Fawn, Harrison have yet to settle border dispute

October 6, 2018

Harrison recently paved a portion of Echowood Drive but stopped short of the road’s end because the township says that portion of the road is in Fawn, leaving both township’s unsure of where the border actually is.

Fawn officials say the border issue with Harrison remains unresolved and ongoing.

Fawn Supervisors Chairman Dave Montanari said he and Solicitor Steve Yakopec met with Harrison officials last week to discuss where the east-west boundary between the two townships is.

Harrison is claiming that several residences on Maiden Lane, Jolly Hill Drive, Route 908 and Echowood Drive are not in Harrison even though residents have been paying taxes to Harrison for years, he said.

The issue came to light when Harrison this year repaved all but a small portion of Echowood.

When those residents called Harrison to find out why, they were told they live in Fawn and to call Fawn officials about it.

Fawn officials looked at the situation and found three different boundaries from three different sources -- Allegheny County, PennDOT and the federal government, Montanari said.

He said that Harrison, for some reason, shifted the known boundary farther east, giving Fawn about 10 residential properties it never had before.

After the meeting with Harrison officials last week, Montanari said they were supposed to locate “monuments” -- markers designating the border that show work crews where to stop putting down new paving.

“The conclusion was that Harrison Township would produce those monuments. But they can’t be found,” Montanari said.

Harrison Commissioners President Bill Heasley said the township’s engineer found the monuments years ago, but was going to try to locate them again.

Heasley said the engineer has not yet been able to try to do that, and he didn’t know when he would.

Meanwhile, Montanari said Yakopec is working with Fawn’s engineer, Senate Engineering, in researching records for information on where the boundary was set when Harrison was split off from Fawn back in the 1800s.

According to Montanari, there is one residence on Echowood that has always been considered to be in Fawn and the road was not paved in front of it. He said, in 1989, the rest of the residents along Echowood, who were believed to be living in Harrison, joined together to pay for paving the road. Harrison formally accepted it the following year and has maintained it ever since.

“Harrison adopted it up to the Fawn line,” Montanari said.

Tax records from residents indicate their street is in Harrison, he said.

“There are a lot of elderly people there, and they have every receipt and every letter about this,” Montanari said. “Are they (Harrison officials) going to start paying 40-some years worth of tax dollars back to Fawn Township?”

For now, he said Fawn has to pay its solicitor and engineer, with tax dollars that were not budgeted, for their work on a situation that Fawn did not create.

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