Sustainable Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Municipal League are proud to announce Chambersburg Borough has earned Gold in the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification! Through this sustainability performance program, Chambersburg has demonstrated such sustainable policies and practices as generating their own power supply, promoting land-use, and neighborhood preservation. Chambersburg, the County Seat of Franklin County, is a full-service municipality, offering all municipal services and utilities to the town. It is the only municipality in Pennsylvania to do so. Chambersburg provides natural gas, electricity, water, sewer, parking and trash for the residents and businesses throughout most of the Borough. It runs Pennsylvania’s only municipal natural gas utility, owned and operated by the citizens of the Borough. Chambersburg is also Pennsylvania’s largest municipal electric utility and the only one that owns and operates generation stations, including one that harnesses methane gas from a nearby landfill. Because these authorities and utilities are under local control, rates, policies, etc., are directed locally by the Chambersburg Town Council.
Operating under the Pennsylvania Borough Code, Chambersburg employs over 300 full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers to serve the 20,500 citizens and businesses of the town. This allows the Borough to not only provide all utilities, but to also operate their own police force, storm sewer system, a combination paid and volunteer fire department, emergency services, a recreation department, municipal parking program, a residential rental inspection program, and an active public works program. Those programs include a downtown revitalization effort and a neighborhood preservation program working to increase the town’s sustainability.
Phil Wolgemuth, Assistant to the Borough Manager, said, “The Borough works closely with Shippensburg University Center for Land Use and Sustainability to support science-based solutions to interdisciplinary sustainability challenges. The Center’s vision is to become a nationally recognized interdisciplinary center that leverages the expertise of Shippensburg University faculty, staff, and students to promote sustainable land use, economic development, and communities at local, regional, and global scales. The goals of the Center are to promote applied interdisciplinary research on issues related to land use and sustainability, to support affordable, sustainable solutions in our local, regional, and global communities, and to create professionals.”