Prairie Township encourages community pride

By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

Officials in Prairie Township are asking residents to show community pride as they raise awareness about things they are doing to bring the community together during the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the items discussed, at a recent board meeting, was the bicentennial shirts celebrating the 200th anniversary of the township. The township sold these shirts in 2019 to celebrate the township and is encouraging residents to wear them with pride to show they support the township.

The township also still plans to move forward with its Hometown Hero Banner Program. The program will display banners with the names of current service members, veterans and those who died in the line of duty while serving the United States Armed Forces. The banners will be displayed from mid-May to Labor Day on the streetlamps along West Broad Street.

“This is a great way to celebrate our local service members and show community pride,” said Rob Peters, township administrator. “During these difficult times, this is a great way to come together as a community and celebrate the residents who make our community unique and have made sacrifices for all of us.”

The program is still scheduled to take place, however depending on printing delays because of COVID-19, it could be delayed.

The Prairie Township trustees also approved a motion to continue with the 2020 Sidewalk Program and approved advancing $100,000 from the general fund into the program fund. These funds will be used to pay the contractor to repair to area sidewalks.

“The program has taken place for over 15 years and provides township property owners a 10-year interest free loan to repair their sidewalks,” Peters said. “The loans are added to the property taxes of residents and paid off over a decade. However, if a resident moves, then they must pay the remaining balance before the sale of their home can be completed.”

Previously the program was voluntary, but in recent years the township added a component to the program where they make residents replace sidewalks that are dangerous. Also, residents can report sidewalks that need to be repaired.

Residents have complained for years about being unfairly targeted or overcharged to repair their sidewalks, asking if they can instead fix their own sidewalks. However, the trustees have said if a resident’s sidewalk is flagged, they have to go through the approved township contractor to fix it.

For 2020 the township again chose Berkshire Boys as the contractor to repair sidewalks. The township has chosen this contractor for several years.

Last year, the township also enacted a minimum cost per address of $450, something that also that didn’t sit well with residents.

The township road department evaluates sidewalks in the township to determine which ones need repaired, each year they focus on different streets and continue to identify new streets each year.

For more information on events in Prairie Township, visit www.prairietownship.org.

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