Su­per­vi­sors ap­prove site sur­vey

North Penn Life - - News - By Dan Sokil dsokil@jour­nal­reg­is­

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.

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