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Washington Township establishes property value high

February 06, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Washington Township in 2002 surpassed the $100 million mark in assessed private property value for the first time.

About 76 percent of the nearly $103 million in private property is single-family homes, Township Administrator Michael A. Christopher said.

The information came in a year-end report Christopher wrote for the Washington Township Supervisors.

The township has a population of 11,559, according to the 2000 census, up by 440 from the 1990 census. But Christopher said he thinks the census does not reflect the actual population, which he places at around 12,000.

"Just judging by housing permits alone tells me it's more," Christopher said. "In the decade between 1990 and 2000, the township issued more than 900 permits for single-family homes."

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The report said there are 5,806 private properties in the township. The average assessed value is around $18,000 and an average owner pays $42.53 in taxes. The township has not raised local taxes in 18 years, Christopher said.

The township issued 279 building permits in 2002 for property valued at nearly $18 million, the report said. The number of permits issued in 2001 was 247 with a total value of $13.6 million. Included in the 2002 figures are 78 single-family homes, compared to 62 the previous year.

The Washington Township Planning and Zoning Commission gave final approval for 157 new building lots last year, nearly double the 80 issued in 2001.

The commission also gave preliminary approval to 155 lots in 2002. Preliminary approval was given for 50 lots in 2001.

None of the figures - final and preliminary - include the controversial 169-home Glen Afton Farms development proposed for a site on Harbaugh Church Road.

The township's refuse transfer station and recycling center off Pa. 16 took in more than 8,000 tons of trash last year, nearly 3,600 tons of which was recycled, the report said.

Also, the recycling center turned a modest, $3,000 profit last year, a marked change from the $60,000 deficit that showed up in 2001. An increase in tipping fees put the facility in the black.

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