By Tammy Pawling, Guest Columnist
January 17, 2004
In the article titled, "Sadsbury holds taxes steady for 2004," (DLN, Jan. 10), the information given by the township supervisors is somewhat misleading. Although they state that the additional taxes collected from new residents has led to budgeting of additional items, the fact is, budgeting of these items (24/7 police force, township manager, consultant fees, etc.) is only necessary because of the increased development. The costs of these new services will likely eat away at any increase in revenue.
Even more disturbing is Supervisor Doug Doratts statement that he is most excited about the prospect of a new municipal complex and expanded and improved village district.
These funds arent coming from tax dollars. A developer is offering this, from my understanding, in return for a zoning change that will allow him to build more than 450 dwellings on 120 acres.
The supervisors should be aware that the public majority is against this high-density development and many are against the proposed sidewalks and traffic-calming measures. Doratts comment shows a total disregard for public opinion and makes a mockery of the ongoing public meetings to discuss the feasibility of this zoning change.
Given Doratts statements, it appears that the decision to grant this zoning change has already been discussed in private meetings between the supervisors and the developer and that theyre merely going through the "motions" of public deliberation.
It is baffling why the supervisors feel we need a new municipal building. Money would be better spent helping the many residents who desperately need public sewer, providing relief for our severely over-burdened fire companies, or road improvements.
And, its not as if the supervisors go out of their way to encourage public involvement. With no township newsletter, and no advertisement of public meetings beyond the minimum required by law, many residents have no idea what topics are being discussed.
In recent years, only a handful of residents have attended public meetings. The only exceptions were the Dec. 2 and 3 zoning hearings, which could have been moved to one of the fire companies to accommodate the dozens of residents who attended to voice their opposition of the proposed zoning changes. Routinely, the majority of people attending public meetings are developers, their planners and attorneys. And, after their development projects are completed, theyll be gone.
Doratt goes on to say "we are quickly running out of space." Small businesses routinely face this dilemma. A responsible business solution would be to archive seldom-used files in a nearby storage facility. This would free up space and be a much cheaper alternative than building onto the existing township building until a new municipal complex can be built.
In summary, this article paints a misleading rosy picture. The supervisors would like everyone to believe the development explosion is of great benefit. The truth is, there will be little or no benefit to existing residents if the supervisors continue their current plan for our townships future. When all the building is done and were surrounded by apartments, strip malls and townhomes, those who have needed public sewer will likely still be waiting, our emergency services will be stretched beyond their limits, crime will continue to increase and school taxes will surely be higher. But, at least we may have a new municipal building to sit in and ponder why the supervisors allowed our once beautiful rural township to be turned into another over-populated and poorly planned municipality.
The writer lives in Sadsbury.
İDaily Local News 2004
Name: Eric Collins
Date: Jan, 17 2004
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