Welcome everyone to the summer 2016 issue of the Declaration of In­dependence Township! We hope that you, as do we, have a sense of ex­citement in the celebra­tion of the summer sea­son, as well as feelings of gratitude for the gifts of long summer days of sunshine and warmth, beautiful blue skies, lush green foliage, and the bounty of the summer growing season. As we all “busy” ourselves this summer with projects, vacations, and various activities we also hope that everyone enjoys the summer by finding time for those special quiet moments for rest and relaxation, as well as time for shared fun and laughter with family and friends.

The summer will be a busy time in Independ­ence Township as we address various pro­jects. Sealing and line painting of the blacktop parking lots at the Township Municipal Building and at the Independence Township Community Center (the Community Center) have been completed. The street curb replace­ment project in down­town Avella is nearly completed. We are very pleased with the excellent work performed by each contractor. These projects not only ad­dressed needed mainte­nance issues, but have also added aesthetic value to our community. Later this summer will mark the beginning of excavation of the Independence Township Community Park.  The summer season also marks the busiest time for the Public Works De­partment. They will be addressing road repair projects throughout the summer that were iden­tified during our April 2016 Annual Road Tour.

PennDOT has in­formed the Township that they are committed to completing one of the two bridge projects in our area in 2016. Due to unforeseen de­lays, only one bridge project will be complet­ed in 2016-either the bridge located near Avella Motor and Body Company or the bridge near the Polar Star. According to PennDot, they will notify the Township as soon as possible as to which bridge is chosen for 2016 construction and they will have road signs in place well in advance of the construction start date to noti­fy residents of the detour. Another PennDOT project al­ready in progress is the mill­ing and asphalt paving of a section of Route 50 (from just west of the Route 231 inter­section to the railroad bridge) and the replacement of the concrete road surface on Cross Creek Road across from the Unimart .

We are currently in the process of acquiring cost esti­mates for necessary repairs at the Community Center for the following projects: gutter re­pairs, roof repairs, electrical update, termite treatment, and structural improvements. We hope to develop a plan for a phased approach to address each of these repairs and up­dates. Already completed in May of 2016 was the installa­tion of new drop-ceiling tiles in the main hallway and kitchen areas of the Community Center to replace damaged ceiling tiles.

We are pleased to announce that the Township has expand­ed the hours and use of the Community Center to accom­modate the summer practices of the Avella High School varsi­ty girls’ volleyball team and the Avella Jr. High School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. It is our pleasure to work with the Avella Area School District to provide this service and use of the Community Center so to benefit our youth and our com­munity.

As each of you take your life’s journey this summer sea­son it is our wish that each of you are able to “live your life fully” and enjoy all that the season has to offer. We leave you with the words of the American essayist, lecturer, and poet, Ralph Waldo Emer­son:

Success

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent
people and the affection of
children;

To earn the appreciation of honest
critics and endure the
betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty, to find
the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch or a redeemed
social condition;

To know even one life has
breathed easier because you have

lived.

This is to have succeeded.

May each of you find Success in your life this summer season!

Cordially yours,

Thomas Jennings, Chairman

Louis Brandenburg, Jr., Vice-Chairman

Joyce McKenzie