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Antrim Supervisors want help to decide on municipal complex

January 31, 2008|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Three Antrim Township Supervisors agreed at a Tuesday night work session that consultants should study the township's operations and space requirements before the township moves forward with a proposed municipal complex.

Supervisors Samuel Miller, Curtis Myers and Fred Young were interested in having the study completed and looking at the results before deciding about a new building for the township staff.

Supervisor James Byers was not convinced a study was needed.

"We should have canceled this meeting," Byers said. "It could take six months to get the study back (and) we need to move forward on more space now.

"There's no use talking about this if three of you want to wait for the study."

And Supervisor Rick Baer was more interested in what the people in Antrim Township wanted rather than what the township staff wanted.

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"I could care less about the (township) staff," Baer said. "The people come first. If the people don't want it, I don't want it."

Young argued that a study would be a good use of money.

"Whether we continue operations at this site or another, I think a prefessional assessment would be money well spent," Young said.

Young also said there was a lot of extra space in the current office of Magisterial District Justice Duane Cunningham in the Antrim Township government building. The township leases the office to the district justice, but Young believes the space is now needed for the township.

"It's not that I'm saying we don't want the district justice. He's been a wonderful tenant," Young said. "I think our own family needs more space."

Baer said the building that the district justice is looking to move into is built, but the interior is not finished. Once the district justice secures the space, it will take six months to move in, Miller said.

"I think we can get three reasonably sized offices back there (in the district justice office)," Myers said.

"Obviously this place isn't big enough for (the district justice)," Byers said. He added that if the township took over the space, some of the offices would need to be for the road and zoning department and that he did not believe that would give the township staff much more space.

The board voted to send a letter to the Franklin County Commissioners notifying them that Cunningham will have 90 days to vacate his office, according to Township Manager Ben Thomas. The commissioners supply space for the district judges in the county. The notice will also include a time extension if needed, Thomas said.

Young, Miller and Myers voted to withdraw the final land development plan for the township's proposed municipal complex in November. Miller previously stated that the three supervisors were opposed to the proposed government complex because of the size and cost.

Scaled back

In early 2007, the supervisors voted against accepting bids for the complex, with the lowest bid coming to nearly $6.5 million.

Thomas said that since June, plans for the proposed municipal complex have been downsized.

"It has been scaled back to a realistic office facility," Thomas said, adding that having the district justice office as part of the proposed complex is optional.

The township is working on a request for proposal (RFP) to start the bidding process of finding a consultant to study the township's operations and space needs, Myers said. The process of writing the RFP takes weeks, he said.

"All we're working on is (having someone) look at operations and give us (future) projections," Myers said.

The RFP document could be 10 to 20 pages long and the township hopes to get it approved by the end of February, Thomas said.

The township has budgeted between $10,000 and $30,000 for the a consulting study, Miller said.

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