Bids for $2M garage re­jected

Res­i­dent com­mit­tee now ex­plor­ing al­ter­na­tives

The Community Connection - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

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.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

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.

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