TRAIN STATION WORK NEARS COMPLETION
Freight building at station officially added back as part of the project
Work on the first two buildings in the train station redevelopment project is almost done and the third building has been officially added back into the job.
The first two buildings are the train station and wait building.
“We’re down to the site work and some punch list things,” borough Manager Mike Coll said following the Oct. 3 Souderton Borough Council meeting. “The buildings themselves are essentially done.”
The borough rents the train station property from SEPTA and is using $1.5 million of federal and state grants to renovate the train station and wait building and make site improvements, including the parking lot, in order to sublease the buildings to businesses for economic development.
The third building is the freight building, which the borough initially planned to include in the project, but then temporarily removed to stay within the original $1.5 million budget.
Last month, Coll told council the cost of putting the freight building back into the project would be about $500,000, for which the borough could take out a loan, with rental income from the property covering the
At the Oct. 3 meeting, Coll said the recommendation now was to make a change order to the existing construction contract to have CC Construction Services, of Allentown, complete an addition and exterior renovations to the freight building at a cost of $374,948.
“There is additional site work that will have to be addressed, but we think we can address that in phases, using borough and local contractors,” Coll said. “The way the site is laid out, that building has to be completely finished before the site work can be done, anyway, because you need to have access to the back of the building.”
Having the site work done by the borough or local contractors is expected to cost less and the timing on the work can be coordinated with the tenant when a business moves into the building, he said.
Both the change order and the loan were approved at the Oct. 3 meeting. The $500,000 loan from Univest is for 20
years with a 2.7 percent interest rate, Coll said.
Board member Kevin Souder, who previously raised concerns that the borough could take out the loan but not receive enough income to cover its costs, particularly if there are times when some of the buildings are vacant, cast the lone dissenting vote against the change order. He also voted against the loan.
Board member Dan Yocum abstained from the loan vote because he is a Univest employee.
In other matters at the meeting:
• Indian Valley Public Library representatives updated the board on library matters.
After retiring from the Delaware County library system, “I chose to work here because of the great reputation that the library has,” said Margie Stern, who was hired earlier this year as IVPL’s new director.
Surveys taken for work on a strategic plan for the library showed one of the top things library users appreciate about it is its staff, she said.
She also commended the towns, including Souderton, who together help fund the library.
“That does not happen
around the state very often,” Stern said.
• Mayor John Reynolds noted the upcoming Nov. 12 wine tasting fundraiser at the library.
“It’s a great time,” Reynolds said. “Everybody has a lot of fun. There’s a lot of good food from local vendors.”
Tickets for the wine tasting fundraiser are $60 before Nov. 5 and $65 after. There is also a two for $100 Sweetheart Special.
Tickets and information are available at ivpl. org and the IVPLwinetasting Facebook page.
• Council approved a non-exclusive 15-year extension to the Comcast cable system franchise. Verizon also provides cable television service in the borough.
• Resident Bernard Blanche raised concerns about the borough proposal to update to the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code, which would include restrictions designed to prevent overcrowding that could lead to people being evicted.
The rules impose a hardship on poor families, Blanche said.
“They would end up not only being evicted from their residences,
but being evicted from our community,” Blanche said.
He asked that the proposal be tabled until the people most affected by it have a chance to comment on it.
The borough is currently working on other unrelated additions to an ordinance to accompany the property maintenance code and the property maintenance code was not on the agenda and not discussed at the Oct. 3 meeting.
• Resident Alexander Grande thanked council for this year’s switch to a single-hauler contract for trash pickups, saying the move made “immeasurable difference” with reduced noise and traffic on his street because trash pickups now take place only one day a week instead of having various companies making pickups on different days.
• Robert Wellington was reappointed to another five-year term on the Souderton Industrial Development Authority, running through Aug. 4, 2021.
• Ryan Godshall was appointed to fill an unexpired term on the Souderton Industrial Development Authority, running through Aug. 4, 2018.
An exterior view of the Souderton Train Station under reconstruction along Main and Broad streets in Souderton on Wednesday.
A view of the Souderton Train Station under reconstruction along Main and Broad streets in Souderton on Wednesday.