North Strabane supervisor eyeing new township building
The exterior of the North Strabane Township building along Route 519 in North Strabane Township
Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter
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North Strabane Township is bursting at the seams with residential and commercial growth.
To keep up with the boom, the township government also needs to grow to meet its responsibilities.
In 1977, the township built a state-of-the-art government headquarters on Route 519, just off Route 19, to serve as the hub for a mostly agricultural municipality with limited commercial venues and a population of around 5,000.
Now the fastest-growing community in Washington County, the township building is seemingly inadequate to meet North Strabane’s needs to serve a population of nearly 14,000, according to the 2010 Census. It’s for this reason that Supervisor Sonia Stopperich wants to form a working committee to explore the construction of a new township building that would not only provide more space, but be a more resident-friendly facility.
“The building is overcrowded. We’re scrambling for space,” said Stopperich at Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting. “The township is blessed with a financial position to explore this endeavor without the thought of raising taxes to its residents.”
The two-story building houses the township administrative, building/code enforcement, tax, municipal authority, planning and parks/recreation offices on its top floor. In the basement is the police department and District Judge Jay Weller’s office.
Stopperich’s suggestion was met with surprise by her fellow supervisors, who said this was the first they’d heard about the formation of such a committee. While they did not object to the idea, the remaining supervisors believed it was something that needed more consideration before being put into place.
Supervisor Stephen Motzer questioned who would serve on the committee and what steps needed to be taken for its formation.
“I think we have known for a few years that we’d come to a point where we would outgrow this building,” Motzer said.
While Stopperich had hoped the board would vote on the committee at its legislative meeting next week, she agreed that the matter wait until April for official consideration.
“I just want to start the process of looking and see what we need,” she explained.
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