Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania
Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania
Upper Merion Township
|Country||United States of America|
|• Total||17.27 sq mi (44.74 km2)|
|• Land||16.96 sq mi (43.91 km2)|
|• Water||0.32 sq mi (0.82 km2)|
|Elevation||171 ft (52 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,689.08/sq mi (652.17/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Area code(s)||610 484|
Upper Merion Township is a township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 28,395 at the 2010 U.S. Census. Located 16 miles (26 km) from Philadelphia, it consists of the villages of Gulph Mills, King of Prussia, Swedeland, Swedesburg, and part of Wayne.
The westernmost part of the township comprises the largest part of the 1,300-acre (5 km2) Valley Forge National Historical Park. The township is the home of the King of Prussia mall. King of Prussia also contains a major office park hosting firms such as Lockheed Martin and GlaxoSmithKline.
The name Merion originates with the county of Merioneth in north Wales. Merioneth is an English-language translation of the Welsh Meirionnydd, itself named after Meirchion (or Meirion), grandson of Cunedda Wledig (b. ca. 380 A.D.), King of North Wales.
The Township's incorporation dates to 1713 when the King of Prussia Inn, the Bird-In-Hand Inn in Gulph Mills, and later the Swedes Ford Inn were required to pay 6 shillings to the Pennsylvania legislature for licenses. The King of Prussia Inn, built in 1719, captures the historical flavor of the township. It was named in honor of Frederick the Great, but became known during the Revolutionary War as a center of food and drink. An alternate story says the Inn, first called Berry's Tavern, got its name to lure in Prussian mercenaries who spent freely.
Upper Merion Township is a township of the second class under Pennsylvania state statutes. A five-member Board of Supervisors, elected at large for staggered six-year terms, governs it. The Board passes legislation and sets overall policy for the Township. A professional township manager runs the day-to-day operations overseeing the activities of 250 full and part-time employees.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 17.2 square miles (44.7 km2), of which, 16.9 square miles (43.7 km2) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) of it (2.20%) is water.
Upper Merion Township is home to Valley Forge National Historical Park, which consists of the site where General George Washington and the Continental Army made their encampment at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78 in the American Revolutionary War. King of Prussia, which is the largest mall in the United States in terms of leasable space with over 400 stores, is located in Upper Merion Township. Other points of interest in Upper Merion Township include the Valley Forge Casino Resort, the King of Prussia Town Center and the King of Prussia Volunteer Fire Company 9/11 Memorial.
Old Swedes Church (Christ Church) was dedicated June 25, 1760 in Swedesburg, replacing a simple log cabin dating to 1735. The original church had served as both a church and school until Christ Church was built. The stained glass windows tell the story of the history of the Swedish colony of New Sweden.
After crossing the Schuylkill River at Swedesford on December 13, 1777, General George Washington and his troops visited Old Swedes Church and encamped there before going on to Valley Forge.
As of the 2010 census, the township was 76.0% White, 5.5% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 14.7% Asian, and 2.1% were two or more races. 3.9% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry .
As of the census of 2000, there were 26,863 people, 11,575 households, and 7,141 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,593.3 people per square mile (615.2/km2). There were 12,151 housing units at an average density of 720.7/sq mi (278.3/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 84.75% White, 4.63% African American, 0.13% Native American, 8.45% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.66% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.79% of the population.
There were 11,575 households, out of which 23.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.3% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.3% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the township the population was spread out, with 18.7% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 33.8% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.9 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $65,636, and the median income for a family was $78,690. Males had a median income of $51,247 versus $38,166 for females. The per capita income for the township was $34,961. About 1.3% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.6% of those under age 18 and 3.1% of those age 65 or over.
Government and politics
Upper Merion Township is run by an elected five person Board of Supervisors, each of whom serve staggered six year terms. The current supervisors are Chairperson Greg Waks (D), Vice Chairperson Carole Kenney (D), Bill Jenaway (D), Greg Philips (D) and Tina Garzillo (D). Other than Garzillo, who was appointed in June 2018 to finish the term of Erika Spott (D), there has not been a change in the composition of the Board of Supervisors since January 2012 and each of the current Supervisors (other than Garzillo) was re-elected by a significantly greater margin than originally elected. The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson are elected every year in January by their fellow Supervisors.
The recent Chairs of the Upper Merion Township Board of Supervisors: 2019: Greg Waks; 2018: Greg Philips; 2017: Bill Jenaway; 2016: Bill Jenaway; 2015: Greg Philips (from January–April); Erika Spott (from May–December); 2014: Greg Waks; 2013: Greg Waks; 2012: Erika Spott; 2011: Ed McBride (R); 2010: Joe Bartlett (R); 2009: Scott Sibley (R); 2008: Scott Sibley (R)
Municipal general election results from 2001–Present:
|2001||Anthony "Chuck" Volpi (R)
|Sal Sonsino (D)
|2003||Barbara Frailey (R)
|Scott Sibley (R)
|Bill Wall, Jr. (D)
|Ronald Hartley, Jr. (D)
|2005||Joseph Bartlett (R)
|Edward McBride (R)
|Kenneth Forman (D)
|Sandy Moskowitz (D)
|2007||Erika Spott (D)
|Anthony "Chuck" Volpi (R)
|2009||Greg Waks (D)
|William Jenaway (R)
|Carole Kenney (D)
|Scott Sibley (R)
|2011||Carole Kenney (D)
|Greg Philips (D)
|Edward McBride (R)
|Scott Sibley (R)
|2013||Erika Spott (D)
|Marianne Hooper (R)
|2015||Greg Waks (D)
|William Jenaway (D)
|Dave Furman (R)
|Bruce Fegan (R)
|2017||Carole Kenney (D)
|Greg Philips (D)
|Mark A. Volpi (R)
|Joseph J. White, Jr. (R)
All township business meetings are televised by Upper Merion Government Access Television (UMGA-TV.) The Tax Collector is Rose Hykel (R).
The elected Board of Auditors are Van Weiss (R), Steve Ciavarri (D) and David Lipson (D).
The Supervisors hire a township manager to run the operations of the township. The township manager is Anthony Hamaday.
The township is part of the Fourth Congressional District (represented by Rep. Madeleine Dean-D), the 149th State House District (represented by Rep. Tim Briggs-D) and the 17th State Senate District (represented by Sen. Daylin Leach-D).
|2016||35.3% 5,098||60.7% 8,765|
|2012||41.2% 5,772||57.6% 8,065|
|2008||40.1% 5,694||59.1% 8,791|
|2004||43.1% 6,380||56.5% 8,375|
|2000||43.5% 5,455||54.2% 6,801|
|1996||40.8% 4,231||48.8% 5,062|
|1992||32.3% 5,099||42.6% 5,528|
According to Upper Merion Township's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the township are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees||Community|
|1||Lockheed Martin||3,568||King of Prussia|
|2||GlaxoSmithKline||2,732||King of Prussia|
|3||eBay Enterprise||991||King of Prussia|
|4||Pershing||853||King of Prussia|
|5||Upper Merion Area School District||691||King of Prussia|
|6||United States Liability Insurance Group||655||Wayne|
|7||Yellowbook||648||King of Prussia|
|8||Shellville Services||530||King of Prussia|
|9||Nordstrom||486||King of Prussia|
|10||Broadview Networks||469||King of Prussia|
Public school students in Upper Merion Township attend schools in the Upper Merion Area School District.
- Upper Merion Area High School (grades 9-12)
- Upper Merion Area Middle School (grades 5-8)
- Bridgeport Elementary School (grades K-4)
- Caley Road Elementary School (grades K-4)
- Candlebrook Elementary School (grades K-4)
- Gulph Elementary School (grades K-4)
- Roberts Elementary School (grades K-4)
Upper Merion Township also has a Private school, Mother Teresa Regional Catholic School.
The Penn State Great Valley campus was once located in the King of Prussia section of Upper Merion from 1963 to 1974 before relocating to Great Valley. In 1982, the college opened up a new facility called Penn State King of Prussia Center.
- "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Aug 14, 2017.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- Cunedda Wledig, King of North Wales: http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/bios/meircmmd.html/ Archived 2016-12-28 at the Wayback Machine.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- "Valley Forge National Historical Park". National Park Service. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- "King of Prussia Mall Fact Sheet" (PDF). Simon Property Group. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
- "Valley Forge Casino Resort". Valley Forge & Montgomery County, PA. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- "9/11 Memorial". King of Prussia Volunteer Fire Company. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- "Old Swedes Church (The Times Herald)". Archived from the original on 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20170812061547/http://www.dvrpc.org/data/databull/rdb/db82/appedixa.xls. Archived from the original on August 12, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2014. Missing or empty
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Montgomery County Election Results". Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
- Township of Upper Merion CAFR[permanent dead link]
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