James Rada Jr.
(6/2011) The April 16 storm that dropped more than 4 inches of rain on the Borough of Carroll Valley caused so much damage that the borough is applying for disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
The amount of assistance that the borough is seeking is $153,691.04 to cover all the extra costs that the borough incurred because of the storm and the flooding that it caused.
"Needless to say, it was a bad one," said Borough Manager Dave Hazelett.
He pointed out that long-time residents had told him that they had never seen flooding so bad in the borough. Weeks after the storm, sections of Cardinal Trail were closed because the flood waters had undermined a pipe making the road above unsafe. Most of Creek View Trail was still without asphalt and a home on Blue Spruce had to be condemned.
Carroll Valley has largest increase in residents among county boroughs
According to U.S. Census numbers, more people moved into Carroll Valley between 2000 and 2010 than any other borough in the county. The census shows that 585 people moved into Carroll Valley during that time, which is more than the population of Fairfield, PA.
"We’re the borough that most people came to (who came to Adams County)," said Carroll Valley Mayor Ron Harris.
Percentagewise, Carroll Valley saw growth of 17.8 percent. That is greater than the state, county or the two larger boroughs in Adams County. Carroll Valley also remains the third-largest borough behind Gettysburg and Littlestown, though the gap with both is shrinking.
The census also shows that Adams County had 101,407 residents in 2010, topping 100,000 for the first time with 11.1 percent growth. Fairfield remains the smallest borough in the county with 507 residents and 4.3 percent growth.
Reassessment impact yet to be felt by Borough
While Carroll Valley residents are still reeling from property reassessment that increased by a factor of six in some cases, that true impact of that change has not been felt yet at the county budget level.
While there is concern that some non-resident property owners may simply abandon their parcels rather than paying higher taxes, there is little the borough can do. Council President John Van Volkenburgh said during the May 10 council meeting, "As a municipality, we have no standing in these personal things."
If the properties become three years delinquent in their property taxes, then they can be sold at a sheriff’s sale. If no one chooses to purchase them, they become county property.
Borough Manager Dave Hazlett said the impact will not be felt until next year’s budget. He has been trying to connect parcel owners who live outside the borough and want to get rid of their parcels with possible buyers who have adjoining parcels. Those people may not be interested in taking on another parcel, but sometimes they are.
"We have a lot of bankruptcy properties in the borough now," Hazlet also noted. "That’s a new problem for us."
As of the May 10 meeting, 21 parcels in Carroll Valley were bank-owned.
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