Supervisors approve site survey
Talks between Montgomery Township supervisors, staff and consultants are still ongoing about the size, shape and amenities inside a planned township community and recreation center.
Before that work gets WRR Iar aORng, RIficLaOs anG consultants need to know exactly what’s currently on the site where they’re planning the center — to do that, township supervisors unanimously approved an $11,000 contract Monday night for a comprehensive site survey.
“The site had been disturbed from its original plans for the development that was designed for that property, for offices, and a number of improvements were installed,” said Township Manager Larry Gregan.
“There are some storm sewer improvements, some storm drainage improvements, a wetlands mitigation area, and all of those things need to be documented on a finaO survHyHG sLWH SOan,” KH said.
The site being surveyed for the center is a 13-acre parcel at the corner of Stump and Horsham roads opposite the township building that was purchased by the board last year, and meetings this summer have gathered feedback from the board and public about possible features of the new facility.
A development project dating back to the mid-2000s did see some grading and the installation of some utilities on that site, Gregan told the board Monday night, but before plans for the future community center get too far along, the township and its consultants need to know exactly what’s there — and what they might be able to reuse.
“We have to identify where [ utilities already installed] all come out on the plan, and hopefully see which will be useful for any future development,” Gregan said, including which could be used to tie into the new community center.
Township engineering consultants Gilmore & Associates of New Britain prepared a quote last week to complete an existing conditions survey of the community center site itself and will also survey Horsham and Stump roads along the site’s frontages and the intersection between those two streets, according to a proposal letter IrRm WKH HngLnHHrLng firm to the township included in Monday night’s public meeting materials.
“They’ll be looking at the frontage along Horsham Road in particular, because there will be roadway improvements that will be required, as there would with any improvements of that site,” Gregan said.
In other words, before the consultants can get to work locating driveways, parking space and new buildings on that site, they need an exact picture of what’s already there. The contract awarded Monday night will provide exactly that, and Gregan said after the meeting that Gilmore is “ready to send their crews out there this week” to finLsK WKH survHy as sRRn as possible.
The township has already budgeted $650,000 in its capital reserve fund for planning and design expenses on the project and the site survey contract would be funded from that amount.
Last week, consultants from Kimmel Bogrette Architecture & Site and site planners Ballard King Associates met with the board anG WRwnsKLS RIficLaOs WR SrHsHnW WKHLr HarOy finGLngs and projections on the proposed community center project.
At that meeting, Gregan and representatives of bRWK cRnsuOWLng firms saLG that the site survey would be necessary before their finaO rHSRrW Ls cRmSOHWHG because of incomplete utility lines and other remnants of a previous development slated for the site by a private developer before the site was purchased by the township.
The consultants were exSHcWHG WR GHOLvHr a finaO SrRposal in August, but early indications are that they’ll present three rough options of a small, medium and large facility, with space for at least one basketball and volleyball court, gym and meeting room space and additional room for a possible pool or outdoor plaza space on the site.
Last week, the consultants also discussed ballpark figurHs IRr IunGLng WKH nHw facility, and Gregan said the township had run its own analysis of the possible impact to township taxpayers. BasHG Rn SrHOLmLnary figures, the largest projected budget impact at this point could come to an increase of 0.17 mills to the township’s current debt service millage, which translates to about a $27.60 increase in taxes for the owner of a home assessed at the township average, but that millage could also be found by cuts to other township departments or functions.
Kimmel Bogrette and Ballard King are expected to present their feasibility study and recommendations for the community center in October. Residents can have their say on the community center at the Montgomery supervisors’ next meeting, which is scheduled for Sept. 10 at 8 p.m.