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HINAMAN ET AL. v. VANDERGRIFT. (01/16/62)

January 16, 1962

HINAMAN ET AL., APPELLANTS,
v.
VANDERGRIFT.



Appeal, No. 251, Oct. T., 1961, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County, Feb. T., 1959, No. 4, in case of Charles S. Hinaman et al. v. Ross T. Vandergrift et al. Decree reversed.

COUNSEL

Daniel F. Knittle, with him Greevy, Knittle, Fisher & Rice, for appellants.

John P. Campana, with him Fierro, Campana, Campana & Miele, for appellees.

Before Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (rhodes, P.j., absent).

Author: Watkins

[ 197 Pa. Super. Page 142]

OPINION BY WATKINS, J.

This is a complaint in equity by certain property owners, the plaintiffs-appellants, against the Supervisors of Old Lycoming Township and Old Lycoming Township, defendants-appellees, praying the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County for injunctive relief to restrain any attempt to collect assessments for the construction of pavements as provided for in an ordinance of the township adopted September 5, 1958; and to declare the ordinance invalid, illegal and unconstitutional.

The matter was tried before Judge CHARLES F. GREEVY, sitting as Chancellor and he found that the ordinance was constitutional, entered judgment for the defendant township, and placed the costs on the plaintiff property owners. Exceptions were filed to the Chancellor's findings of fact and conclusions of law and by stipulation of counsel they were heard by Judge GREEVY sitting as the court en banc. The court en banc adopted the Chancellor's conclusions as its final order. This appeal followed.

In 1955, each of the plaintiffs had in front of his property a sidewalk located on the right-of-way of the state highway. The sidewalks in front of the property of Hinaman, Fullmer and Ringler had been constructed as a part of a Works Progress Administration project with the consent of the supervisors. The property owners had paid for the material used in the construction. Plaintiff Aderhold had constructed his own sidewalk at his own expense. When the WPA sidewalks were laid, the sidewalk of Aderhold was physically moved to be in a line with the other sidewalks, so placing it within the right-of-way of the state highway. All of the sidewalks so constructed were consented to by the supervisors of the township and were considered by them to be part of the township municipal sidewalk system.

[ 197 Pa. Super. Page 143]

In 1955 the township entered into a written agreement, with the Commonwealth, agreeing to make a contribution of a fixed sum toward the construction by The Pennsylvania Department of Highways of certain storm sewer work and sidewalks to replace the existing sidewalks located on the highway right-of-way which had to be destroyed because of a highway widening project by the Commonwealth.

In January, 1958, county aid was paid to the township in the amount of Five Thousand Seven Hundred Fifth ($5,750) Dollars, representing twenty-five (25%) per cent of the township's obligated payment to the state.

Subsequent to the execution of the agreement with the Commonwealth, a meeting of all affected property owners was held and the plaintiffs, with the exception of Aderhold, were present. They were then advised that the ...


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