Contribution to go toward Second Street improvements
Pennsburg will be getting some funding, complements of the Perkiomen School, to improve borough infrastructure as the school begins an expansion on its 165-acre campus.
At Monday night’s council meeting, the preparatory school’s expansion plans were detailed. Plans include new dormitories and improvements to existing facilities in two phases, which are scheduled to begin in spring 2014.
According to Perkiomen School representatives, Parents Hall, the campus’ dining facility, will be expanded, new dormitories will be built and existing dorms renovated. As part of those renovations, the school asked council to grant several waivers.
The waivers, which were all approved, included minor adjustments to the allowable size of stormwater piping, extending fencing along Silk Alley at a residential building, adjustments to driveway and parking setbacks and a driveway width that will be reduced from 22 feet instead of 26 feet to allow for a landscape buffer, also along Silk Alley.
The school, under the waivers, will not be required to donate open space, as it already has a significant portion of its campus dedicated to open space, officials said. The school will vacate a total of five “paper” streets and alleys as well. Those roads appear only in land records and are not physical throughways.
In coordination with the expansion, the school agreed to give Pennsburg a $15,000 donation towards roadway improvements along Second Street. The borough previously secured a community development block grant (CDBG) to install sidewalks, new curbing, paving and storm water inlet repairs along the street from Main to Seminary.
The school’s contribution will be applied to the project’s engineering costs, which are not covered by the grant, council members said. Construction on those road improvements are preliminarily scheduled to begin in 2014.
“I believe I speak for borough council when I say we are very grateful to Michael Foux and the Perkiomen School for their generous contribution toward the needed improvements for our community,” Council President Kris Kirkwood said Wednesday.
“It will greatly help us out. We budgeted $50,000, so that money will greatly reduce those fees.”
In other borough news, council learned one of the fuel tanks in the borough’s Fifth Street parking lot has begun to leak and the entire tank structure and pad will have to be removed.
The leak, which was described as very small by officials, was examined by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which said the tank structure is currently sound but will need to be removed within a few weeks. Council agreed to award a bid to Hafer Equipment for $6,310 to remove the tanks and associated equipment.
Council also agreed to put the purchase of a fire alarm system for the renovated upstairs of the borough building on hold, as quotes came in higher than expected around $10,000. Council members said they had hoped to see numbers between $5,000 and $7,000 but only received one quote to date. Council will also have to budget for monthly monitoring fees, they said.
Officials later approved a $350 donation for the Hometown Christmas Parade.