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ONTELAUNEE TP. (11/12/52)

November 12, 1952

IN RE ONTELAUNEE TP., BERKS COUNTY. IN RE BOROUGH OF WEST LEESPORT


COUNSEL

John S. Rhoda, Dawson H. Muth, Body, Muth, Rhoda & Stoudt, Reading, for appellant.

George B. Balmer, Carl F. Mogel and Snyder, Balmer & Kershner, Reading, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Arnold and Gunther, JJ.

Author: Reno

[ 172 Pa. Super. Page 72]

RENO, Judge.

Pursuant to The General Borough Act of May 4, 1927, P.L. 519, as revised and amended by The Borough Code of July 10, 1947, P.L.1621, §§ 425, 426, 53 P.S. § 12461 et seq., and upon the petition of the requisite number of freeholders in the territory, the Borough of West Leesport enacted an ordinance annexing 281.36 acres of land situate in the adjacent Township of Ontelaunee, a township of the second class. The township and several individuals appealed to the court below which dismissed their appeals, and the township brought the case to this Court.

I. The annexing ordinance is dated June 12, 1950. On that date the freeholders' petition was presented to a meeting of the borough council. The township contends that at that meeting the council merely accepted

[ 172 Pa. Super. Page 73]

    the petition and that the words 'and annex the land described therein', appearing on the minutes, were inserted at the next meeting. The council's secretary testified that the annexing ordinance was physically presented to and read at the first meeting and enacted by it, and that the interpolation in the minutes of that meeting was authorized by the succeeding meeting at the suggestion of the solicitor. The ordinance was duly enrolled in the ordinance book and advertised. The court below found that the amended minute was a correct statement of what had actually occurred at the first meeting, and the finding is supported by competent evidence. The power of a municipal governing body to amend its minutes so that they speak the truth is well established. 62 C.J.S., Municipal Corporations, § 409(d); 37 Am.Jur., Municipal Corporations, § 65.

II. A certified copy of the ordinance, together with a map and description of the annexed territory and descriptions of the Borough before and after the annexation were filed on August 4, 1950. At that time there was pending in the court below an appeal from an ordinance enacted by the Borough on March 13, 1950, annexing 80 acres located in Bern Township. Although that annexation became effective, notwithstanding the appeal, upon the filing of the ordinance and descriptions in the court below, Borough Code, § 426; Cf. In re Filing of Ordinance by the Borough of State College, 104 Pa. Super. 211, 158 A. 298, the Borough, understandably but erroneously, supposed that the Bern annexation would not become final until the appeal had been adjudicated in its favor, and accordingly omitted the Bern area from the descriptions filed in the Ontelaunee annexation. After the court below decided that the Bern annexation was valid, the Borough filed an amended map and descriptions which

[ 172 Pa. Super. Page 74]

    included the Bern area within the boundaries of the Borough before and after the annexation of the Ontelaunee area, and the court below allowed the amendments.

No objection has been made to the accuracy, that is, to the calls of the metes and bounds, of the several descriptions, certainly none to the description of the area annexed, which is the truly vital feature in annexation proceedings. Even as to that important feature, Irwin Borough Annexation Case (No. 1), 165 Pa. Super. 119, 126, 67 A.2d 757, intimated that a court could allow the filing of an amended map where the boundaries of the annexed area were properly described in the ordinance. Since the annexed area was accurately described in the ...


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