Petition Submitted For DuBois, Sandy Township Voters To Decide In November Whether To Consolidate
Voters in the city of DuBois and nearby Sandy Township will likely get to decide whether to consolidate the two municipalities in November. A petition that will present the choice to voters was submitted to the Clearfield County Elections Office on Tuesday.
In June, Sandy Township’s Board of Supervisors voted four to one against looking into a consolidation plan. They said a survey they conducted did not show enough support to pursue a merger with DuBois.
Sam Mollica, the only township supervisor who voted yes, led the petition to leave the determination to voters instead.
“Our goal for this was not to get people to just want it, to have consolidation,” Mollica said. “We wanted people to have the opportunity to vote, whether yes or no.”
He said while working on gathering signatures for the petition, he saw a surprising amount of support for consolidation. Nearly 600 Sandy Township residents and more than 300 in DuBois signed the petition “within three or four days,” Mollica said.
Proponents said a consolidation would reduce redundancy in services and save taxpayer money. Sandy, population of about 10,500, and DuBois, a city of about 7,500, have fought over water and sewage issues over the years.
A study commissioned by the township said advantages that come with a home rule governing body, which is proposed for the new, combined city, could mean better government services for residents.
“We have common interest here in Dubois and Sandy. We’re already one community now, so I don't see why it would hurt to become one community in reality as far as the government is,” Mollica said.
Those opposed doubt they would see the benefits. Plans for a consolidation have been voted down three times since 1989.