Fairview, Wright Townships Face Diverse Issues In 2017

Fairview Township had some significant endings in 2017, with a longtime police chief and supervisor both retiring, and with the Mountaintop Hose Company holding its final bazaar. Officials have taken these changes in stride and are looking forward to 2018, with the police department well-run by new Chief Phillip Holbrook and with the fire department finding other ways to meet its budget needs.

In Wright Township, which was named one of the safest municipalities in the state, the relationship between both police and public officials with local children was once again strengthened. Meanwhile, the parks and recreation committee, celebrating the township approval of building a local dog park, has been working nonstop to raise funds for that project, hoping to break ground in 2018.

Fairview’s Farewells

In April, Fairview Township said goodbye to its longtime police chief, Joseph Intelicato, who retired. He was praised by many for his dedication to the township, having been on the police force for 44 years. He spoke to The Eagle earlier about his long career and the drastic changes to both Mountaintop and policework that he’s seen. Intelicato stressed that his success was built on the dedication and support he’s received from his fellow officers.

Phillip Holbrook, who was promoted from Detective Sergeant to Chief and replaced Intelicato, reiterated the sentiment that Fairview is safe because of its excellent police force.

In October, the Fairview Police underwent one final change as Corporal Dennis Monk was promoted to Detective Sergeant. For years, Monk has been a role model for the youth of Fairview Township, teaching the DARE program in the local elementary school and speaking with groups like the cub scouts. “It’s quite an honor,” Monk related of his promotion. “Me and my family are very happy, we’re very excited. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The Fairview Board of Supervisors also said goodbye to longtime Supervisor Russ Marhold, as his last meeting was on Dec. 5. “We’re saddened to say goodbye today. Russ has served this community in various capacities for 18 years,” stated Supervisor Robert Orloski. “He’s brought to us a wealth of knowledge and a wealth of common sense.”

The other major ending in Fairview Township this year was to the annual Mountaintop Hose Company No. 1 bazaar. After 44 years, the last bazaar was held in July. Lack of volunteers, attendees, and profitability were cited as reasons for ending the bazaar and, while hose company members found it a difficult decision to shut down the bazaar, after exploring many options, they found the choice inevitable.

Without the bazaar, the impact on the hose company financially would be significant, as 35 percent of its budget came from the bazaar’s profits. The fire department is completely dependent on fundraisers and donations to operate and the loss of the bazaar, along with a steady decrease in monetary donations sent to the fire department by residents, led to the exploration of a fire-services tax.

Fairview supervisors decided to pass the fire tax and it will be in effect in 2018. The tax will increase a resident’s mileage by .0003, meaning that, for every $100,000 of assessed value on a property, the homeowner will pay an additional township tax of $30.

Following in the footsteps of action that Wright Township supervisors took in 2016, Fairview added a new ordinance this year that outlines property-maintenance standards for township residences. Under the ordinance, the standards required for physical safety and sanitation are outlined, making a law that avoids unkempt properties from turning into health hazards.

Issues have come up in the past where the zoning officer has experienced a limited range of power as far as enforcing upkeep of properties, explained Fairview Attorney Donald Karpowich. The new ordinance, he related, “will give the zoning officer more tools in his arsenal.” Wright Township enacted its ordinance after similar issues, particularly with township