Council Endorses Utility Service Company, Discusses Possible Border Changes

by | Jan 1, 2012 | By State, HomeServe in the News, Pennsylvania, Water Solutions

Council endorses utility service company, discusses possible border changes
18 January 2012
BY MORGAN YOUNG; Staff writer

Shippensburg Borough Council decided to work with a utility service company offering line warranty packages to residents.

Tuesday night the borough accepted a marketing proposal by Service Line Warranties of America, a Canonsburg-based company that operates under the umbrella of Utility Service
Partners. The proposed arrangement would allow the company to use the town’s logos in advertising and marketing materials that would be sent to residents “from time to time.”

“From everything I’ve found, it’s a good program,” said Shippensburg Borough Manager Earl Parshall. “This particular company has been endorsed by the National League of Cities. I
went to talk to other (towns) and it’s been very successful for them.”

The Borough would receive 10 percent of USP warranty subscriptions collected from residents before the end of the calendar year.

Council members discussed different ideas for the use of the possible new revenue, including establishing an emergency relief fund. It was suggested that the fund would help offset the costs for residents who had to replace a service line unexpectedly.

“People in my ward brought up repeatedly their concerns that several neighbors in their neighborhoods had broken lines in the last few years. And they knew that it was, for lack of a better word, imminent that it would happen to them,” said Councilwoman Kerri Burrows, who presented the fund idea to the board. “I think (service line replacement) is a general concern of residents, at least in the West Ward.”

“I would rather (the company) give the 10 percent less to residents of the borough, than give us the money,” said Councilman Steve Brenize.

“I wouldn’t trust them to take 10 percent off of the customer’s bill,” said Councilman Joe Hockersmith.

No action was taken at this meeting as to how the revenue would be used.

Council also discussed forming a committee to look into the possibility of consolidating the town into one county.

Currently Shippensburg is a part of both Cumberland and Franklin counties, which, according to Parshall, can add another step for the board when trying to run the small town.
“There’s just a lot of different things that we have to do twice,” he said.

According to the Pennsylvania Constitution, the electors of any municipality have the right, by initiative and referendum, to change boundaries by a majority vote of the residents of the participating municipalities, “without the approval of any governing body.”

The committee, being spearheaded by Councilmen Steve Brenize and Jon Baker, will also look at the positive and negative effect of changing to one county or being in two.

“It’s worth looking into,” said Brenize.

Morgan Young can be reached at myoung@shipnewsnow.com and 262-4753, or follow her
on Twitter @ShipNewsGirl.

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