Union Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania

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Union Township, Adams County,
Garage with a tin roof
Garage with a tin roof
Location in Adams County and the state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Adams County and the state of Pennsylvania.
CountryUnited States
 • Total17.58 sq mi (45.53 km2)
 • Land17.55 sq mi (45.44 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)
 • Total3,148
 • Estimate 
 • Density181.35/sq mi (70.02/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Area code(s)717
FIPS code42-001-78264

Union Township is a township in Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 3,148 at the 2010 census.[3]


Union Township is located in the southeast corner of Adams County. It is bordered by York County (West Manheim Township) to the east and by Carroll County, Maryland, to the south. Germany Township and the borough of Littlestown border Union Township to the southwest, Mount Pleasant Township is to the northwest, and Conewago Township is to the northeast.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 17.6 square miles (45.5 km2), of which 17.5 square miles (45.4 km2) is land and 0.039 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.18%, is water.[3]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2016 (est.)3,182[2]1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 2,989 people, 1,074 households, and 891 families residing in the township. The population density was 171.2 people per square mile (66.1/km2). There were 1,112 housing units at an average density of 63.7/sq mi (24.6/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 98.33% White, 0.07% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 0.13% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.84% of the population.

There were 1,074 households, out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.7% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.0% were non-families. 13.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the township the population was spread out, with 27.2% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.8 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $47,619, and the median income for a family was $51,845. Males had a median income of $37,727 versus $24,028 for females. The per capita income for the township was $19,506. About 2.0% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 0.8% of those age 65 or over.

Environmental issues[edit]

Keystone Sanitation Landfill is located on a ridge of 40 acres of former farmland. From 1966 until 1990 it accepted municipal and industrial wastes and construction debris. The site leached volatile organic compounds and heavy metals, and runoff went in all directions into the ground- and surface water, affecting 2,300 people living in a 3-mile area. EPA added the landfill to the superfund list in July 1987. From 1990-1997 clean up consisted of extraction and treatment of on-site groundwater, installation of an impermeable cap, a landfill gas collection system, construction of a fence, and water monitoring. In 1999, 34 residences in close proximity received whole-house treatment units, and groundwater was also extracted off-site. In May 2003, a landfill gas extraction system was added. Because flow rates were too low, 14 additional landfill gas wells were installed in November 2010.[6]

In September 1993, EPA tried to recover about $1.4 million of clean up costs in litigation, which as of 2015 is still stayed pending court-ordered settlement negotiations. The three owners of the landfill, Waste Management Inc., the Keystone Sanitation Company, and Anna and Kenneth Noel refused to participate in clean up and in 2000 EPA fined them $250,000.[6]


The Union Township is governed by three, locally elected Township Supervisors. In Pennsylvania, the term of office of a Supervisor is 6 years. Union Township is one of 21 townships in Adams County, Pennsylvania. In 2014, the Supervisors are: Jack Freet, Chairperson; John Aldridge and Tracy Boyd. The Township also has a Planning Commission. Membership is through appointment by the Supervisors.

County level:

Three, elected at large, Adams County Commissioners. In 2014, they are: Randy Phiel, Chairman; Jim Martin, Vice Chairman; and Marty Karsteter Qually.

State level:

Federal level:


Map of Adams County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Residents of Union Township may attend the local, public schools operated by Littlestown Area School District which provides full day kindergarten through 12th grade. In 2013, the Littlestown Area School District's enrollment had declined to 2,037 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.[7] In 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times ranked Littlestown Area School District 263rd out of 498 public schools for academic achievement of its pupils.[8] In 2012, Littlestown Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), even though Rolling Acres Elementary School declined to Warning AYP status due to lagging reading achievement.[9]

High school aged students living in Union Township can attend the taxpayer funded Adams County Tech Prep [1] for training in the building trades, the culinary arts, Diesel Mechanics, allied health including Emergency medical technician (EMT) certification and other areas. The school is located on the Gettysburg Area High School campus at 1130 Old Harrisburg Road. Adams County Tech Prep is funded by a consortium of the school districts, which includes: Gettysburg Area School District, Littlestown Area School District, Fairfield Area School District, Conewago Valley School District and Bermudian Springs School District.

Union Township residents may also choose between two local public charter schools: Vida Charter School and Gettysburg Montessori Charter School. In Pennsylvania, residents may attend public charter schools at no cost to the parents. The tuition is paid by their public school system. By Commonwealth law, if the public school district provides transportation for its own students, then the district must also provide transportation to any school that lies within 10 miles of its borders, as well as, all schools within its borders.[10]

Vida Charter School is a public school located in the former Eisenhower Elementary School, 120 East Broadway, Gettysburg. Vida Charter School offers full day kindergarten through 6th grade. In 2013, Vida Charter School achieved a score 81.1 of out of 100 for student achievement.[11] According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2,181 public schools (less than 73 percent of Pennsylvania public schools), achieved an academic score of 70 or higher. In 2012, Vida Charter School achieved Adequate yearly Progress (AYP).[12]

Children residing in Union Township may also apply to attend Gettysburg Montessori Charter School which offers a private preschool (3 and 4 year olds) and a public full day Kindergarten through 6th grade program. This public charter school operates at 120 East Broadway, in Gettysburg. The Gettysburg Montessori Charter School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in both 2011 and 2012.[13] In 2013, Gettysburg Montessori Charter School achieved a score of 64 out of 100. The score reflects on grade level: reading, science, writing and mathematics achievement.[14]

Union Township residents may also apply to attend any of the Commonwealth's 14 public cyber charter schools (in 2013) at no additional cost to the parents. The resident's public school district is required to pay the charter school and cyber charter school tuition for residents who attend these public schools.[15][16] Residents may also seek admission for their school aged child to any other public school district. When accepted for admission, the student's parents are responsible for paying an annual tuition fee set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In 2012, the tuition fees for Littlestown Area School District were: Elementary School – $8,680.32, High School – $9,654.27.[17]

Intermediate Unit Lincoln Intermediate Unit #12 provides a wide variety of services to children living in its region which includes Union Township. Early screening, special educations services, speech and hearing therapy, autistic support, preschool classes and many other services like driver education are available. Services for children during the preschool years are provided without cost to their families when the child is determined to meet eligibility requirements. Intermediate units receive taxpayer funding: through subsidies paid by member school districts; through direct charges to users for some services; through the successful application for state and federal competitive grants and through private grants.

Libraries Community members have access to the Adams County Public Library which is located on 140 Baltimore Street in Gettysburg; the Littlestown Library, located at 232 North Queen Street, Littlestown; the New Oxford Area Library located at 122 North Peter Street, in New Oxford; the Adams County Historical Society Library which is located on 111 Seminary Ridge, in Gettysburg; the Adams County Law Library located in the Court House, 117 Baltimore Street, Room 305 in Gettysburg and to the statewide PA Power Library [2] which is an online library funded with tax dollars from the state's education budget.

Community college At Harrisburg Area Community College Gettysburg Campus, Union Township residents have access to college courses at a discounted tuition rate for state residents. Littlestown Area School District is not a tax funding district of the College.[18] Union Township residents do contribute to the community college system through state taxation and funding.


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Aug 11, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Union township, Adams County, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  4. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  5. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ a b "Keystone Sanitation Landfill". US EPA. 21 July 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  7. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 4, 2013). "District Fast Facts – Littlestown Area School District".
  8. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 5, 2013). "Guide to Pennsylvania Schools Statewide ranking 2013".
  9. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Littlestown Area School District AYP Overview 2012, September 21, 2012
  10. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2013). "Pupil Transportation -Frequently Asked Questions".
  11. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 4, 2013). "Vida Charter School Academic Performance Data 2013".
  12. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Vida Charter School AYP Overview 2012, September 21, 2012
  13. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Gettysburg Montessori Charter School AYP Overview 2012, September 21, 2012
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 4, 2013). "Gettysburg Montessori Charter School, Academic Performance Data 2013".
  15. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2013). "Charter Schools".
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2013). "What is a Charter School?".
  17. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2012). "Pennsylvania Public School District Tuition Rates".
  18. ^ "School District Sponsorship". 2017.

Coordinates: 39°45′10″N 77°02′29″W / 39.75278°N 77.04139°W / 39.75278; -77.04139