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BLANDON BOROUGH INCORPORATION CASE. (11/13/56)

November 13, 1956

BLANDON BOROUGH INCORPORATION CASE.


Appeal, No. 52, Oct. T., 1956, from decree of Court of Quarter Sessions of Berks County, Miscellaneous Docket, 1948, No. 503, in re Petition for the Incorporation of the Borough of Blandon. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

Carl F. Mogel, with him Snyder, Balmer & Kershner, for appellants.

R. Joseph Merkel, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Carr, JJ. (hirt, J., absent).

Author: Wright

[ 182 Pa. Super. Page 305]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

The Court of Quarter Sessions of Berks County refused to authorize the creation of a borough from a portion of a second class township. As stated by counsel for appellants: "The only question involved in this case is whether or not the learned court below manifestly abused its discretion in dismissing the petition for incorporation".

On April 26, 1948, a petition, signed by a majority of the resident freeholders of the Village of Blandon, in the Township of Maidencreek, was presented to the court below, praying that the said village be incorporated as a borough. Notice of the presentation of the petition and of a hearing to be held thereon was duly given by publication. William Hoffa, a resident freeholder of the village, filed exceptions and objections to the petition. The Board of Supervisors of Maidencreek Township likewise filed exceptions and objections.

[ 182 Pa. Super. Page 306]

Two petitions requesting that the application be refused, signed by freeholders and qualified electors, were also filed. Two days of hearing were held, with fifteen witnesses for the petitioners and seven for the respondents. From the testimony it appeared that the incorporation was sought by the petitioners because they believed that, by a borough form of government, they could best secure such things, inter alia, as street lights, water, fire and police protection, zoning, established grades and sidewalks, and supervised recreation.

On January 3, 1949, being satisfied that there should be a further investigation, the court below filed an opinion in which the matter was continued, "reserving to the parties interested the right to have a further hearing". In its opinion, the court found that the total area proposed to be incorporated contained 347 acres, of which approximately 171 acres was farm land; that the number of adult residents was 525, and the number of resident freeholders 254; that the total assessment of Maidencreek Township was $1,120,525; and that assessed value of the land to be included in the proposed borough was estimated at between $259,000 and $280,540. The court noted that the incorporation would deprive the township of almost one-fourth of its road taxes, but would relieve it of the care of only ten percent of its roads. The court further pointed out the difficulty of financing the desired projects in such a small borough by ordinary taxation, or even by bonded indebtedness.

Further hearings were held on October 31, 1950, October 26, 1954, and November 22, 1954. On August 1, 1955, after a view of the proposed borough by all three judges, the court below filed a second opinion with a final decree dismissing the petition. ...


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