Tar and Chipping?!….Why not pave?

It is that time of year again when the Fresh Oil, Loose Gravel signs start coming up and drivers start cursing their local Municipality because the Tar and Chip is going down on the roads…

SO why is it that we tar and chip here in Winfield Township.  There are a couple of answers to that question.  The first is that the chip seal preserves the road surface and seals the cracks off from the penetration of moisture which will help prevent the heaving of roads as a result of the freeze/thaw cycle.  Second, chip seal is a driving surface treatment that is applied to the roadway when there are no significant driving surface or base layer issues present in the roadway to increase the useful life of the roadway.  Finally, it is a cost saving measure.  Simply put, the cost of paving a single mile of roadway can reach upwards of $180,000.  Winfield Township maintains just over 40 miles of roadway.  That’s over 7 Million dollars…  The Township budget simply does not have the capacity to take that on and keep your taxes affordable.

We receive approximately $200,000 per year from the State in Liquid Fuels money to be used on the roads. We reinvest over $150,000 of that back into strictly asphalt material (patching potholes and larger sections of roadway) and seal coating projects for the roads.  We also allocate over $200,000 out of the General Fund that directly and/or indirectly benefits the infrastructure in the Township.  But we do not stop there.  We also use ACT 13 monies that Municipalities get from the State as a result of Oil and Gas Drilling that takes place in Winfield Township and in the area directly outside of the Township.  In the past 5 years, Winfield Township has received and reinvested over $200,000.00 in ACT 13 funding back into the roadway to replaces failing bridge infrastructure, realign and elevate intersections to make them safer, and improve more roads faster as a result of the additional funding.  We received just south of $300,000.  The other funds were reinvested in Public Safety and Planning initiatives.

So, I said earlier that chip seals are a cost saving road maintenance method…. How much of a cost saving method you ask?  This year, we will pay $1.03 per square yard for seal coating.  So remember how I said Winfield Township maintains just over 40 miles of road?  That converts to 211,200 feet or (assuming a 20 foot road width) 469,333 square yards.  So to seal coat every road in the Township in one year at $1.03 per SY would cost almost $470,000.00 versus over 7 Million dollars to pave every road.

So realistically, the answer is somewhere in the middle.  We do a mix of paving projects in-house and sometimes outsourced to a paving company and we also do a yearly seal coating project to make sure that the asphalt on the roadway does not dry out and crack.  All of our road are worked into a Road Maintenance schedule that will repeat itself every three years to ensure that no road is left untouched for too long, allowing it to fall apart.  It also allows us time to address any storm water issues that may exist on the roads.  Because, if you cannot get the water off and away from the roadway, no schedule or amount of money will be able to keep up with mother nature.  As an example, this year alone, we have invested over $60,000 in storm water projects!

I recognize that the chip seal is an inconvenience for us all…  It is only temporary… Not only do we do it to make sure that you all have safe roads to travel day-to-day, we also do it to be responsible with your tax dollars and make sure that we can continue to keep your taxes at an affordable level.  We are proud to say that our local taxes are only 5 Mills.  1 Mill means that for every $1,000 of assessed value, you pay one dollar.  That means that for every $1,000 in assessed value of your property, you pay only 5 dollars.  Yes, you read that correctly…. for every thousand dollars of assessed value.  It may sound like a lot if you purchased your home for $200,000, but that it not the case.  Butler County operates on 1969 assessed values of property so most properties in Winfield Township are assessed approximately $20,000.00.  You do the math, that is $100.00.

So while it may seem cheap and messy, chip seal is an economical way for Municipalities to preserve the life of their roadways while keeping taxes reasonable for their Residents.

If you are curious,  we do have a Capital Improvement Plan that lays out our Plan for Improvement through 2022… You can look at it here.

 

I hope this provides everyone with a little bit better understanding of why we do things the way we do here in Winfield Township.  If you have any questions or comments, I would welcome them at winfieldtwp@zoominternet.net.  You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

As always,

Yours in Service,

 

Adam Hartwig, Township Secretary

Winfield Township.

 

 

Do you have a spare tire…or 12?! We can help!

What: Butler County will be hosting a Tire Recycling Day!!

Where: 207 Ash Stop Road, Evans City, PA 16033 (Forward Township Municipal Building)

When: Saturday May 13, 2017 from 9 AM to 1 PM

 

Check out more details here!!!!

 

 

Yours in Service,

 

Adam Hartwig, Township Secretary

Winfield Township

 

 

Google lays out Township road program!

I am sure that many of you are just as happy as I am that Spring is here to stay!  Unfortunately, with the warm weather comes construction season…  The Township is using Google Maps to lay out our Road Maintenance Schedule.  This means that you are able to view our schedule for the next three years from your computer, see how many square yards your road may be (this is the number that is used by paving companies to determine how much material to put down), and even calculate what it will cost the Township to seal coat your roadway.  As a point of reference, we are currently seeing prices around $1.05 per square yard.

Check us out here: Road Maintenance Schedule

The Township also has used Google to identify the approximate locations of all the Zoning Districts and post most all of the regulations for those Districts.  Anyone looking to build or develop should still contact the Municipal Building to confirm their District and inquire about permits.

In addition, we will use it to catalog our assets like culverts, bridges, and signs to ensure our compliance with State and Federal Regulations!

So while you are enjoying the warm weather this year, we are planning out what we will be doing in warm weather 3-5 years from now to ensure that your roads, bridges, and infrastructure are safe for years to come!

 

Yours in Service,

 

 

Adam Hartwig, Township Secretary

Winfield Township

 

Always remember to slow down in work zone areas, it is better to lose a couple seconds of your life than to lose your life (or someone else’s) in a couple of seconds.  GIVE OUR GUYS A BRAKE…

 

Image result for construction zone safety

Community Park

 

With warm weather becoming more frequent, we want to remind you that the Winfield Township Community Park, located at 194 Brose Road, Cabot, PA 16023 (behind the Municipal Building) is a great place to spend the afternoon and evening!  We have a pavilion with tables for a picnic as well as a jungle gym and swing set to keep any kid entertained for hours!

Are you looking to have an awesome Birthday party this year?!  We can help!  Reserve the Pavilion here: http://winfieldtownship.net/winfield-township-community-park/ for only $40.00!!

 

 

For those people who are looking to take a hike, we also have a 1.2 mile trail loop that goes around the outer perimeter of our Park as well!

 

If there is anything you would like to see in the park, let me know.  If you have any questions or comments, I would like to hear from you!  winfieldtwp@zoominternet.net

 

Yours in Service,

 

Adam Hartwig

 

Library Board Member Needed!

Do you or your children use the Southern Butler County Community Library?

Do enjoy helping others?

Do you have a special skill or talent that you would like to take advantage of to help grow the Library?

 

If you answered yes to any of these questions we want to hear from YOU! Call us at 724-352-3333 or e-mail me at winfieldtwp@zoominternet.net

 

 

Yours in Service,

 

Adam

PLANNED POWER OUTAGES in WINFIELD TOWNSHIP

Please read the statement below from your Emergency Management Coordinator and be sure to make any and all necessary precautions to be prepared.

 

“Residents in parts of Butler County should plan to be without power for several hours later this month.

According to West Penn Power, customers in parts of Buffalo, Clinton, and Winfield Townships will experience outages from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. the next two Saturdays, March 19 and 26. Both outages will affect the same customers.

West Penn says the outages are necessary in order to allow crews to replace a pole on a transmission line at the Silverville Substation, which is located between Tarentum and Natrona Heights.

A total of 3,700 customers will be affected including some in Allegheny County.

West Penn Power will attempt to contact affected customers by phone before the outage takes place.”

 

Stay Safe and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me at 724-352-3333.  We have also posted this to our Twitter page.

 

Adam T. Hartwig

Gold Standards in Winfield Township

Winfield Township has received statewide recognition for their newsletter that goes out twice a year!  A little over a year ago, Winfield revamped their newsletter to a several page full color edition.  It was submitted for a statewide contest for Most Improved Newsletter as well as Best Newsletter, Class 3.  Winfield Township’s newsletter went up against 37 other Township’s and 95 other entries.  I am excited to report that Winfield Township has placed First in the Most Improved Newsletter category and Third in the Best Newsletter, Class 3, Category.

This is just another way we are working hard each and every day to become more transparent and improve communications between the Township and our Residents!

 

 

Yours in Service,

 

 

Adam T. Hartwig

 

Gold Standard3rd place

2016-2022 Capital Improvement Plan & Proposed Budget

As many people may have seen or heard in the media,  the Winfield Township Board of Supervisors have proposed a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) along with the Budget for 2016.  This Seven-year Capital Improvement Plan is something that has never been done in Winfield Township, but it is something that is much needed.

This plan allows for the setting aside of funds each year, in a Capital Improvement Fund for large Capital purchases (dump trucks, loaders, and salt storage buildings) as well as large infrastructure improvement projects (paving, stormwater improvements, and possibly bridge replacements).

 

Facts and Figures on the Budget and Plan:

 

Current Millage Rate: 3 mills

Proposed Millage Rate: 5 mills

 

1 mill generates approximately $27,000.00 for the Township.  On average, 1 mill will cost a residential property owner about $20.00 per year.

Currently, when residents pay their taxes, for every dollar they pay, approximately $0.03 (3 cents) comes to the Township, $0.77 goes to the school district, and $0.22 goes to the county.

 

 

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With that being said, here is the information and a brief explanation on the 2016 Budget:

 

 

Projected Revenues: $ 663,141.00

Projected Expenditures: $ 662,979.00

Notable Expenditures:

  1. Stormwater: $20,000.00
  2. Capital Purchases: $37,000.00
  3. Capital Improvement Fund: $25,000.00
  4. Public Safety: $31,300.00
  5. Administrative and Building: $124,099.00

 

We have several stormwater projects planned for next year; Jones Road, Cornplanter Road, Marwood Road, and Helmbold Ave.   This figure is more realistic of the needs of our current infrastructure and the cost estimates to do the work.

Capital Purchases: We are in need of replacing our pick-up truck that is currently used for not only road maintenance in the summer but also for winter maintenance.  Additionally, we are planning to purchase a new HTC (hydraulic truck conveyor) as well as a moon paver to replace the one we currently have that has reached the end of it’s useful life.

We feel that the proposed budget and CIP provides a much more sustainable framework and guide for the Township to operate by in the years to come.  By looking at a larger time span (Seven years), we are able to map our when all our current debt obligations mature, what our projected projects and purchases will be over the next decade, and how we plan to fund them.  We can say that with reasonable certainty, over the next several years, we will be able to reinvest more tax dollars back into the infrastructure, provide a better service to the residents, be better prepared for not only the unexpected but for the future, and last but not least, this proposed tax increase of 2 mills, it is sustainable, it will allow the Township to do more, plan better, and provide a better service to the residents of the Township.

While a tax increase is not favorable or popular, we all can agree that over the years, things have become more expensive.  In 1988, gas was $1.08 per gallon, a first class stamp cost $0.25, and the average price of a new car was $10,400.00  Over 27 years, I have seen prices rise and can remember when I was able to fill my vehicle up for $20.00.  Now, even though the price of oil is dropping, we have seen gas prices as high as $5.00 per gallon and $20.00 can’t even get you two movie tickets and a popcorn on a Friday night.

We are no exception, new dump trucks are $200,000.00, salt prices have increase $9.00 per ton in one year, one catch basin will cost us almost $1,000.00, and pipe is close to $7.00 per for, and as vehicle traffic increases, the demand for better roads increases.

That is why we have decided to take a proactive and sustainable approach to the matter here at Winfield Township.  We work hard everyday to make Winfield Township a great place to live, work, play, and stay.

 

Please view the 2016 Proposed Revenues here.

Please view the 2016 Proposed Expenditures here.

Please view the proposed Capital Improvement Plan here.

You can also view the slideshow presentation that was give at the November 19, 2015 Supervisors Meeting here.

 

Remember: The road to success is always under construction.

 

 

Yours in Service,

 

 

Adam T. Hartwig

Township  Secretary, Winfield Township

 

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, I would be happy to hear from you!

winfieldtwp@zoominternet.net

724-352-3333

 

 

‘I’ll be there for you’

As I sat in a recognition luncheon today and watched a slideshow of Interns’ accomplishments while the popular TV Sitcom, Friends, theme song playing in the background, I began to think about why it is we do what we do.  Work in Local Government and spend countless hours striving to make that community a better place to live.

For me it means working to make our community better, working to put programs in place that will ensure each road gets attention in a timely manner by developing a rating system of road conditions and tying that in with the budget.  It also means producing a budget that will invest your tax dollars back into the community so that you will be able to reap  the benefits of your hard earned dollar.  If you read our newsletter last year, you would have saw that Winfield Township obtain a Silver Level Certification as part of the Sustainable Pennsylvania Program.  This means the Township has taken the stance that things like recycling,  producing a balanced budget, providing for a carry-over from one budget year to the next, and regular communications with the residents of the Township are very important to us and we feel that they will all make the Township a better place to live, work, play, and stay.

As the slideshow began to come to an end, I realized that working in Local Government is not about the ‘I’ or the ‘Me’, it is about you, the residents and having somebody that will be there for you when you have a question or a problem.  Now, I must add a disclaimer that we cannot solve every problem that everyone has, sometimes there are things that the Township cannot do. But, what i can promise you is that if you have a problem, I am always here to listen and work to help solve that problem with you or point you in the right direction.  I will also work hard to make Winfield Township a great place to live now and for years to come.  I truly believe that Local Government is ‘where it’s at’… it is where people are able to easily and quickly (yes, quick is a word in our Government’s vocabulary!) see results!  Because, after all, if you can’t count on your Local Government, who can you count on?

Watching the bright eyed Interns get their certifications for completion of their programs made me remember how just last year we had an Intern that accomplished so much for us.  It also showed me that there are young people who are interested in their communities and are willing to help out and work hard to make it a better place for everyone.

While we must have Laws, and we must enforce those Laws, we can also work to make our community a better place to live for tomorrow and the years to come by being more Sustainable, forward thinking, and planning for not just tomorrow but for 5 and 10 years down the road, and longer!  This is what we strive to do at Winfield Township so that we will always be able to say ‘hey, we’ll be here for you!’ After all, it’s a labor of love and that is why we all do what we do.  To be here for our residents and serve them to the best of our ability.

 

As always.

Yours in Service,

Adam Hartwig

Winfield Vol. Fire Company awarded Turnout gear

Globe, Dupont Protection Technologies in conjunction with the National Volunteer Fire Council have awarded Winfield Township Volunteer Fire Company with four new sets of Turnout Gear.

Winfield Township is one of 13 Departments across the United States and Canada to be awarded this honor.  Winfield Township VFC Fire Chief John Hartman saw this opportunity advertised in a Firefighting magazine and applied for it knowing that it would be a long shot to be chosen.  Months later he received a phone call saying that they have been selected!

A set of Turnout Gear can run from $3,200.00 to $3,400.00.

Check out the Press Release issued by Globe here.

Stay turned for updates and pictures of the Gear.

Please remember that your Fire Company is 100% Volunteer and operates solely on the donations that it receives during the Fund Drive and Fund Raisers.

Here is what the turnout gear is like