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Shenango Township West Middlesex Borough Single Government Vote. First of Three Public Informational Meetings August 18, 2008 Alan R. Kugler. Shenango Township West Middlesex Borough Single Government Vote.

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shenango township west middlesex borough single government vote

Shenango Township West Middlesex Borough Single Government Vote

First of Three

Public Informational Meetings

August 18, 2008

Alan R. Kugler

shenango township west middlesex borough single government vote2
Shenango Township West Middlesex Borough Single Government Vote

Pennsylvania’s communities are often divided by multiple municipal governments.

It is essential that the officials in those governments get along with one another across the boundaries and plan and act for future joint betterment.

Shenango and West Middlesex is no exception.

shenango township west middlesex borough single government vote4
Shenango Township West Middlesex Borough Single Government Vote

1990 2000 Pop. Sq. Miles

Borough 982 924 0.9

Township 4,339 4,037 29.9

Total 5,321 4,966 30.8

shenango township west middlesex borough single government vote5
Shenango Township West Middlesex Borough Single Government Vote
  • The population of the United States is growing rapidly and the population of Pennsylvania is growing slowly. The population of both West Middlesex and Shenango are declining.
shenango township west middlesex borough single government vote6
Shenango Township West Middlesex Borough Single Government Vote
  • The median age of both the US and PA is increasing, while the median age of West Middlesex-Shenango area is higher than the others and is increasing at a rate that exceeds both. It is also noted that Shenango Township is aging much more rapidly than the Borough. 
shenango township west middlesex borough single government vote7
Shenango Township West Middlesex Borough Single Government Vote
  • The percentage of those 65 years of age and older in the US is falling. The percent of those 65 years of age and older in PA is increasing slightly. The percent of those 65 years of age and older in West Middlesex-Shenango area is increasing much more rapidly than Pennsylvania as a whole.
shenango township west middlesex borough single government vote8
Shenango Township West Middlesex Borough Single Government Vote
  • The per capita income and median household income in West Middlesex and Shenango are both well below Pennsylvania and the US.
shenango township west middlesex borough single government vote9
Shenango Township West Middlesex Borough Single Government Vote
  • The median house value of owner occupied units in both West Middlesex and Shenango are well below both Pennsylvania and the US.
shenango township west middlesex borough single government vote10
Shenango Township West Middlesex Borough Single Government Vote

In summary, the West Middlesex-Shenango area is rapidly aging and declining in population at the very same time as its citizens earn less and own homes of lower value than the averages throughout Pennsylvania and the nation.

shenango township west middlesex borough single government vote11
Shenango Township West Middlesex Borough Single Government Vote

Changes need to come quickly. Younger people must stay in the West Middlesex-Shenango area and others move in to create wealth producing employment opportunities. Without that, there cannot be a positive future. Those who remain will find themselves increasing facing a sense and reality of decline. The crisis is at hand and must be reversed.

shenango township west middlesex borough single government vote12
Shenango Township West Middlesex Borough Single Government Vote

In 2006, a Report was issued by the Governments. It stated that there is a strong connection between municipal governmental structures, functions, and policies in local communities, and that these connections strongly influence economic performance and quality of life.

shenango township west middlesex borough single government vote13
Shenango Township West Middlesex Borough Single Government Vote

The Report also stated that arrangements are needed in governance through which the municipalities can better achieve economies of scale, improved public services and an enhanced environment for private and public investment supporting a high quality of life.

shenango township west middlesex borough single government vote14
Shenango Township West Middlesex Borough Single Government Vote

The Report recommended the governments take the most direct route to that end by giving the voters the opportunity to combine the governments, with the intention to better achieve economies of scale, improved public services and an enhanced environment for investment.

joint agreement
Joint Agreement

By adopting a Joint Agreement, Shenango Township and West Middlesex Borough have followed the procedures of the Pennsylvania Municipal Consolidation or Merger Act to place a question on the election ballot for combining into a single municipal government.

nov 4 ballot question
Nov. 4 Ballot Question

"Shall the Borough of West Middlesex and the Township of Shenango be combined under the terms of the Joint Agreement formulated and approved by the respective governments to establish a single municipal government to be known as "West Middlesex"?

more basic question
More Basic Question

Is it, or is it not in the long-term best interest of the citizens of West Middlesex Borough and Shenango Township to be united under a single municipal government?

other questions
Other Questions
  • West Middlesex Borough and Shenango Township are in the same school district. Are these municipalities separate and distinct communities, or they one community with two governments? If the two governments serve one community then do the two governments artificially divide the one community?
other questions19
Other Questions
  • Would the present municipal areas in the Borough and in the Township be both more likely to grow, prosper, and provide cost-effective and high quality services through the 21st Century if they remain independent, or would they be better able to achieve these objectives by working together, perhaps joined as one?
other questions20
Other Questions
  • Could a single municipal government for West Middlesex and Shenango eliminate governmental duplication of administration and services thereby helping achieve economies of scale and potential savings leading to higher quality services throughout the entire area?
other questions21
Other Questions
  • Could a single municipal government provide more enhanced public services than can take place as separate governments?
other questions22
Other Questions
  • Could a single municipal government help create a more unified community image both internally and to the outside world? If “yes”, could this be better leveraged to help retain existing businesses, attract new businesses and retain and attract young people and families than the existing governments acting largely alone?
other questions23
Other Questions
  • Could a single municipal government be able to better leverage more discretionary state and federal dollars coming into the area community, economic and infrastructure development?
other questions24
Other Questions
  • Could a single municipal government be able to better promote coordinated land use planning and development benefiting the entire area, by helping to ensure the economic vitality of the present West Middlesex town, surrounded by high quality residential neighborhoods, with complementary residential, commercial and industrial development, and desired open space?
nov 4 ballot question25
Nov. 4 Ballot Question

"Shall the Borough of West Middlesex and the Township of Shenango be combined under the terms of the Joint Agreement formulated and approved by the respective governments to establish a single municipal government to be known as "West Middlesex"?

major elements of the joint agreement
Major Elements of theJoint Agreement
  • Requires Approval by the Voters in Each
  • Establishes Second Class Township in PA Law
  • Five Member Board of Supervisors
  • One RET Tax Collector
  • All Officers Elected Across Entire Area 2011
  • Name of Government: “West Middlesex”
  • Commences Operations: January 2012
  • Transition during 2009, 2010, 2011
elements of the joint agreement
Elements of theJoint Agreement
  • During the period of transition, prior to January 2012, the respective Borough and Township Planning Commissions and Zoning Hearing Boards shall be combined into one Planning Commission and one Zoning Hearing Board.
  • The participation in Lackawannock – Shenango – West Middlesex Joint Recreation Committee shall continue in the single municipal government at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors.
elements of the joint agreement28
Elements of theJoint Agreement
  • The Shenango Township Recreation Board shall become a Recreation Board of the entire area of the single municipal government and shall continue and function at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors.
  • All other Boards and Commissions existing under the Borough or Township governments prior to January 2012 shall continue in the single municipal government within their prescribed areas and duties at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors.
elements of the joint agreement29
Elements of theJoint Agreement
  • All non-elected employees of the Borough or Township at the time of transfer of responsibility to the single municipal government on the first Monday of January 2012, shall retain employment and be carried as employees into the single municipal government. They shall remain employees at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors consistent with collective bargaining agreements and other legal requirements.
  • All contracts in place under the Borough or Township governments shall be binding on the single municipal government until they naturally expire or are renegotiated.
elements of the joint agreement30
Elements of theJoint Agreement
  • The combining of the governments shall not diminish the rights or privileges of any former employee of either the Borough or Township entitled to benefits. Nor shall the combining of the governments diminish the rights or privileges of any former employee or present employee of the Borough or the Township with respect to their pension or retirement benefits.
  •  It is intended that the existing volunteer fire departments will be preserved in the areas they currently serve.
elements of the joint agreement31
Elements of theJoint Agreement
  • The Shenango Township Municipal Authority and the West Middlesex Borough Sewer Authority shall continue as municipal authorities under the terms of their respective Charters. Operating of the Borough sewer system shall continue for the single municipal government under the terms of any agreement of lease or contracts between the West Middlesex Borough Sewer Authority and the Borough of West Middlesex. The single municipal government may seek with the respective authorities to alter relationships among the entities at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors. Alterations in relationships may also take place during the period of transition.
elements of the joint agreement32
Elements of theJoint Agreement
  • All assets and liabilities of the Borough and Township at the time the single municipal government commences operations shall become an asset or a liability of the single municipal government.
  • The single municipal government shall have a uniform system of taxation throughout the entire area to be in place commencing with the operations of the single municipal government.
elements of the joint agreement33
Elements of theJoint Agreement
  • Within two (2) years following commencing of operations of the single municipal government all ordinances shall be made uniformly applicable and enforced throughout the entire area. 
  • Upon commencing of the operations of the single municipal government, all references in laws, ordinances, contracts and other legal instruments to Borough Council Members, Borough Mayor, and Township Supervisors of the Borough and Township shall be deemed to refer to the Board of Supervisors of the single government. Also, all references in laws, ordinances, contracts and other legal instruments referring to the Borough or Township shall be deemed to refer to the single government.
elements of the joint agreement34
Elements of theJoint Agreement
  • Upon commencing of the operations by the single municipal government, all laws, ordinances, regulations, and other legal instruments relating to or affecting the Borough or Township that are in force at that time, shall remain in force and shall be construed as if enacted by the single municipal government, but as of the date of their original enactment.
  • All rights, claims, actions, orders, ordinances, contracts, and legal or administrative proceedings of the Borough or Township shall continue, except as modified by Board of Supervisors of the single municipal government at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors.
elements of the joint agreement35
Elements of theJoint Agreement
  • During the years 2009, 2010, and 2011, the Borough and the Township governments shall work closely together to effect a smooth transition into the single municipal government as is required by the PA Municipal Consolidation or Merger Act.
  • The Borough and Township shall form an advisory Transition Committee, which shall begin to function within two months following certification of an approved vote. The Transition Committee shall undertake operational planning and process recommendations to combine services, ordinances, assets and budgets in conformance with this Joint Agreement…
elements of the joint agreement36
Elements of theJoint Agreement

… The Transition Committee shall be comprised of nine (9) individuals. Specifically, the Transition Committee shall be comprised of two (2) Members of Borough Council, two (2) members of the Township Board Supervisors, two (2) other individuals representing the Borough and two (2) other individuals representing the Township, all of whom shall be appointed respectively by the Borough Council and the Township Board of Supervisors, and one (1) individual jointly appointed by the Borough Council and Township Board of Supervisors. Meetings and actions of the Transition Committee shall be open under the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act.

single government vote
Single Government Vote

Objectives of Fiscal Analysis:

  • Analyze and Borough’s and Township’s financial information
  • Estimate income, expenses and taxes for a Single Government
single government vote38
Single Government Vote

INCOME EXPENSES END BAL.

  • Present Govs. $2,328,721 $2,019,951 $308,770
  • Single Gov. $2,204,526 $1,895,755 $308,770
  • Difference ($124 K) ($124 K) No Change

Income Includes Begin Year Fund Balances

Budgeted End Year Fund Balances Preserved

Result is Reduced Expenses and Less Tax Income Needed, with direct Savings to the TAX PAYERS

projected single government
Projected Single Government

Taxes (No change from present Twp.)

  • Real Estate Tax -- 8.0 Mills
  • Earned Income -- 0.5% for municipality
  • Reality Transfer -- 1.0% for municipality
  • Per Capita -- $5 for municipality
  • Municipal Services -- $15 for municipality
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