CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – On election day this past Tuesday residents of DuBois and sandy township voted in favor of consolidating the two municipalities. And now that the long-standing question has finally been answered it’s now on the town’s leaders to move forward with how the future third-class city will operate.
Tuesday’s vote was the first step in a long process before the third-class City of DuBois is officially incorporated. It came as a surprise to most, even, Sam Mollica, a Sandy Township Supervisor who led the charge to get consolidation on the ballot.
“I did not think it would pass, and I was pleasantly surprised when I did get the results,” Mollica said
A majority vote from both sides was needed for the question to pass, and it did, by the slimmest of margins on the Sandy township side, passing by just 33 votes. One of the first steps in working together is managers must finalize budget proposals ahead of a November 15 budget hearing.
“We have to have our budget finalized so we can send it out to the public for public comment so that something we’re working on right now, ” said Shawn Arbaugh, the Sandy Township manager.
Many steps must be completed in the coming months and years. The soonest consolidation could be fully implemented is November 2025, and the election of new municipal officers could come as soon as November 2023.
“We’re not two communities that are arguing anymore. We came together as one and will work together as one to bring as much business and industry as we can,” said Ed Walsh, mayor of the City of DuBois.
Another detail to note, with these combined entities, will come re-organized police and fire departments, Arbaugh said that larger police forces could allow them to introduce specialized departments to help focus on drug issues in the area.
“We’re going to hit some bumps along the way but I think we’re going to easily get through those bumps and make this just a better place overall to live and work,” Arbaugh said.
Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter for the latest local news, weather, and community events that matter to you.