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Township considers expanding its office

April 23, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - When Washington Township Police Chief Barry Keller was hired as a patrolman in 1986, he became the department's fifth officer.

In those days, the police department occupied the front of the Washington Township office building on Welty Road. The police station consisted of the chief's office, space for a clerical staffer, storage room and a patrol room - ample room for a five-member police squad.

Today, the department has 12 full-time officers and a part-time officer, but the space is the same.

With the commercial and residential development being proposed for the township, including a shopping center anchored by a Wal-Mart store and plans for more than 1,300 new homes, Keller believes the force eventually will have to add officers to handle problems associated with growth.

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The Township Supervisors this week discussed a plan to provide the police department with more room. The supervisors are considering adding a 48-by-60-foot modular building behind the township's office building.

The offices of Township Manager Michael Christopher, Code Enforcement Officer Jerry Zeigler, the administrative assistant/secretary and the tax collector would move into the new building, leaving the existing town office building exclusively for the police department.

The new building would provide space for a conference room, supervisors' work area, a break room and restrooms.

It would tie into the side of the existing supervisors meeting room with a front entrance on the side. The existing front entrance off Welty Road would be for police department use only.

A temporary storage area behind the bench the supervisors sit on during meetings would be eliminated to free up room for public attendance.

Christopher said the meeting room has a capacity of about 75 people. Removing the storage area would add another 25 to 30 seats, he said.

The modular structure would be pre-built in sections and would sit on a foundation. It would cost about $150,000 and could be moved to another site if necessary, Christopher said.

The supervisors are seeking public comment on the plan before making a final decision, he said.

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