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Chester County Press

Penn Township moves forward on next phase of sports park

10/18/2023 06:27PM ● By Marcella Peyre-Ferry

Penn Township moves forward on next phase of sports park

The Penn Township Board of Supervisors voted to renew the contract with the Chester County treasurer to provide tax collection services in the township. The new contract increases fees by $1, to new rates of $4 per bill and $2 per reminder notice.

The board believes the county service is less expensive than an elected tax collector would be.

The township is moving forward with construction of the next phase of the Penn Township Sports Park. They voted to award a contract to low bidder, Kinsley Construction of York, Pa., at a cost of $5,899,856. Work is expected to start in mid-March of 2024 and take 12 months to complete.

The township will now be advertising for bids for construction of the new emergency operations center at the township property at 863 W. Baltimore Pike. The building will be the new home for Medic 94.

The bid specifications will include several potential deduct items that could be removed from the contract if the bids are too high.  Items that might be eliminated from the contract include interior dry wall installed primed but not painted,  portions of the lighting, the generator, and an EV charger station. 

If items are deducted from the contract, the township will look for alternate grant funding to complete the project. 

“We just want the ability, if the price comes in high, we have some numbers we can take out without having to negotiate,” township engineer Dennis O’Neill said. “I want to have the ability on bid day to take some things out if we have to.”

The bid package will be available this month with bids due by Nov. 28. Bids will be awarded by the end of the year with the work to start in March, and be completed by the end of 2024. There will be a liquidated damages clause in the contract in the event that the work is not completed on time to cover costs if  Medic 94 has to pay rent for a location until the building is ready.  

The township welcomes local bidders, and copies of the specifications will be available at the township office. The work must be done at prevailing wage and a performance bond is required. 

“Unfortunately, some of the smaller contractors cannot come up with that bond. That puts them out of the picture, but we have to protect the township,” O’Neill said.

Last month, Denis Newbold asked the board for a letter to PennDOT rescinding their approval of signals as opposed to roundabouts at the Route 796 interchange with Route 1. He questioned the decision because, in his opinion, the calculations of traffic levels to justify the signals might not be correct

Newbold told the board that the letter turned out to be unnecessary. He added that PennDOT will come back to the township with additional information. At that point the board would select between traffic signals and teardrop-shaped roundabouts. One of the major concerns for the township is the impact of the selection on traffic using the township sports park.

The board voted to advertise the 2024 proposed budget for approval in November. There is no increase In the tax rate, but there are some increases in expenditures. 

Medic 94 had requested a 30-percent supplement to their allocation from the township that currently stands at $40,400. Instead of the full request, the board approved a 15-percent supplement bringing the total amount to $46,867.

The West Grove Fire Company requested a 5-percent increase, which brings the township’s new allocation to $376,541.