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Supervisors discuss municipal complex for township operations

February 01, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Washington Township (Pa.) Supervisors are exploring the possibility of building a municipal complex that could house administration offices, maintenance garages, police and the municipal authority at one site.

Jennifer Greenlee, of the architectural firm Newcomer Associates, spoke to the supervisors Wednesday about the Chambersburg, Pa., firm's $13,500 study to assess the township's needs over the next 20 years.

The supervisors are scheduled to vote Monday on whether to conduct that study, which would include at least three public review sessions, Greenlee said in response to one resident's concerns about secrecy.

Lori Frantz of Welty Road expressed ire that the possibility of building a municipal complex first was openly discussed by the supervisors in January. In what became a tense exchange, Supervisor Carroll Sturm countered that a master facilities plan was included in their 2007 goals.

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"All of this was laid out in our 2007 goals, which we presented at the workshop on Dec. 29, I think, and approved at a later meeting," Sturm said.

Frantz said she reviewed meeting minutes from November and December of 2006 and found no mention of Newcomer Associates, facilities consolidation or land acquisition.

"I feel that was secretive because that wasn't in open discussion," Frantz said. "All of a sudden, on the 10th of January, you were going to hire someone to do this."

"There was nothing discussed in executive session," Sturm said. "Everything that was said was said in open session."

Frantz mentioned that the township recently renovated its meeting room and spent more than $100,000 for modular office units.

"It's a study to determine what the township needs are," Sturm said, trying to assure her that no decisions or designs have been made.

"As part of this process, every intent is to be a public process with inclusion at every step of the way," Greenlee said.

Greenlee also encouraged the supervisors to include representatives of their various agencies throughout the entire process.

"Our proposal concludes with a master plan document as a site plan with the different pieces of a complex," she said.

Greenlee's company worked on the Waynesboro Ambulance Squad building project and studied the needs of Antrim Township, Pa., which currently is preparing to build a municipal complex that is estimated to cost between $5 million and $6 million.

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