Woodward Supervisors oppose state proposals

LINDEN — Woodward Township Supervisors tried to stymie proposals from the state to impose a sliding scale state police tax — which would cost taxpayers in Woodward alone 37,400 — and PennDOT’s Route 220 corridor, for emergency purposes, Wednesday.

The tax is derived from Woodword’s population in 2010’s census. Governor Tom Wolf introduced the budget in late February, which proposed townships and boroughs who rely solely on state police to pay in a per-head style. For Woodward, taxes would have to be raised to pay for the service.

The supervisors unanimously moved to create letters to distribute in the township advocating for residents to contact their congressmen and oppose the budget.

For the proposed safety corridor along Route 220, Richard Whalen, fire chief, said the changes would increase response times by up to 78 percent on average.

“The main thing is the members can’t get to the stations soon enough because of the further distance,” said Whalen, “Especially in east Linden.”

When there’s an emergency, time is of the essence,” he added.

For response in Anthony Township, Whalen said it already takes 15 to 20 minutes to respond. With the safety corridor, response times could be pushed up to 25 to 30 minutes.

“When people dial 911, it’s an emergency to them,” said Whalen. “We still have to respond and our time is going to increase drastically. If we can make some changes before it gets to our section, we’re all for it.”

Letters were sent to state representatives Garth Everett, R-Muncy, Jeff Wheeland, R-Loyalsock Township, Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, and PennDOT departments in Harrisburg and Montoursville.

Alan Worth, chairman, said the fire department’s concern is that every minute, the fire doubles.

“That’s a big deal,” he said.

In other business, the township will be conducting their road survey on April 1 to check for damages.

Members present: Wayne Robinson, Jack Coleman and Alan Worth.

The next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on April 17 at the Woodward Township Office, 4910 Route 220, Linden.