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Plans for citizens petition for potential Sandy, DuBois consolidation

DuBois, PA – One of the Sandy Township Supervisors and another Sandy Township man are hoping to bring back the plans for potentially consolidating the City of DuBois and Sandy Township together.

Supervisor Sam Mollica and Sandy Township resident Barry Abbott spoke about their proposed citizens petition at the DuBois City Council meeting recently.

In order to get a question about consolidation on this November’s ballot, there would need to be two identical petitions for both Sandy and DuBois, with at least 166 people signing the one for DuBois and 219 signing for Sandy Township.

Sandy Township Supervisors recently stopped the planning process for a potential merger with DuBois, with Mollica being the only dissenting vote.

The reasoning was that the survey showed too close of results when residents were asked whether they would support a consolidation. Supervisors said they would rather not spend money on something that Sandy Township residents were not excited to be a part of.

If you’re interested in learning more about the petitions, reach out to Sam Mollica or Barry Abbott.

Listen to the full audio interview with Supervisor Kevin Salandra, Supervisor Sam Mollica, and Sandy Township Manager Shawn Arbaugh (originally recorded and posted June 10, 2021).

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The original story from June 10, 2021, about the Sandy Township Supervisors voting to end the consolidation process.

Sandy Township, PA – Sandy Township Supervisors voted 4-1 to end the process of potentially consolidating with the City of DuBois.

This comes after a phone survey of 318 Sandy Township residents showed what some supervisors thought was just not enough evidence that the general public was excited for a merger. In that survey, 49 percent were in favor of consolidation, 33 percent against, and 18 percent said they were undecided.

It also showed that 80 people were not even aware that a consolidation was being considered.

Although the survey showed more people in favor of the consolidation, it’s unclear how the 18 percent of undecided residents would have voted.

Sam Mollica was the one dissenting vote, saying that Sandy Township should at least get the chance to vote on it.

Kevin Salandra said he voted to discontinue to he was against using tax dollars for something that may not come to fruition.

More than $30,000 was spent earlier this year on a consolidation study done by the Pennsylvania Economy League. Additional money was spent to do this phone survey of Sandy Township residents.

The supervisors who voted against moving forward say it’s not worth spending even more and time if residents are not ready to back a merger. However, Mollica says that other options, such as a “home rule charter” study, would also cost money and there should have at least been the option for residents to vote.

Mollica also says residents could file “citizens petitions” to put the consolidation decision on the ballot, effectively bypassing the Sandy Township Supervisors and DuBois City Council.

We will continue to follow this story and get reactions from residents and the City of DuBois’ side of things as well.

 

The poll questions were as follows, with the following responses:

Do you generally have a positive view on consolidation? 54 percent yes, 31 percent no, 15 percent undecided

Do you believe the plan to consolidate will make the governments more efficient? 52 percent yes, 32 percent no, 16 percent undecided

Do you believe the plan to consolidate will save the residents money? 37 percent yes, 39 percent no, 24 percent undecided

If you had to vote today would you vote to consolidate the two local governments? 49 percent yes, 33 percent no, 18 percent undecided