Boundary dispute deserves mediation, not outright lawsuit

At the very worst, we hope the supervisors of Woodward Township consider mediation rather than an outright lawsuit over the ongoing boundary dispute with Dunnstable Township.

After all, you are “neighbors.” At question is a strip of land about 1,100-feet wide along Woodward’s eastern boundary – stretching from the West Branch of the Susquehanna River north up Guardlock Drive and Cider Press Road – that has been under dispute since 2009.

That means not a lot of tax revenue is at stake for both townships in the short-run, but yes … in the long run, and not to mention any future natural gas impact fee funds.

In February 2016, The Express reported on a meeting among the supervisors of both townships to discuss the boundary line.

The result: The two sides agreed to disagree.

Nothing wrong with that, but going to court means taxpayers will foot more of the bill; Woodward has spent upward of $22,000 so far on the matter, and a lawsuit could mean much more for both municipalities.

Woodward blames mapping done by Clinton County government for the dispute; the county wants no part of it. Woodward has had the boundary surveyed; Dunnstable is considering the same.

Mediation is an alternative to resolving disputes through lawsuits and involves a third-party. Having a rarely used Board of View hear the dispute has been suggested and is encouraging.

It seems the crux of the issue here is boundary maps prior to GIS mapping by the county versus current mapping … previous boundary marks versus current.

Trying to resolve this dispute without costing taxpayers more should be where the end of this dispute starts.