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Iron Springs Plaza coming to fruition

Susan Prasse

(1/19) Hamiltonban Township has received a conditional highway occupancy permit from Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for the Iron Springs Plaza project. The Township had originally approved the $2.5 million project in 2013 but ran into a snag last year after the state denied grant funding that would have been used on state highways for traffic realignment improvements at the Route 116 and Iron Springs Road intersection.

The new conditional permit hinges on the state receiving a recorded storm water agreement between the Township and the Fairfield Cemetery. Last year, the township received a $700,000 grant from Pennsylvania DOT to help with costs related to the conditional highway occupancy permit. Some of the costs include permitting, road realignment and traffic signals.

Realtor and developer David Sites, of David L. Sites Realty Leasing & Management, Gettysburg, is slated to construct the Iron Springs Plaza shopping center on a 17-acre tract located at the intersection of Iron Springs and Fairfield (Route 116) roads. "After numerous years, we are at the finish line of the highway occupancy permit, we could start re-aligning the roads at the Town Center Entrance very soon." Sites is still seeking additional funding from the state of around $1 million for the project.

Township Supervisor Bob Gordon said "this is a very important project to Southwest Adams County, it will help our economy and could bring about 100 extra jobs to the area."

In other news, the township has passed its 2015 budget plan. In order to avoid raising taxes, the township board stated that tough decisions have been made to secure a solid fiscal foundation. The municipal tax rate was last raised in 2005 (over nine years ago) as part of the 2006 Budget. Township Supervisor Bob Gordon says "it is the township’s mission to evade a tax increase for as long as possible and to live within our means." The approved 2015 budget continues with the tax millage rate of 1.2359 mills on each dollar of assessed value on property to cover operations.

The 2015 total projected General Fund revenue which equals expenses is $629,966. This includes a one-time increase in normal income and expense totaling $62,500. The increase is due to the receipt of the RACP Grant retainer of $12,500 for the maintenance building at 4020 Bullfrog Road. Additionally, one of the larger projects to commence in 2015 is the repair of the bridge on Moritz Road. The township board said Roadmaster Harbaugh had inspected the bridge in 2013 and found it to be in dire need of repair. $50,000 has been budgeted for this project. The repair of this bridge will be a joint venture with Franklin Township.

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