WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Discussions among Washington Township, Pa., officials went round and round Wednesday not about a roundabout proposed on a major road, but how to pay for building that road.
At issue are traffic impact fees assessed on new commercial and residential development in a designated geographic zone. Those fees, based on the number of vehicle "trips" created, are used to pay for constructing Washington Township Boulevard.
The Washington Township Supervisors and their appointed impact fee committee held a joint meeting Wednesday. After an hour and 40 minutes, they reached a preliminary decision to cut short the road's path in an effort to drive down its $16.7 million price tag and decrease the $3,147-per-trip fee amount.
Some developers tell the supervisors the fees are cost prohibitive for commercial development, so they can't bring in projects that would create revenue for the road construction. The relief route is open from Pa. 16 to Old Forge Road in Rouzerville, Pa.
At the meeting, the supervisors talked about forging ahead with construction work on Washington Township Boulevard. They discussed whether a traffic light or roundabout would be preferred at the intersection of Washington Township Boulevard and Old Forge Road.
Township Manager Mike Christopher said an escrow account holds $120,700 for improvements at that intersection. He will talk to the affected property owner about creating a roundabout with 130-foot radius there.
Supervisor Elaine Gladhill said roundabouts are safer and require less maintenance.
Christopher said he sought estimates to pave an extension of North Welty Road as well as Washington Township Boulevard to Country Club Road near a bridge already built near the Waynesboro Youth Soccer Association complex. The total for that work was estimated at $722,000.
Christopher passed the estimates on to the supervisors for them to consider in the future.
If the supervisors continue with the proposal put forth by the impact fee committee, Washington Township Boulevard would not be built to Pa. 16 west of Waynesboro. To avoid a $9 million, 1,000-foot bridge in that area, the supervisors might choose to end the relief route at Pa. 316.
"We have a bad plan out there," committee member Paul Gunder said. "The (fee) costs will take care of themselves if we fix the plan."
The existing impact fee amount was derived from the total project cost for Washington Township Boulevard.