EDITORIAL: Spring Garden's 'Friends' must stay involved

York Dispatch
  • Spring Garden Township has voted down a proposed new municipal complex.
  • The new complex could have added nearly $200 per year to the tax bill of an average homeowner.
  • The Friends of Spring Garden Township helped organize opposition to the plan.

“The voices of the people were heard.”

That comment was made by Sean Clark on Wednesday evening after the Spring Garden Township Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to cease work on a proposed new municipal complex at 1799 Mount Rose Ave.

The Spring Garden municipal building was over capacity last Wednesday and the commissioners' meeting was moved to the Victory Fire Co. hall. At that meeting, the commissioners voted down a new proposed municipal complex. Christopher Dornblaser photo.

Clark was absolutely right. The "people were heard," loud and clear.

The group Clark helped organize, called the Friends of Spring Garden Township, was strongly opposed to the controversial, and expensive, proposed municipal complex.

The group started petitions against the complex, both online and on paper.

They packed township meetings to voice their concerns.

Finally, the commissioners relented and decided to abandon a proposal that was estimated to cost as much as $21 million. An average homeowner with a property valued at $171,000 would've been slammed with a tax increase of $194 per year if a gymnasium was included in the plan.

A gym in a municipal complex seemed like an over-the-top extravagance to many in the township.

If fact, the entire plan seemed over the top to many township residents.

No new complex for Spring Garden Twp.

So, they raised a little ruckus and convinced the township commissioners to dump the plan.

The folks who signed the petitions, showed up at the meetings and made their impassioned pleas should be congratulated.

They went above and beyond the call of their civic duty. They became engaged and they became informed.

As a result, they triumphed. The proposed municipal plan is dead, at least for now, and the taxpayers' wallets won't be quite as light as they might have been.

What's next?: Now the question that must be asked is, what's next?

Do the folks who became so passionate about the municipal complex simply drift away and again become apathetic about the actions of their township commissioners? Or do they remain committed watchdogs over their local government?

There's little doubt that the police, administrative and recreation buildings in the township will eventually need some improvements and possibly consolidation. What's uncertain is the form those improvements will take.

The Friends of Spring Garden Township shouldn't simply lose touch, like old high school classmates.

Instead, they should continue to stay in contact, stay informed and stay involved.

The group accomplished a great deal over recent months, but there's still much work left to be done in Spring Garden Township.

The municipality still needs all the friends it can get.