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New office a sign of the times for Pa. township

August 03, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - It might not be perfect government protocol, but when three hard-working men need to pick out colors to decorate a room, their best move is to call in their wives.

Tuesday afternoon, the wives of Montgomery Township's three supervisors joined their husbands in the Franklin County Senior Center at 11300 Fort Loudon Road, which is next door to the township office building and garage, to help them chose colors for the new township office building under construction.

Supervisors Chairman William Coble walked in with an armful of color samples. He was joined by Supervisors Ronald Hissong and Dean Metcalfe, the board's secretary.

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When the new office building is finished, sometime around November, Montgomery Township will hire its first secretary, Coble said. It also will enter the computer age for the first time, he said.

Metcalfe, as board secretary, handles clerical and secretarial duties.

"I'm a Stone Age secretary," Metcalfe said. "I use a lead pencil and a tablet."

Metcalfe and Coble work for the township. Hissong is a farmer.

Metcalfe, 64, ends a 34-year career as a supervisor this year. He chose not to run for another six-year term. His apparent successor will be Michael Rife, who is unopposed on the ballot in November.

The supervisors meet and work in a 10-foot-by-14-foot office in a corner of the township's truck garage.

The new building, which will be of brick construction, will give them a real meeting room, a modern office, storage space and restrooms. Unlike the existing office space, the new building will be air-conditioned.

Township meetings that draw large crowds have been and will continue to be held in the senior center, Metcalfe said.

A six-bay steel garage is being built behind the new office building. Included in the six is a truck-washing bay.

The existing township garage and office building at 11364 Fort Loudon Road will get a facelift, Metcalfe said.

Montgomery Township, like many around it, is growing and the local government has to grow with it, the officials said.

"The township has grown as much in the last three years as it did in the previous six years," Coble said.

Metcalfe estimated the township's population to be more than 5,000 people.

Coble said several housing developments are under construction in the township, including 47 units in Licking Creek Estates off Pittman Road, 37 units at Deerwood Estates off Shimpstown Road and another 24 in a development off Pa. 16 near the township's eastern border.

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