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Limerick to erect new public works building

LIMERICK — With equipment spread around the township wherever it will fit and little space for workers to rest during their sometimes 24-hour shifts, Limerick will erect a public works building in an estimated $2 million project.

“Anybody who has been through our current one knows how antiquated it is,” said Township Manager Dan Kerr in a July 16 board of supervisors meeting. “In researching options, we believe the best thing to do is knock down the existing building back there and put in a new prefabricated building.”

The building was budgeted for this year but Kerr said it would likely roll over to the 2014 budget.

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According to Kerr, they’re looking at a 20,000 square foot building that would provide for “future growth” as well as have space for all of the township’s trucks, construction vehicles and equipment with an area for maintenance.

Such a space would also provide the proper accommodations for Limerick’s 15 full-time public works employees.

Currently, Kerr said the offices for the public works department are where some of the parts for the township’s trucks are stored, due to space restrictions in the building itself.

With almost 100 miles of roads to maintain during winter storms, Kerr said the township’s crews work long days in which they’re sometimes forced to nap in their trucks in the current building.

A new building would have a bunk room as well as showering facilities, Kerr said.

Additionally, the township does a lot of its construction work in-house, saving 20 to 25 percent on typical costs, according to Kerr. As such, a new building would provide better housing for the construction vehicles and equipment, he said.

In the July 16 meeting, Kerr presented the board with three separate bids for design services for the building.

The supervisors approved the low-bid Gorski Engineering Inc. in Collegeville, for $51,000 by a 4-0 vote with supervisor’s Chairman Joseph St. Pedro abstaining.

“Our goal would be to put this out for bid for the spring for construction,” Kerr said. “Our public works crew would have to abandon their building so they will have to make provisions, obviously we want to do that after the winter season, so it will give us the whole winter to prep(are) for this and move them out.”

He said the crews would likely use offices in the township building and the equipment would be stored elsewhere during the “two to three month construction” period.

“We need to invest in” the public works workers, said Supervisor Kara Shuler.

“Absolutely,” Kerr said. “The building here, we’ve done the police station, it’s time for these guys to enjoy a modern facility that they deserve.”

Follow Frank Otto on Twitter @fottojourno.

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