York Town Square

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It’s a long shot, but plan calls for just York County, Pa., and maybe 72 villages

Lewisberry United Methodist Church, in the northern York County borough of the same name, celebrated its 225th anniversary in 2006. Here, Circuit Rider Freeborn Garrettson, right, played by reenactor Milton Loyer lays a hand on Matthew Brenneman, while he shares recollections of his first travels and preaching in Lewisberry in 1781. A reason given against mergers of boroughs and townships is that a sense of community in the smaller municipality, such as anniversary celebrations, will be watered down. (See additional photo below.) Also of interest: Northern York area strawberry part of Neapolitan county and Lewisberry project uncovers hidden American Indian mural and Nobel laureate called York County home.

State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, D-Berks, has bravely put forth a proposal to implode the hundreds of townships and boroughs around the state – and perhaps cities, too – to one per county.
The government body standing at the end of the day would be York County government.
That means that the county’s 35 townships and 36 boroughs would be reduced to or subsumed by one York County government.
A legislative analyst said cities like York initially would be included in the mix, too, although one line of thinking would give the county the ability to assign the city to a type of subsidiary status.
The sponsor even admits this would be a long shot, but it will get people talking… .

Steve Stewart of Fairview Township opens the envelope containing items from the 1906 time capsule. In those days, Lewisberry United Methodist Church was known as the Methodist Episcopal Church of Lewisberry. Photos courtesy of York Daily Record/Sunday News.
So, short of such a colossal forced merger, what’s the history of mergers by York County municipalites since the last one, Jacobus, was formed in 1929? (Jacobus, formerly New Paradise and Paradise, was carved out of Springfield Township. Nearby Loganville was formed in 1852, also out of Springfield Township, which itself was formed in 1835.)
When addressing the merger of municipalities to reduce costs and end duplication of services, York countians traditionally have answered no, as found in York Daily Record/Sunday News files:

In 2009, Newberry Township officials asked the boroughs of Lewisberry, Goldsboro and York Haven if their council members would be interested in talking about a municipal merger. Their answer was no.
And in 2008, East Manchester Township and Mount Wolf participated in a merger study until the borough opted out last year. Manchester borough also had been involved early on but dropped out.
Going further back, 40 years ago, Mount Wolf and Manchester boroughs talked about merging, but voters rejected the proposal. The proposed name became an issue. Would it be Wolfchester, Near York or Gemini? Also considered: Mount Chester, Petite Cities, New York and Aenda. Manchester Heights emerged as the favorite, but the proposed consolidation did not interest the electorate.
And in the mid-1990s, there was a failed attempt to create a new borough, called Chilton, in Monaghan Township.

Also of interest:
– For information about the founding date and geographical size of York County’s townships and boroughs, visit York County’s Web site.
Northern York County Regional Police early responder to call for law enforcement cooperation.