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Carroll Valley Borough building opens

Danielle Ryan

(3/1) On March 1st, the brand new, much-anticipated Carroll Valley Borough building opened to the public. This grand opening included the unveiling of the borough offices, the re-located Fairfield branch of the Adams County Library, and the new police department offices and facilities.

The new building, which faced some initial discontent and concern from residents of Carroll Valley, has been a project long in the making. The Borough has been diligently saving for the past ten years to ensure that this new building would not result in a financial cost to the residents. Many residents initially anticipated a future increase in their taxes to cover the cost of the $3.599 million building, but Borough Manager David Hazlett continuously assured residents that a tax increase would not happen.

Staff and Council members experienced the structure’s poor condition first hand every day and knew that starting over was really the only feasible option. Council member Ken Lundberg stated that: "the building is in poor shape; there is inadequate ventilation, black mold is in the walls, and because of poor initial construction (especially to the foundation) renovation was just not an option. Demolition was the only real answer."

However, the Borough took the residents’ concerns and input very seriously because in the end the new building is meant to be shared by the community. Several plans were discussed and over time the size and cost of the building decreased.

The new building stands at 11,440 square feet, a significant decrease from the original 2015 plan of 12,686 square feet. Of that square footage, 2,878 square feet houses the borough offices; 3,789 square feet for the community center; 3,347 square feet for the police department; and the Adams County Library System’s wing of the building encompasses 2,072 square feet. The borough accomplished this reduction by decreasing office space set aside for the police department, eliminating one meeting room and one conference room, decreasing the size of the library, and overall reducing room sizes. The reduction in size saved the Borough approximately $300,000 in construction cost.

In addition to the savings seen from reducing the building size, the Borough has also received some of the hoped for grant monies. This includes a $1 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), which was received in October of 2016. This money covered the $70,000 annual appropriation from the general fund that had been budgeted for the building project, explained Hazlett. "We knew we’d applied for a grant, but I didn’t realize what a huge impact this would have on our budget. This is a very good thing for the Borough."

The borough’s funding consultant, Amy Kaufman of GMS Funding Solutions, explained that the Borough will also realize a savings of more than $489,000 in interest payments as a result of the grant being applied to a principal pay down on the construction loan that is financing the new complex. "After paying all consulting and related costs, the Borough will realize more than $1.3 million in net financial benefit."

As borough staff is still in the process of finishing the move, residents are kindly asked to remain patient if phone calls and emails are not answered right away. Staff will do their best to answer as diligently as possible. The demolition of the old building is slated for March 6. Community members are invited, as always, to attend the monthly Borough Council meeting, which will be held on the 14th to see the new building.

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