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Washington Township Drops Tree Ordinance
Written by Mary Gibbs Kershner, Correspondent
2023-11-01

            Washington Township board of supervisors on, Thursday night, decided not to pursue enacting a contentious tree ordinance.  The proposed tree ordinance required property owners to remove trees on their properties that impacted utility lines.  If enacted, property owners feared they would be doing the work that utility companies are mandated to do, but frequently do not. 

            Last month, residents of the township found it difficult to obtain copies of the proposed ordinance from the township.  One resident questioned if the proposed tree ordinance were considered in the future, how would he get a copy of it? 

            Township Solicitor Joan London explained the proposed ordinance would be on the township agenda and on its Facebook page.  The resident could then request a copy of the proposed ordinance from the township through the township open records officer.

            In other matters, the township is in the process of preparing its 2024 budget.  The possible budget is expected to be approximately $4.2 million dollars. 

            A resident of the township requested that a one-mill increase in taxes be   rescinded.  The one-mill tax was enacted years ago when the township disbanded its sewer authority and refinanced the sewer authority's $12 million dollar debt.  All property owners whether connected to the township sewer system or not were required to pay the millage increase. 

The supervisors explained they intend to do a three and five-year projection of township expenses and income to determine if the one-mill increase can be reduced.  As yet, it is uncertain when, or if, the one-mill property tax can be rescinded.  The current millage for Washington Township is 2.7 mills.

            In a related budget matter, the township will sign a memorandum of understanding with Gorski Engineering for a public works garage to house township equipment.  Currently, township equipment is stored in various locations around the township. The cost of the garage is expected to be approximately $930,000. 

The memorandum of understanding will enable the township to know what the township is getting and will permit Gorski Engineering to order the steel for the project as well as permit the drawing of specifications for the project.

            Township Vice Chairman Dave Moyer noted since the township plans to spend significant money on the public works garage, it should be careful of a "wish list" of equipment it would like to purchase.  Moyer suggested the township limit its purchases in the coming year to a zero-turn mower, blower, and plate packer.

            The township agreed to spend approximately $6,500 to update its pole lights and lot lights with LED lights at Barto Park.

            Township Engineer John Weber, LTL Consultants, recommended the township update its ordinances to include setting a speed limit of 25 mph throughout residential neighborhoods. 

Additionally, stop signs should be placed, where needed, in existing residential neighborhoods. 

The supervisors discussed, but took no action, on the option of raised crosswalks along Gehringer Road and Christi Drive.  Weber informed the supervisors that he sent a letter to property owners along Cubler Court and Weinstiger Road, Audrey Drive and Hoffmansville Road to clean out their detention basins.

            Although there is no news on the Barto Road realignment, the township will stake out the center line of Barto Road every 50 feet.  Supervisor Moyer volunteered to do cuts along the road in preparation for its eventual realignment.

            Washington Township switched its large dumpster provided by Cougles Recycling to two eight-yard dumpsters.  The large dumpster cost the township $436 per month.  Cougles Recycling will charge the township approximately $65.36 per month for the eight-yard dumpster.  The township will continue to collect the same refuse.  However, cardboard will be baled and transported to Douglas Township, Montgomery County.  Glass will not be accepted.

            Dwayne Henne was appointed to the Recreation Advisory Committee.

            The next supervisors meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 16, at 7 p.m.  The meeting is one week early due to the Thanksgiving Day Holiday.


 

 

 

 

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