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Borough opts for smaller office building

Danielle Ryan

(2/21) At a special meeting of the Carroll Valley Borough Council on February 16 the Borough council voted to submit a request for proposal to construct the new Borough office building.

At the meeting, Bill Trout, an architect from Murray Associates who is designing the building, presented to the Council and community members a comparison of the plans proposed in the fall of 2015 and the new, reduced plans. The original 2015 plan of the Borough Center included 12,686 square feet. Of that square footage, 2,878 square feet was to be used for the borough offices; 3,789 square feet for the community center; 3,347 square feet for the police department; and 2,072 square feet for the Adams County Library System.

According to revised plan approved on the 16th, the Borough office building will only encompass 11,440 square feet. The reduction in size was accomplished by reducing office space set aside for the police department, eliminating one meeting room and one conference room, a smaller library, and overall reduction to room sizes. The reduction in size will save the Borough approximately $300,000 in construction cost.

Additionally, other cost reduction measures were considered, including different light fixtures and floor mounted toilet fixtures versus the original wall mounted fixtures. With these additional costs cut, the total savings in approved design is estimated at approximately $400,000.

With these cost reductions taken into consideration, the hopeful acceptance of the $2 million grant, and the value of the land ($560,000), the Borough is looking at spending approximately $1.2 million. This is all dependent on the approval of the grant, and the bids that may come in after the new plan is put out for bid. Councilman Ken Lundberg also mentioned that when the original plan was placed for bid, the building was intended to start construction during the winter months. Construction during the winter months generally increases the cost of bids. Now, with the bid going in toward the end of the winter, meaning construction would start in a later season, some costs could, potentially decrease.

The Council assures the community that they have budgeted for the construction of this new building, and that Carroll Valley citizens would not be seeing a tax increase.

At the meeting, several community members expressed concern that the library will cost too much to relocate from its current location in Fairfield, and there is no necessity for it to now be housed in Carroll Valley. Some also believe that the proposed size of the library was too large, and was not needed. Beth Cool, a spokesperson from Adams County Public Library, mentioned that they have been offered 1,800 square feet at the new Borough Center, and it would not be feasible for them to relocate if they were offered any less. Cool also mentioned that the Library System would initially invest $65,000 toward the Borough Center project, and would annually budget approximately the same amount.

Other community members spoke in favor of the project, stating that the new center would be good for the community. The Library System could hold additional programs at the new location that they are not able to hold in their current location in downtown Fairfield. The new Borough Center also offers more security that is not currently present, and offers a place for members of the community to come together and enjoy.

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