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HISTORY OF JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP

Jefferson Township was created in 1854 (along with some of our neighboring townships) by an Act of the Legislature. Jefferson Township is one of 33 Townships in Butler County and one of 1,457 townships of the 2nd class in Pennsylvania. The township “building/garage” used to be located at Jefferson Center near the one-lane bridge on Saxonburg Rd. In 1971 the new municipal building was dedicated. It and several other buildings are located along Great Belt Rd. between Saxonburg Rd. and Rt. 356. Jefferson Township is 14,840 acres or about 25 sq. miles. Our road department maintains about 47 miles of road. Roads maintained by the State are: Dinnerbell, Rt. 356 (Freeport Rd/North Pike Rd.), Rockdale Rd., Saxonburg (Butler) Rd., part of Neupert Rd. (between Saxonburg Borough and Winfield Rd.) and Winfield Road. Our first and so far only, traffic light was installed on Rt. 356 at Marwood Rd. using funds from the Community Development Block Grant program.  

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Jefferson Township has 3 full-time road men, a full-time secretary/treasurer, a 3- member Board of Supervisors, a 9-member planning commission, a 3-member building code appeals board with an alternate member, and a 7-member recreation committee. 

VOTING DISTRICTS

Jefferson Township was split into two voting districts in 1995. Residents living east of Saxonburg Rd./north of Hannahstown vote at Jefferson Township I, which is the municipal building at 157 Great Belt Rd. Residents living west of Saxonburg/south of Hannahstown Rd. vote at Jefferson Township II, which is the Jefferson Grange at 211 Bullcreek Rd. (near the intersection with West Jefferson Rd.) Call the Butler County Election Bureau to register or to verify your voting location (724-284-5309.) Those who vote at the Jefferson Grange may have noticed the Oct. 2013 renovation to the handicapped accessible ramp. This renovation was done using some of the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds allocated to Jefferson Township. 

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CENSUS AND TAXES

The 2000 Census resulted in a population count of 5,690. The 2010 Census resulted in a loss of 186, making our population 5504. The Township Real Estate tax rate (which has not changed in over 30 years) was 1.33 mills until 2009. In 2009, it was reduced to 1 mill to accommodate the County of Butler’s assessment ratio increase from 75% to 100% of the 1969 values. This reduction is actually ‘income neutral’ to the Township. The 2019 Township Real Estate Tax remains at 1 mill. The 2018 County Real Estate Tax is 24.628 mills. The 2018-19 School-Year Real Estate Tax is 94.275 mills. The bulk of our annual income comes from the 1% Earned Income Tax and the $52.00 Local Services Tax, which includes the $5.00 paid to the School District. The State mandated that all Earned Income Tax be collected on a ‘county-wide basis’, so the Earned Income and Local Services Taxes are now collected by BERKHEIMER Tax Administrator. They can be reached at 866-701-7206 or www.hab-inc.com. The local office is at 103 South Duffy Rd., Butler, PA 16002 – 724-282-0377. The Jefferson Township registration code is #100702. The Township adopted ‘cable franchise ordinances’ in 2008 with Consolidated Communications and Armstrong Utilities. This has helped increase the annual income without raising the real estate taxes. The budgeted 2019 combined income totals over 1.3 million dollars. 

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RECREATION

The 80+ acre Laura J. Doerr Park is located in Jefferson Township between Rt. 356 and Hannahstown Rd. It was originally set up to be under the control of the Southeast Butler County Parks Assn. It was a multi-municipal park with members appointed from Clinton Township, Winfield Township, Jefferson Township & Saxonburg Borough. It was gradually disbanded and in 2001 was finally conveyed to just Jefferson Township. There are four organizations licensed to use the park. The Southeast Butler County Pool Association, the Saxonburg Area Baseball Association, the Saxonburg Area Girls’ Softball Association, and the Knoch Area Soccer Association. These four organizations have representation on the Jefferson Township Recreation Committee along with three members ‘at large’ from the Township. Go to ‘Recreation' on the home page bar for links to the four organizations.

In 2006 the Phase I of the Pool Renovation was completed using a Dept. Of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Grant and Community Development Block (CDBG) funds PLUS local donations and township funds. The Recreation Committee and Pool Association applied to DCNR for a Phase II grant for 2007, which was approved and Phase II of the Pool Renovations was completed in 2009. The Butler County Parks & Recreation Department administers these DCNR grants. A “master site plan” grant was also awarded in 2006 and the study was completed in November 2008 (10 years ago.) It is hoped that a new 'master site plan' will be completed before or in early 2020. Upon completion, the Township will apply again for DCED funding (grant) to pave the walking trail in the Laura J. Doerr Park.

In 2013, a new ‘gazebo’ was built in the area between the pool and Hannahstown Rd. Funds were donated from Penn United Technology in honor of the late Carl Jones and in memory of the late Township Supervisor/Chair., James R. Jones.

In 2014, the Township was awarded another DCNR Grant which will be combined with CDBG funding for a $200,000 project at the park for handicapped accessible bleachers, sidewalks, and walking trail. This project was completed in December 2015.

The Butler Freeport Trail runs through a portion of Jefferson Township. The trail is managed by the Butler Freeport Community Trail Council. Their address is P.O. Box 533, Saxonburg, PA 16056 or you can visit www.butlerfreeporttrail.org for more information.

The Cooper Cabin, a 185 year-old log house is located in Jefferson Township on Cooper Rd. Contact the Butler County Historical Society for more information at 724-283-8116. Their website address is www.butlerhistory.com.

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AGRICULTURAL (AG) SECURITY AREA

Jefferson Township formed one of the first ‘agricultural security areas’ in Butler County. First authorized by the Supervisors in December 1991; it was renewed in 1998. Al Maurhoff, Danielle Sedlak, Ed Thiele, and Bruce Walker, and Supervisor Lois Rankin are the current members of the Agricultural Security Area Advisory Committee. They completed a 7- year review in 2013 with approximately 4,337 total acreage. 

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LIBRARY

Jefferson Township donation to the South Butler Community Library (previously called Saxonburg Area Library) was budgeted at $7,500 in 2016. Contact the library, located at 240 W. Main St., Saxonburg, PA 16056 at 724-352-4810 or go to their website www.bcfls.org/saxonburg-public-library/ for hours and membership information.  

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LOCAL BUSINESS

Penn United Technology, Concordia Lutheran Ministries and the South Butler Co. School District are the three largest employers in the township. But, we have lots of other businesses that can tend or mend your pets, fix your car, bus you around, repair or build your house, heal your aches and pains, fix your teeth, exercise your body, and process your deer. We have a few food establishments to ‘feed your stomachs’ and many churches to ‘feed your souls’. Some of these businesses have sponsored the 2014 newsletter and directory, as well as past directories, and we urge you to patronize these businesses.  

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SCHOOLS

As of the fall of 2002, ALL of the South Butler Schools are located in Jefferson Township along Knoch Rd. and Dinnerbell Rd. The South Butler County School District High School (Knoch High), South Butler Middle School and South Butler Elementary School were already there, but with the closing of Jefferson Elementary, Winfield Elementary, Clinton Elementary and Penn Twp. Elementary came the new South Butler Primary Center. The previous South Butler Elementary has become the South Butler Intermediate Elementary School. Their website address is www.southbutler.org.


The old Jefferson Elementary was sold to Summit Presbyterian Church and houses their private school. The old Winfield Elementary was sold to Cabot United Methodist Church and houses their church, Sunday school, and food bank. The old Penn Township Elementary was sold to the North Main St. Church of God and now houses the Penn Christian Academy. Two other area churches (St. Luke’s on Hannahstown Rd. and Calvary Baptist on Great Belt Rd) also offer private schools. There are also two monasteries in Jefferson Township: St. Elias off Dinnerbell Rd. and Holy Trinity on Mushrush Rd. Besides the Cabot United Methodist Church, there are food-banks at “The Lighthouse” on Rt. 8 in Penn Township; Summit Presbyterian Church on Saxonburg Road; and Saxonburg Presbyterian Church on Main St. in Saxonburg. They provide services based on need and location. 

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PA UNIFORM CONSTRUCTION CODE

 In 2004, all 2,566 municipalities across Pennsylvania had to decide to administer the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code themselves or let the state do it. Jefferson Township chose to administer it themselves. The code established minimum uniform construction standards for most building projects and they require a building permit. Contact the township office to verify the need for a building permit for any project you are considering. 

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SUBDIVISION AND LAND DEVELOPMENT

Jefferson Township has had regulations governing subdivision and land development within its borders for over 25 years, with subsequent revisions over the years. A subdivision is basically a division of land. A land development is basically any improvement to land or property (including but not limited to structures) other than a single family dwelling. Both Subdivision Plans and Land Development Plans must be prepared by a certified surveyor or  Jeff.twp. highlights – updated 1-21-19 engineer and must be presented to the Jefferson Township Planning Commission, the Butler County Planning Commission (please note that the County of Butler adopted review fees that took effect in 2009), and finally to the Jefferson Township Board of Supervisors for approval. These plans must be accompanied by either a Subdivision Application and/or Land Development Application (available at the Township office) and in most cases sewage facilities modules, septic testing, storm water management proposals/studies, etc. must also accompany a plan before approval can be given. 


If you plan to make improvements to your lot which is used for OTHER THAN A RESIDENTIAL single family dwelling, duplex or out-building, your improvements are considered “land development.” Improvements include, but are not limited to: grading, paving, parking areas, curbs, gutters, storm sewers and drains, improvements to existing watercourses, sidewalks, crosswalks, street signs, monuments, water supply facilities, sewage disposal facilities, storm water control facilities, and buildings. Disturbing more than one (1) acre of ground requires permitting. Contact the Butler County Conservation District at 724-284-5270. A copy of the Subdivision and Land Development Regulations is available for purchase at the Township office for a fee. This booklet also includes ordinances on building, floodplains, sewage, streets and sidewalks, and storm water! PLEASE obtain a 'Subdivision and Land Development' application from the Township! 

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