Township building opens
LIMERICK » The new township building that has been rising over the past year on Ridge Pike is finally completed enough for the township to move its offices back in.
The move-in began on Aug. 15, and as of Tuesday, final touches like the meeting room sound system and a painting were still being undertaken.
The 34,500-square-foot building includes a full basement used for storage and provides around four times more space to the police department than it had in the older township building.
Township Manager Dan Kerr said in the old building, the police department had to make due with about 3,400 square feet, but now has 12,500 square feet of space.
“In fact, this all started with the police needing more room and the board and the administration looking at that and beyond,” Kerr told Digital First Media.
Driving the need for more police space is more police officers.
Kerr said when he began working in Limerick 13 years ago, the township police force had fewer than 20 officers. It now has 30.
The need for more police was driven in large part by the township’s phenomenal growth.
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission population estimates show that Limerick has seen growth of between 5 percent and 10 percent from 2010 to 2016, with more than 900 residents added in that period.
From 2000 to 2010, Census figures show Limerick’s population grew by 33 percent, or more than 4,500 people; and from 2010 to 2016 by an additional 5.1 percent, or 920 people.
The only area towns with greater growth rates in that sixyear period were New Hanover at 16.8 percent (1,837); Upper Hanover at 15.5 percent (1,001); Upper Providence at 12.4 percent (2,634); West Vincent at 11.3 percent (517); Skippack at 7.4 percent (1,111) and Douglass (Berks) at 7.9 percent (260).
Limerick’s growing population, and its easy access to Route 422, have both necessitated a larger police force.
In addition to police now having a secure area for police cars and prisoner transfer, the new municipal building also has a wing for administration and an areas for codes, zoning and planning.
In addition to the main meeting supervisors room, the new building also boasts a second meeting room, the “Linfield Room” made available to any homeownership associations located in Limerick, said Kerr.
The new township building is only the latest new addition to the township complex.
Two years ago, the township completed construction of a new 23,000- square-foot public works garage with office space, sleeping quarters for snow plow crews and room for a dozen vehicles and equipment.
Kerr said the larger facility was needed due to the steady drumbeat of housing and commercial construction which now has Limerick responsible for the clearing and maintenance of 110 miles of roadway.
The facility, which also includes an imposing salt shed, cost about $2.6 million, but could have been higher. Kerr said much of the site work, including storm sewer work, was done by the township’s own crew. “That saved us about $800,000,” he said.
Although the township took out loans to pay for the highway garage, township building as well as upgrades to Limerick Fire Station, local taxes are not rising because of that.
The township’s recent sale of its sewer system to Aqua PA for $75 million will not only pay back those loans, but pay for future capital projects as well.
Limerick Township Manager Dan Kerr outside the administration wing of the new township building that opened in August.
The new $6 million Limerick Township building is located on the same Ridge Pike site as the former township building.