Clearfield/Lawrence Consolidation Committee Considering Options After Failed Vote

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield-Lawrence Consolidation Committee is considering its options after a motion from Lawrence Township to put the question about the consolidation died for lack of a second at a meeting Feb. 7.

Following Thursday’s Clearfield Borough Council work session, Committee Co-Chairman Brian Lytle and Borough Operations Manager Leslie Stott were asked what is next for the committee.

“We’re disappointed that thousands of people didn’t get the chance to vote (on this issue),” Lytle said.

“We’re processing the experience to see if a plan can be put in place and to decide if we want to pursue this for the November ballot, or if we’ll put it (the studies) on file. (for future reference),” Stott said.

Lytle and Stott said if the committee chooses to move forward, the Clearfield Borough Council and the Lawrence Township Supervisors will still be required to vote in favor of putting the question of consolidation on the ballot.

If both municipalities agree to put the question on the ballot, then voters in both Clearfield Borough and Lawrence Township will ultimately decide whether the two municipalities will become one municipality, governed under a home-rule charter.

The Clearfield Borough Council voted in favor of putting the consolidation question on the ballot at the Jan. 19 meeting.

According to previously published GANT News articles, both Clearfield Borough and Lawrence Township have been “red flagged” as municipalities, which could become “financially destressed,” under Act 47.

If one or both municipalities fall into the financially destressed category, the state government, under the Department of Community and Economic Development, will step in and take control. 

Taxes and spending will no longer be under control of the residents. The state will decide how much taxes residents must pay, what services they will receive and which services will be cut. These decisions will no longer be made on a local level.

According to previous articles, talks of a consolidation began in October of 2015. The borough received an Early Intervention grant through DCED. The borough used the grant money to hire the Pennsylvania Economy League to perform a feasibility study and to work with a committee of representatives who live and or work in Clearfield Borough and Lawrence Township. The findings of the committee and a draft of the potential home rule charter were presented at public meetings.

For additional information and GANT News articles concerning the consolidation process visit here.

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