Upper Merion Township is a township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 28,395 at the 2010 census. Located 16 miles (26 km) from Philadelphia, it consists of the villages of King of Prussia, Swedeland, Swedesburg, Gulph Mills, and Wayne. The westernmost part of the township is the site of Valley Forge, as well as comprising the largest part of Valley Forge National Historical Park. The township is the home of the King of Prussia Mall as well as the 1,300-acre (5 km2) Valley Forge National Park. King of Prussia is also 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.
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 Legislature for licenses. The King of Prussia Inn, built in 1719, captures the historical flavor of the township. It was named by a Prussian immigrant 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.
In the late 1970s, Upper Merion was also listed as the number one drug school in the magazine “High Times”.
Hanging Rock and Poplar Lane are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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.
Township Mission Statement
“To promote community vitality, economic prosperity and cultural harmony, Upper Merion Township will provide services which are responsive to the health, safety and general welfare needs of the community.”
“The township government is dedicated to providing these services through the efficient and effective use of the community’s available resources in an honest, open and caring manner.”
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 Erika Spott (D), William Jenaway (R), Carole Kenney (D) and Greg Philips (D). All township meetings are televised by Upper Merion Government Access
The Tax Collector is Rose Hykel (R).
The elected Board of Auditors are Van Weiss (R), George Shoffner (R) and Lynn Cosentino (R).
The Supervisors hire a township manager to run the operations of the township. The current township manager is David G. Kraynik.