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Borough, township move ahead with join comprehencive plan

June 15, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The managers of both the Borough of Waynesboro and Washington Township on Wednesday announced that they've started the search for a consultant hired to formulate a joint comprehensive plan detailing the community's past and present, while preparing for the future.

Bid specifications allow for applications from consultants "consisting of a multidisciplinary team" until July 10.

The borough last updated its comprehensive plan in 1990 and the township in 1999. While no law stipulates how often the plans should be updated, the general rule is that they should be done at least every 10 years, Township Manager Mike Christopher said.

"The comprehensive plan is the blueprint for what the community is going to look like in the (next) 10 to 15 years," he said.

Looking to the future, the bid documents say the borough desires to "drive its 21st century development by building off its 19th-century character and to invigorate the downtown, while the township seeks to deal with the unprecedented growth it is experiencing and the need to preserve (land) ... and to upgrade its infrastructure, especially transportation."

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The borough and township have agreed to spend up to $70,000 for joint comprehensive planning. They have been awarded $35,000 in grant money from Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development programs.

"This is an exciting opportunity for the township and borough to work together," Christopher said.

The request for bids illustrates the differences between the two municipalities - the landlocked borough has seen the economic strength of its business district "sapped" as the township has 100 to 200 housing units built a year with several new retail ventures in development.

The township's primary goal is identified as "developing objectives and strategies to deal with this growth." The borough's is a "more comprehensive approach that focuses on the preservation and promotion of the community's historic character and high quality of life as the keys to the community's long-term economic success."

The borough's paperwork describes tying together the efforts of several organizations attempting to revitalize downtown. Both sides indicate they want to see homes owned rather than rented.

Public input must be part of the plan, according to bid documents.

The 38.9 square miles of Washington Township surround the 3.5 square miles of the Borough of Waynesboro. The borough's estimated population is 9,600, while the township has about 12,200 people.

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