TRAIN STA­TION WORK NEARS COM­PLE­TION

Freight build­ing at sta­tion of­fi­cially added back as part of the pro­ject

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SUNDAY SELECT - By Bob Keeler bkeeler@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @by­bob­keeler on Twit­ter

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

bor­ough’s costs.

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.

GENE WALSH — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

An ex­te­rior view of the Souderton Train Sta­tion un­der re­con­struc­tion along Main and Broad streets in Souderton on Wed­nes­day.

GENE WALSH — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

A view of the Souderton Train Sta­tion un­der re­con­struc­tion along Main and Broad streets in Souderton on Wed­nes­day.

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