Borough Of Chambersburg
100 South 2nd Street
Chambersburg, PA 17201
Mon - Fri 8am - 5pm
Phone: (717) 264-5151
Fax: (717) 261-3240
The Borough of Chambersburg is a municipal government in southcentral
Pennsylvania committed to the well being of those people who live, work, play and travel in the community.
We will strive to: 1.) furnish such quality service as our citizens want and are willing to pay for; 2. ) manage
our human, financial and physical resources in the most efficient and effective manner; 3.) treat our employees,
citizens and visitors with fairness, respect and equality; 4.) protect persons, property and quality of life; 5.)
operate in accordance with the laws and constitutions of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States of
America; 6.) make Chambersburg the model for Pennsylvania communities.
(Adopted: April 22, 1992)
Our Community Vision
On November 17, 2008 Town Council adopted a new Comprehensive Plan for the Borough of Chambersburg that included the following
Vision for the Community: "The Borough of Chambersburg is endowed with remarkable heritage, neighborhood character and a downtown
that when combined provides for a viable quality of life for our residents. In order to sustain our community, the vision is to
effectively preserve, conserve and enhance historic resources, revitalize the downtown and older neighborhoods, provide affordable
housing, provide excellent public facilities and services, and expand opportunities for economic development."
Profile of the Borough
Chambersburg, one of the earliest permanent settlements west of the Susquehanna River, was founded in 1764 by Benjamin Chambers on
land granted to him by the Penn proprietors. Chambersburg was incorporated as a Borough by an Act of the State Legislators in 1803
and by this Act of Incorporation, its form of government was defined. The administration of the town's affairs was placed in the
hands of the Burgess and the Town Council who were elected by the voters of the community. Town Council is the legislative and
governing body with power to enact ordinances "to promote the peace, good order, benefit and advantage of the said Borough, It and
to assess taxes and appropriate the proceeds thereof. The Burgess (now Mayor) is the elected officer empowered to "carry into effect
all by-laws (ordinances and regulations) enacted by the Council and whatever else shall be enjoined on him for the well-ordering and
governing of the said Borough." The Borough of Chambersburg is unique in that it owns and operates its electric, gas, water and sewer
systems and also performs many other general government functions. The growth of the community and the complexities of government have
gone far beyond the dreams of those who drafted the original Act of Incorporation. By an ordinance approved in December of 1975, Town
Council created the Office of the Borough Manager. The Borough Manager is the chief administrative officer of the Borough and is responsible
to the Town Council as a whole for the proper and efficient administration of the affairs of the Borough. The Manager is assisted in his
functions by the Assistant Borough Manager whose duty is to replace the manager during his absence as well as perform other functions as
directed by the manager.
Organization of the Borough
The annual budget is prepared by staff using a time-consuming process
that takes several months. It is the responsibility of the Borough Manager
to present a balanced budget for Council�s review by November. It then
becomes the responsibility of Council to accept the Borough Manager�s proposed
budget or to amend it before its necessary advertisement and adoption in December.
The adopted budget is the single most import action of the Council each year. It
sets out the funding for the Borough and the plan as to how to spend that money.
The budget is, in fact, a plan and not an accounting of actual revenues and expenditures.
To find out how the year actually went, one needs to review the audit. The audit is
issued several months into the next financial year.
While continued change is a virtual certainty, considerable uncertainty exists about
how the future may unfold for Chambersburg and what the Borough may be like in 5, 10
and 20 years. This was one of the key motivations in updating the Borough�s comprehensive
plan in November 2008, to positively influence the direction and momentum of change to
ensure that Chambersburg continues to be the kind of livable, welcoming place in which
people want to both live and work. The Comprehensive Plan becomes the means by which the
citizens of Chambersburg define the community's character, its identity, improve the economy
and retain talented youth while preserving the historic character of the community.
In addition to addressing the opportunities and challenges of the future, the Comprehensive Plan
also addresses shortcomings. While we continue to be a community that cares, resources are identified
in order to fully embrace diversity and ensure equal opportunity for all. Strong leaders in government,
business, and local institutions, have not always agreed on priorities, nor have been unified by a shared
vision or a common sense of direction. The Comprehensive Plan is a shared vision and direction which will
allow Chambersburg to face the future with confidence and optimism.
Excerpt from the Borough Council Handbook: A borough�s council is involved
primarily in a legislative role. Their legislative role is of primary importance
because the actions they take in deciding the laws governing the borough affect not
only the people within the borough, but also those outside the borders as well. The
Council becomes involved in initiating new laws or in passing judgment on the legal
proposals of other officials. Because the actions of a governing body have an impact
and potential consequences on n entire municipality, the methods for taking official
action are specified in the Borough Code and other state laws. Although official binding
actions may be taken on the basis of an ordinance, a resolution or a motion, the Code
requires all legislative acts to be taken by ordinance or resolution. An ordinance is
generally defined as a local law of a municipal corporation of a general or permanent
nature. In some cases the Code specifies when an ordinance should be used. If no specific
direction is given in the Code then an ordinance should be used if the matter has general
application or is of a permanent nature. A resolution on the other hand is considered as
being less formal than an ordinance and used when the matter under discussion is either
specific or of a temporary nature, pertains to the transaction of current business or ordinary
administration of municipal affairs. The Borough Code is the state law that governs boroughs.
The borough�s Code of Ordinances is the local law.