Halifax Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
|Halifax Township, Pennsylvania|
Location in Dauphin County and state of Pennsylvania.
|• Total||31.8 sq mi (82.3 km2)|
|• Land||27.6 sq mi (71.6 km2)|
|• Water||4.1 sq mi (10.7 km2)|
|• Density||126/sq mi (48.6/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
Halifax Township is in northwestern Dauphin County and is bordered by the Susquehanna River to the northwest, Berry Mountain to the north, and Peters Mountain to the south. The borough of Halifax, a separate municipality, is near the center of the township. Unincorporated communities in the township include Powells Valley and Matamoras in the south.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 31.8 square miles (82.3 km2), of which 27.6 square miles (71.6 km2) is land and 4.1 square miles (10.7 km2), or 12.99%, is water. Most of the surface water in the township is part of the Susquehanna River, which averages 1 mile (1.6 km) wide in this area. Powell Creek crosses the southern part of the township, and Armstrong Creek crosses the center, flowing into the Susquehanna north of Halifax borough.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,329 people, 1,261 households, and 978 families residing in the township. The population density was 119.3 people per square mile (46.1/km²). There were 1,327 housing units at an average density of 47.5/sq mi (18.4/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 98.35% White, 0.33% African American, 0.54% Asian, 0.27% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.51% of the population.
There were 1,261 households, out of which 35.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.0% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.4% were non-families. 18.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the township the population was spread out, with 26.1% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 25.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.0 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $45,913, and the median income for a family was $50,568. Males had a median income of $35,594 versus $28,716 for females. The per capita income for the township was $19,749. About 6.8% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.3% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.
Residents of Halifax Township may attend the local, public schools operated by Halifax Area School District which provides taxpayer funded preschool, full day kindergarten through 12th grade. The District's enrollment declined to 1,077 students K-12 in 2013. Halifax Area School District ranked 314th out of 500 public schools for academic achievement of its pupils in 2013. By 2015, HASD's statewide academic achievement ranking rose to 239th. Halifax Area High School is the sole high school operated by the district. In 2008 it was reported that HASD spent $1,158.44 per pupil on administration. This ranked 26th out of 500 Pennsylvania school districts for spending on administration. A 2007 state study of potential school district consolidations found that residents of Halifax Area School District would save an estimated $1,189 per pupil by consolidating management services with neighboring Millersburg Area School District. In 2009 it was reported that Halifax Area and Millersburg Area School Districts had completed a study to review options for the districts from a complete merger to increased sharing of educational opportunities and facilities. The Halifax Area and Millersburg Area school boards voted not to merge. They chose to pursue increased opportunities for sharing and use of common facilities.
Halifax Township residents may also apply to attend Infinity Charter School located on 51 Banks St, Harrisburg, the Capital Area School for the Arts located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and any of the Commonwealth's 13 public cyber charter schools at no additional cost to their parents. The Halifax Area School District is required to pay the charter school and cyber charter school tuition for residents who attend these public schools. By Commonwealth law, if the District provides transportation for its own students, then the District must provide transportation to any school that lies within 10 miles of its borders. Residents may also seek admission for their school aged child to any other public school district. When accepted for admission, the student's parents are responsible for paying an annual tuition fee which is set for each public school district by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In 2012, the tuition fees for Halifax Area School District were: Elementary School - $9,225, High School - $11,629.
Capital Area Intermediate Unit #15 provides a wide variety of services to children living in its region which includes Halifax Township. Early screening, special educations services, speech and hearing therapy and many other services like driver education are available. Services for children during the preschool years are provided without cost to their families when the child is determined to meet eligibility requirements. CAIU15 also operates Capital Area Online Learning Association which is an online learning program operated in association with the local public schools, including Halifax Area School District. Armstrong Valley Christian School is one of several local, private schools that are also available to the Township's residents.
Halifax Township residents have access to Harrisburg Area Community College. People residing in Halifax fund HACC in part through an annual payment made by Halifax Area School District using local school tax dollars. Twenty two local public school districts are required to contribute annually to HACC regardless of whether any residents are attending the college. Full-time students from these districts, who attend HACC, pay $1,674 for 12 credit hours.
Politics and government
- Board of Supervisors in 2014
- Ken Bechtel, Chairman
- Brad Bruner, Vice Chairman
- Ken Hoover
- Randy Paul
- Gary Shultz
Melinda Warfel is the elected Tax Collector.
The township has the following appointed governing boards:
- Planning Commission (5 members)
- Halifax Area Recreation Authority
- Halifax Area Water and Sewer Authority
- Dauphin County Commissioners
The three member, locally elected Board of Commissioners is the legislative and administrative body of county government. Each commissioner is elected to a four-year term.
- Jeff Haste
- Mike Pries
- George P. Hartwick, III
- State level
- Susan C. Helm - state representative, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 104
- Rob Teplitz - state senator, Pennsylvania Senate, District 15
- Federal level
- Matt Cartwright, Democrat, Pennsylvania's 17th congressional district
- Pat Toomey, Republican, US senator
- Robert Casey, Jr., Democrat, US senator (senior)
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