Greetings everyone! We hope that you all had an enjoyable and happy summer season!

As we reflect on the summer season past, we are pleased with the pro­gress made throughout the Township. PennDot completed their road sur­face paving project on a portion of Route 50, the railroad bridge roadway, and on Cross Creek

Road. They also began, and are currently reha­bilitating and replacing the concrete composite decking on the bridge located near the Avella Motor and Body Com­pany. Estimated comple­tion of this project is No­vember 2016. The street curb and gutter replace­ment project in down­town Avella has also been completed. The In­dependence Township Public Works Depart­ment has had a very active and productive summer season ad­dressing upgrades, im­provements, and repairs to the Township’s roads. We are very pleased with all that our Public Works Department has accom­plished this past sum­mer season, as well as their quality of work.

Additionally, throughout the summer months, we dedicated our focus and efforts to­ward improving the In­dependence Township Community Center (Community Center). New rental rates and expanded hours were established for the Com­munity Center and we encourage residents to take advantage in using the facility for hosting events. The Community Center was full of activ­ity throughout the sum­mer months hosting sports practices for vol­leyball, basketball, and cheerleading, as well as hosting the Avella Area Public Library’s Summer Reading Program and a wedding reception. In July 2016 the termite treatment was com­pleted and we approved the contracting of a structural engineer to prepare the structural design and construction specifications that will be needed for contrac­tors to bid on the struc­tural floor repair project at the Community Cen­ter. Additionally, in Au­gust 2016, we approved the development of a Short Term Master Plan by an architectural firm that specializes in recreation cen­ters and community centers. This Short Term Master Plan will consist of a Schematic De­sign that will establish an overall conceptual design for the Community Center and will further provide the needed support documentation to be used by the Township to apply for grant monies for repairs, upgrades, and renovations at the Community Center. Re­cently, we have applied for the Local Share Account (LSA) grant for the purpose of fund­ing renovations at the Com­munity Center. We should know by the end of this year or by the beginning of 2017 if we have been awarded this grant. Furthermore, we are pleased to announce that the Intergovernmental Coopera­tion agreement between Inde­pendence Township and Hope­well Township to work to­gether to administer, main­tain, and operate the Commu­nity Center for the collective benefit of our respective resi­dents has been approved and adopted. The Community Center is an asset that jointly we hope to develop into a fa­cility that offers a wide range of activities to better serve both Townships’ residents.

During the past summer months we have also continued our focus on the development of the Independence Township Community Park (Community Park). At our August 2016 Town­ship monthly meeting bids were opened for the Phase I construc­tion project of the Community Park. The bids were reviewed by the landscape architect of the Community Park, Pashek Associ­ates. After the review process, which included the evaluation of all bid values, Pashek Associates determined that the bids came in too high for the amount of work required, and recommended clarifications and minor changes to bid specifications and that the Township rebid for the Phase I construction of the Community Park. Therefore, based upon the above mentioned recommenda­tion, there will be a delay in the beginning of Phase I construc­tion. In our continued efforts to consistently acquire funding for the Community Park develop­ment, we have applied for a De­partment of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) grant and a Greenways, Trails, and Recreation Program grant. We are currently waiting to hear if the Township has been awarded these grants.

As we enter the final months of the 2016 year, we will con­tinue our commitment to serve our residents to the best of our abilities—to serve with dedica­tion to improve the Township and to improve the quality of life of all residents.

We hope that everyone takes time to enjoy the visual splendor of the autumn foliage, as well as the special events and festivals that are unique to the autumn season. Since this is the last quarterly newsletter of the 2016 year, we also at this time, extend to everyone our warmest wishes for a most joyous and blessed Thanksgiv­ing and Christmas holidays, and close this message with the fol­lowing quote by philosophical essayist, novelist, poet, and artist, Khalil Gibran:

Giving of Ourselves

“You give but little when you give of your posses­sions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give”

Cordially yours,

Thomas Jennings, Chairman

Louis Brandenburg, Jr., Vice-Chairman

Joyce McKenzie