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SOUTH UNION TOWNSHIP APPEAL (12/16/66)

decided: December 16, 1966.

SOUTH UNION TOWNSHIP APPEAL


Appeal from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Fayette County, No. 130 Civil 1965, in re annexation of portion of South Union Township to City of Uniontown.

COUNSEL

Joseph P. Matuschak, for appellant.

Ira B. Coldren, Jr., with him Milton D. Margolis, and Coldren & Adams, for appellees.

Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, and Spaulding, JJ. Opinion by Ervin, P. J.

Author: Ervin

[ 209 Pa. Super. Page 162]

This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Fayette County annexing a portion of the Township of South Union, a second class township, to the City of Uniontown.

Following the filing of a complaint by the township, an initial hearing was held and testimony taken before Feigus, J., and the matter was then referred to commissioners for report after the hearing judge preliminarily certified the legality of the proceedings and the propriety of the annexation as serving the public interests. A final hearing was held by Feigus, J., and arguments heard by the court in banc, which entered the order appealed from.

From the testimony it appears that the portion of South Union Township involved in this annexation has commonly been known by the name of one of its thoroughfares as Belmont Circle and is mainly comprised of a plan of lots laid out in 1926, known as Derrick Farm. It is contiguous to the City of Uniontown and is one of the prime residential areas of the county. It is inhabited by approximately 119 freeholders or property owners translated into approximately 211 taxable inhabitants, of whom 73 of the former and 142 of the latter were signatories to the petition for annexation. The assessed valuation of the area for purposes of real estate taxation in 1965 was $786,250, as compared with the total township assessed valuation of $11,095,500. Virtually all homes in the area have been served by the sewage system of the City of Uniontown upon an assessment basis. It is approximately one mile distant by roads from downtown

[ 209 Pa. Super. Page 163]

Uniontown. The area is included for planning and zoning purposes as a part of Greater Uniontown in the comprehensive plan of the City of Uniontown. The mailing address of its residents is Uniontown. The Township of South Union with a population of 10,895 persons is a second class township governed by a board of three road supervisors. It has no paid police force and fire protection is accomplished by way of volunteer fire departments. It furnishes no refuse collection services. It has not provided street lighting in this compactly built-up area. Its present bonded indebtedness is $50,000. It operates no sewage system and, except in Belmont Circle and other areas contiguous to Uniontown serviced by the Uniontown system, sewage is discharged into individual septic tanks or otherwise disposed of at random.

The City of Uniontown, with a present population of 17,600 persons, is a third class city, governed by a mayor and council. It has a paid police force of 31 officers and a paid fire department of 16 full time employees assisted by volunteers. It maintains its own refuse collection department and provides weekly and semi-weekly collections of refuse to its inhabitants at a charge of $18 per year for a housing unit. It provides street lighting and street cleaning services on all city streets. It provides organized playground facilities in various sections of the city. It provides comprehensive trunk sewage facilities under streets or alleys for all city properties. It is the capital of Fayette County. Its facilities and institutions have long provided for the business, health, recreational, civic, religious and cultural needs of the inhabitants of the abutting townships. It supports a public library and will probably soon operate the same as a municipal service.

In this appeal, the township raises no question as to the legal regularity of the ...


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