Town­ship build­ing opens

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

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.

EVAN BRANDT — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Lim­er­ick Town­ship Man­ager Dan Kerr out­side the ad­min­is­tra­tion wing of the new town­ship build­ing that opened in Au­gust.

EVAN BRANDT — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The new $6 mil­lion Lim­er­ick Town­ship build­ing is lo­cated on the same Ridge Pike site as the former town­ship build­ing.

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