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.

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

Fire Prevention Week

It’s Fire Prevention Week
What can you do this week to participate?
1) Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Mark your calendar for each month to remind yourself to conducts tests of these detectors.
2) Do you have and use a fireplace?  When did you last have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional?  A chimney flue that is not cleaned / inspected regularly can build up creosote which is extremely combustible and can catch fire.  Please, get your chimney cleaned!
3) What happens if there is a fire in your house?  Do you have a family meeting place outside if there is a fire?  Do you practice escape drills with your family?
4) Review with your family the importance of how to call 911, what information to give and teach young children their address and phone number.
These are just a few items to review.  Contact the local Fire Department or the township office for more details and items to review.

Remember, if you gamble with safety, your betting your life.

 

NFPA 2014 Fire Prevention Video