Penn Township Westmoreland County was established as a Township in 1855 and is a Township of the First Class. Penn Township was the next to the last Township to be created in Westmoreland County. It became a First Class Township by vote of the Township electorate in 1957 becoming effective January 1, 1958.
Penn Township is a “bedroom community” where most residents who have jobs commute to employment centers nearby. What makes Penn Township a great place to live, invest in, or raise a family is its location within the excellent Penn-Trafford School District. Other factors include close access to jobs, many regional amenities of the greater Pittsburgh – Laurel Highlands. Moreover, residents enjoy good local government services, emergency services, youth recreation organizations, parks and recreation system and public library. Since 1855, the people of Penn Township have maintained a local government worthy of such a great place to live.
The Township is the largest municipality of the Penn-Trafford School District. It is situated in the west-central area of Westmoreland County along the Allegheny County line. The Municipal building in Harrison City is roughly eight (8) miles west of Greensburg and twenty-five (25) miles by car east of downtown Pittsburgh. The Township was incorporated on February 23, 1855, following the development of the Pennsylvania Railroad and came from land formerly in Hempfield, North Huntingdon and Franklin Townships. The Township has a total area of 30 square miles and maintains 100 miles of roads. The Township is part of the Turtle Creek Watershed.
At its founding the Township was roughly forty (40) square miles. After becoming a Township, many acres of developed land have been subtracted from the Township to create Penn Borough, Jeannette and Manor Borough.
The 2010 Census placed the Penn Township’s total population at 20,005 representing a 2.1% increase since the 2000 US Census. This continues a trend of population increase for the Township. Since 1960, the Township’s population has increased by nearly ninety percent (86.9%) when the total reported by the Census was 10,702. Between 1990 and 2000 Penn Township was one of the fastest growing Townships in western Pennsylvania adding 3,646 residents (22.9% growth). However, according to the American Community Survey of the US Census, the Penn Township 2017 estimated population was only 19,384.
Penn Township strives to make for a safe, attractive, active and healthy community appealing to families, individuals and businesses who choose to make investments of their wealth and time in the Township. The Penn Township staff, working under the direction of the elected and appointed officials is a caring, talented and hardworking group of individuals.
“Protect people and property” The Penn Township governmental unit exists to protect people and property of residents, businesses, institutions, organizations and visitors. This is accomplished through the equitable and efficient provision of safe roads, storm water management systems, community based policing, recreation areas and while fostering the safe and orderly development and long-term future growth of the Penn Township community.
People matter and local government exists to protect and serve.
- All reasonable efforts are to be made to promote safe roads, neighborhoods, and schools as well as commercial, business and recreational areas.
- Long-term decision making is the best way to steward the taxpayer’s purse in the present and the future.
- With limited resources, local government seeks to do the most good for the most people of the Penn Township community.
- Meaningful and inclusive public participation is essential for good decision making.
- All the township does must be fair, equitable and just.
- Actions taken by the Township should seek to enhance the well-being of residents, the land, water and air of the Township.
Desired Outcomes of a full-service local government
SAFE: Protect people, businesses and property of Penn Township through the provision of public safety services including 24-7 police protection, emergency management, the support of volunteer fire protection services and ambulance services;
WELL MAINTAINED: Protect the health and safety of Penn Township residents through the provision of public works maintaining safe road network, efficient storm water management systems, safe attractive parks, Township buildings and facilities; solid waste residential sanitation and recycling services;
EFFICIENT & PRODUCTIVE: Protect the safety and health of the community through the provision of long-term land use planning, zoning protection, solid waste landfill inspections, sewage facilities planning, storm water planning legal services and general government and administrative operations;
ACCOMMODATING: The infrastructure needs of the Township to support businesses, visitors and residents through the provision of plentiful, convenient and safe transportation systems, utility networks and well maintained safe public facilities;
FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE: With utmost care wisely utilize resources and meet the financial commitments of the Township in the short and long-term debt service and providing quality services without unnecessary tax increases;
ACCOUNTABLE: Ensure the public is kept up to date and informed through available and responsive administrative services including an “open door” policy, timely “Right to Know” responses, informative and easy to use Township website and innovative efforts to communicate.
HIGH QUALITY OF LIFE: Partner with others seeking to ensure that Penn Township remains a great place to live, work and play.