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Township board sees red on light

September 21, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- The Washington Township Supervisors say the Waynesboro Borough Council is stuck with the bill for a new traffic light at the intersection of Pa. 16 and Northeast Avenue.

Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger, on behalf of the council, sent the supervisors a letter dated Sept. 17 and in it asked for shared funding. The council talked last Wednesday about borrowing money for the project and asking the supervisors to pay for half.

The borough engineer estimated the traffic light could cost more than $100,000.

The supervisors said they're not paying for a traffic light that's not within their municipality. And they made it clear they resent the council's assumption they'd put up the money for half.

"Their statements are irresponsible ... and inaccurate," Supervisor Stephen Kulla said.

The council and supervisors disagree whether the supervisors committed to 50 percent of the bill. Both boards have pointed to minutes from a February 2008 meeting as part of their argument.

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Supervisors Kulla and Elaine Gladhill attended that borough meeting, but said they made no promise and actually can't commit without other board members. A subsequent letter said the supervisors would support grant applications and consider helping with financing if money was available.

"Two of us couldn't have made a decision for this board," Gladhill said.

On Wednesday, township Solicitor John Lisko said township code only authorizes road and other infrastructure improvements within the municipality. The idea is that township tax dollars can't be spent elsewhere.

"None of the intersection is in the township," Township Manager Mike Christopher said, adding that the eastern edge of Northeast Avenue serves as the municipal boundary, but the pavement is in the borough.

Supervisor John Gorman said a response letter should state the township will still assist with grant applications.

A previous borough council received a state grant to install the traffic light and rejected the money.

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