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Board to keep Antrim Township municipal complex 'in mind'

November 05, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - To build or not to build.

That was the question Antrim Township Board Chairman Curtis Myers wanted answered Tuesday when he brought up the proposed new municipal complex during the third round of budget discussions.

His question went unanswered.

The board glossed over the issue, talking more about the new Washington Township Municipal Authority building in Waynesboro, Pa., and marveling at its "low" price tag then discussing what to spend on its own future facility needs.

On Oct. 28, Myers told The Herald-Mail he wanted the board to "draw a line in the sand" and decide "once and for all" during budget discussions whether or not to build.

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Myers said the township has budgeted for the building for the last three years, earmarking $6 million "all through the budget."

Money, he felt could be better spent on projects like the shared use trail.

Kathryn Freese of Greencastle asked the board on Tuesday not to do away with the project.

"The fact that you could put up that building virtually debt free, that is amazing," she said. "I think it would be a good use of that extra money to invest there (in a new building)."

Supervisor Samuel Miller promised Freese the board would keep the project "in mind" for the future saying that five to 10 years down the road, maybe it could be discussed again.

As for the immediate future and the $5.7 million Supervisor Rick Baer said is earmarked from the capital reserve fund, all five supervisors said they were in favor of taking that money out of the 2009 budget and putting it back into the general capital reserve.

However, Miller and Supervisor James Byers promised that it would never completely "kill" the project.

Since 1998, the board has been planning, designing and discussing the building which has been proposed as high as $6.4 million and as low as $2.1 million.

Supervisor Fred Young asked how much the township has spent to date on the project, but no one on the board knew the exact figure.

The board's best estimate is $800,000 for engineering and $1 million for property.

"What a waste," Myers said of the money spent so far. "If we had done a study to know if needed a new building, like Sam and I suggested how many times, personally, I think that would have been a smart thing to do."

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