Bids for $2M garage rejected
Resident committee now exploring alternatives
UPPER POTTSGROVE » Township commissioners voted 4-1 Oct. 16 to reject all bids for the proposed $2 million public works garage on Heather Place.
Commissioners’ President Elwood Taylor cast the only vote against the board’s rejection.
At the end of the meeting, he said that the commissioners have spent years looking at this project and he supported the process that led them to receiving the bids.
He said reports that portrayed him as being upset at the opposition evident at the Oct. 2 meeting at Pottsgrove Middle School were inaccurate.
“I feel leaders should build up, not tear down and this is something that needs to be built,” he said.
What gets built and how much it will cost is now an open question.
Responding to Taylor’s
“I feel leaders should build up, not tear down and this is something that needs to be built.” Elwood Taylor, Upper Pottsgrove Commissioners President
suggested at the Oct. 2 meeting that those opposed to the proposed project join a committee to seek alternatives, several residents did so and have already begun to meet, reported Township Manager Carol Lewis.
Next week, they will tour the existing police station and highway department — located in the same building on Heather Place — to get a sense of what the township has and what it needs.
Commissioner Martin Schreiber said the committee has already been divided into sub-groups and one of them was set to examine the bids.
Taylor expressed a concern that by rejecting the bids, the work those people were undertaking would be moot.
Nevertheless, Commissioner France Krazalkovich, who has been leery of the 12,000 square-foot project’s ever-escalating costs for months, pressed ahead with a motion to reject the bids.
In some ways, Upper Pottsgrove is following in the step of neighboring Douglass (Mont.), which is currently building a new garage similar to the one Upper Pottsgrove sought to build.
Before moving ahead, Douglass Supervisors also rejected the first set of bids and put the project out bid again, receiving bids closer to the estimated $1.2 million cost.
However, Upper Pottsgrove’s costs were expected to be higher because unlike Douglass, which is building where the previous garage had stood, the new site at Heather Place required $352,379 in site work.
A proposed solar power electrical system added another $258,000 to the bids.
The current township facility was built in 1967 and is 5,050 square feet with three bays and 648 square feet of office space and is home to the police as well as the public works department.
This map shows the location of the current public works building, to the left, and the proposed new $2 million facility, on the right, for which bids were rejected Oct. 16.