Chambersburg Borough Council to vote on latest courthouse complex expansion plan

October 10, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — The Chambersburg Borough Council is scheduled to vote Oct. 24 on the latest plan to expand the Franklin County (Pa.) Courthouse complex.

After taking another look at the expansion plans Monday, the council decided to schedule a vote on the proposal.

Borough staff and the council’s solicitor will prepare a resolution for the council’s vote.

County Administer John Hart shared with the council pencil drawings of two portions of the $2 million project.

In one, the former Harmon’s Furniture building is demolished and replaced with pillars and a fence. That stretch of North Main Street would be used as a driveway to the renovated courthouse.

The second showed how concrete planters would fill existing parking stalls on U.S. 30 in front of the courthouse complex. Hart said previously that the county commissioners want to create a buffer area to protect against car bombs.

The borough council will be voting on land-development plans for a new sally port entrance for sheriff’s vehicles, a new entrance for a Second Street property and the removal of several parking spaces on U.S. 30.

Mayor Pete Lagiovane asked at Monday’s council meeting whether the county could push the U.S. 30 sidewalk out farther into the street, rather than put the planters directly on pavement.

“It looks kind of creepy,” he said.

Hart said the county would someday like to extend the sidewalk, but that initiative is not included in the project’s budget. He said the planters as designed are based on Pennsylvania Department of Transportation requirements.

“They’re spaced and sized per PennDOT,” Hart said.

Phil Wolgemuth, borough planning and zoning director, said the borough’s parking committee was OK with the eliminated spaces, although it wants one handicapped parking stall moved from U.S. 30 to North Second Street.

The county commissioners have said renovation and expansion are necessary to accommodate security needs and space constraints, which were worsened by the addition of a fifth judge in the 2009 election cycle. They rejected an earlier, $58.4 million plan for a new judicial center.

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