave Hirko as Alternate Attending Member to the Cambria County Building Codes Enforcement Agency.

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SUPERVISORS ASK PENNDOT TO ADDRESS ROUTE 22 CONCERNS
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.

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TOWNSHIP BENEFITS FROM GRANTS & FUNDS
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.

Another grant recently received by the Jackson Township Police Department was for $15,000 with the help of Congressman John Murthas office to be used as needed to protect the citizens of Jackson Township.  Other grants that have been received in the past year include $8,000 from Representative Tom Yewcic to the Jackson Township Senior Center for new computers and $45,000 to Jackson Township for electrical facilities and lighting at Veterans Memorial Park.  A $30,000 Community Development Block Grant was received from the office of Larry Custer to install new playground equipment at Leidy Park.  In addition, Jackson received Community Development Block Grants of $117,000 which will be used towards the Wagner Road Water Project. Another $25,000 grant was received to help develop a Master Recreation Plan for Jackson Township from the Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources. In addition over $131,000 was received from PennDOT in the form of Liquid Fuels Funds for road improvement projects.  $13,000 additional funds came from Cambria County for road improvement projects.  Adding all the grants and funds received in 2005 makes for an impressive total of over $430,000.   

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POLICE REPORT (November, 2005)
Submitted by Chief Bob Fatula
911 Calls dispatched to Police-384
Reportable Incidents-32 Broken Down as Follows:
~Harassment-6
~Theft-5
~DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-5
~Theft of Services-4
~Receiving Stolen Property-3
~Criminal Mischief-2
~Assault-1
~Burglary-1
~CriminalTrespassing-1
~Possible Drug Paraphemalia-1
~Public Drunkenness-1
~Stalking-1
~Threats-1
Non-Traffic Citations Issued-3
Traffic Citations Issued-42
Accidents Handled-15
Criminal Charges Filed-16 Broken Down as Follows:
~DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-5
~Receiving Stolen Property-3
~Harassment-2
~Theft of Services-2
~Criminal Trespassing-1
~Possible Drug Paraphemalia-1
~Public Drunkenness-1
~Stalking-1

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Jackson Township Supervisors
Dave Hirko / Manager

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