Pa. fire station construction about to start


By Ashley Adams
Evening Sun  

PENN Twp., Pa. — Construction on the new fire station in Penn Township should start within a month, said Capt. Jeremy Sparks.

Penn Township Commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance Monday to guarantee a loan for the new station on Clover Lane.

The newly consolidated Penn Township Volunteer Emergency Services is paying for the new station. The township is just serving as a "co-signer."

"The fire company has considerable assets," said Commissioner Phil Heilman. "Our guarantee just gives the bank security. The township has to offer fire services anyhow, so if something would happen to the fire company, we would inherit it anyway. But we don't anticipate anything bad happening with this ambitious group."

The ordinance guaranteed a note in an amount not to exceed $3.5 million, but Sparks said building the station will cost $4.9 million.

Township Manager Jeff Garvick said the township is guaranteeing $3.5 million at a fixed rate. With the township's guarantee, the fire company will have an established line of credit and can draw additional funds if necessary, he said.

After receiving bids, which were voted on and approved at a special meeting for the fire company Tuesday, the lowest contract for general construction is $3,370,370; the mechanical contract came in at $444,500; and the electrical contract was $523,000.

With miscellaneous costs added on to the cost of the contracts, such as installation of a security system and telephone system, Sparks said the total would come to around $4.9 million.

But the original estimate for the station, Sparks said, was around $5.5 to $6 million.

"This came in considerably under bid," Sparks said.

The Penn Township Volunteer Emergency Services wants to build a 30,365-square-foot station on a 4.5-acre parcel along Clover Lane, west of Baltimore Street.

The station will have seven drive-through bays that will house 12 emergency vehicles. There will be an exercise room in the basement, bunks for the firefighters and a training room.

Sparks said once a contractor is picked, the fire company hopes to break ground as early as next week, and by next month at the latest, Sparks said.

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