JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Tuesday’s General Election could have a big impact on some communities in Central Pennsylvania. One key race in Jefferson County will give voters a choice on whether two townships will merge.
Residents of Barnett and Eldred Township will decide on the merger during the election. Eldred Township Chairman of Supervisors Gordon Greeley said some think a merger is a good idea and some think its a bad idea.
Greeley explained that many in Barnett Township are worried about a name change.
“Most of the people in Barnet Township don’t want to lose their identity. If this goes through, I told them we would put a sign up where the township line used to be that would say entering Barnet Township,” Greeley said.
The merger would allow for more efficient maintenance for both townships, especially in the winter. Greeley said Eldred Township could take care of the seven miles of roadways in Barnett Township.
“A lot of our roads connect with theirs. It’s the same road. It’s just the township line cuts them in half,” Greeley said.
The savings would help leaders hold the line on taxes as a merger won’t cause an increase. Greeley explained the change would not be a win for either township.
“It’s going to be a wash. You know, as far as the taxes and everything goes. But they came to us and wanted to know if we would consider taking over and we decided we would,” Greeley said.
If the vote goes through on Tuesday, the merger will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2025. If the vote does not go through, both townships will have to wait five years before they can put it on the ballot again.