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Village on the Falling Spring gets more funds for planning

April 11, 2001

Village on the Falling Spring gets more funds for planning



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


The Chambersburg Borough Council authorized spending an additional $100,000 to complete plans for the Village on the Falling Spring project Wednesday.

The borough has spent more than $387,000 on fees to Gannett Fleming, an engineering firm, to design plans for the project, which includes a commercial building and the expansion of Chambers Fort Park at the confluence of the Falling Spring and Conococheague Creek.

The project has changed in scope several times in the last two years, forcing multiple redesigns, said Borough Manager Eric Oyer.

"The delays and series of designs we've gone through on the project is the reason we're asking for more money," Oyer said. "At one point, we were designing for a $5 million project."

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Now the project is $2.5 million, with federal funds accounting for $2 million and a local match of $500,000.

"Some of the work already done can be salvaged," said Garry Brennan, a Gannett Fleming manager.

He said the $106,330 the council approved Wednesday should cover the remaining costs of planning the project, which will take about 11 months.

That money will come from the borough's General Capital Reserve/Community Development Fund.

Once the final plans are complete, the borough will submit building specifications to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to bid out for construction.

PennDOT will administer the federal funds approved for the project.

Planners project it will take about one year to complete construction.

The council also approved the final sale of a 3,300-square-foot lot that is part of the project to the Falling Waters Partnership Wednesday.

The partnership offered $53,501 in December to purchase the property off King Street and has submitted subdivision plans for a two-story commercial building to house offices for Noelker and Hull architectural firm.

The land comes with many stipulations that will limit the scope and timing of construction.

The Village on the Falling Spring began as a private commercial development with public amenities and at one time included plans for two office buildings and had a price tag of more than $10 million in private and public funds.

The scope of the project has changed over the last few years after one developer backed out, and the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court reversed a 1999 land swap between the borough and the Chambersburg Area Development Corporation in January.

The current plan calls for public improvements at the Falling Spring and Conococheague Creek including an enlarged park with a memorial to the borough's founder, Benjamin Chambers, a foot bridge across the creek to connect the park with the Rails to Trails project, improvements to Spring Street and some changes on the east side of North Main Street to Montgomery Alley.

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