Point Township Municipal Building Project

  

Dear Point Township Residents,


The Point Township Board of Supervisors are making this preliminary report on our website regarding the Point Township Municipal Building Project. This building project has been openly discussed in many Township meetings over the last several years, but only recently has the opportunity to achieve this goal become a reality. That opportunity came in the form of the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, (RACP).


Within this RACP grant process, the Township has always had a specific plan that included public presentation, explanation and feedback. While we are not formally at this step in the process yet, we are releasing a preliminary report in response to some very negative and inaccurate information that has been casting a negative light on what we believe should be viewed as an exciting opportunity for Point Township. This project will resolve many previously identified hazards and deficiencies in the current municipal complex and provide an affordable solution at significant savings to our residents.


First, we would like to provide a brief history regarding the project.  Point Township was fortunate enough, through our prior and current State Representatives, Merle Phillips and Linda Culver, respectively, to have been named for an itemization of $500,000 in Harrisburg. This itemization is the first critical step in qualifying for the RACP grant. More recently, as this itemization was set to expire, Rep. Culver re-qualified the Township and helped achieve an increase up to $600,000 that would help account for inflation. The Township applied for RACP in 2018 but was not selected. In 2019, the Township applied again, and Rep. Culver worked diligently to get this money back to the local community. In the final hours of grant recipient selection, the Township had the opportunity to be selected, but money was tight, and we were approved for a $500,000 grant.


Point Township was ready to receive this grant and had a viable project because the Board and the various Township departments have been identifying both the strengths and weaknesses of the Township for many years now. This is a continuous process that includes stakeholders now and into the future. The Township routinely receives complaints and concerns from residents, and we attempt to find practical solutions. One of the most common complaints expressed by residents and businesses is how they have been bounced around from one location to another as they have needed different Township resources. This was a guiding factor in the current project to achieve a ‘one stop government shop’.


The current building was built in the 1950’s, (currently the road department) and had a piece added in the 1970’s, (police, secretary and board room). This current building has many problems, including electrical deficiencies, ADA compliance, roof/snow hazards, regular HVAC failures with pending end of life issues, and insulation problems to name a few. The Township pays an insurance penalty due to the road crew and its associated fuels and chemicals existing in the same structure as Township offices. Moving the road department into its own building will eliminate this hazard and double the available square footage for all other offices.


The project will provide space for the current departments, including the secretary, road department and police department. The project will also incorporate space for other entities that our residents interact with. This includes the sewer department, tax collector, building inspector, code and zoning offices. The sewer and tax offices will include 24/7/365 drive through payment windows for convenience. Bringing the tax collector and sewer department into the building both enhances convenience to residents and provides a cost savings reaching into the future. By providing the tax collector an office, the Board can assess the amount of money paid to the tax collector and make your collected tax dollars go further.


The sewer authority currently exists in a 1960’s temporary job site trailer. This is not a permanent solution and presents substantial problems. The trailer does not provide reasonable space for office functions or records storage. The trailer does not provide a capability to properly store and service valuable equipment. Only through the generosity of those currently involved with the sewer authority are these shortcomings currently being met. This is not a typical arrangement and is not guaranteed into the future. The Authority needs a solution, and while the Township and Authority are two separate entities, cooperation is critical to deliver essential services to the residents at a reasonable cost. This is the logic used in the Authority contributing $200,000 into the Municipal Building Project. In return, the Township will guarantee a 20-year lease to the Authority, working out to about $833/month and includes heating/cooling, lavatory facilities, etc. It is unlikely the Authority could find such an affordable solution, guaranteed for two decades, while maintaining the ‘One Stop Shop’ goal of the municipal building project.


The Township has identified several key issues with the current facility; they include, but are not limited to:

  • Energy Efficiency – Both of the current heating systems are nearing end of life and will require substantial money to replace with comparable units. The building insulation is inadequate, and in some places non-existent. Collectively, this puts your tax dollars out the roof and windows. We have patched this up through the years to get by but held off on replacements in anticipation of the grant. We anticipate installing geothermal HVAC into the renovated building and making substantial improvements to the building envelope to reduce energy costs. The new garage space will be equipped with a waste oil burner and the Township will begin a waste oil collection program that has the potential to dramatically reduce the garage heating costs. Because of the grant, these items, like the entire project, come to you at 50% off.
  • Safety/Structural - The current building lacks adequate space, is not ADA compliant in several areas, and poses some hazards. The front roof dumps snow and ice onto the walkways and when the Township hosts events such as meetings, elections and clubs, people often congregate outside the building in these problem areas. The project will include a front roof extension and covered walkway along the entire length of the building. A drive-through front portico will allow temporary parking for our visitors, as well as a substantial safety enhancement for our guests with limited mobility to stay out of the rain, snow and ice during their visit. The front entry step will be eliminated to provide a safer entry way and enhanced wheelchair accessibility. The restrooms will be updated to meet ADA standards.  The current police station lacks adequate space and security features. One notable example are situations where a single officer has multiple persons in custody but only one holding room and restraint bench. Officers also encounter situations where a subject in custody needs to use the restroom in the building while at the same time a soccer or little league event is occurring. This proximity of kids with violent subjects creates an unnecessary risk that will be eliminated by having the police department more securely separated from the public access portion of the municipal building. The project will also include a garage space for cruisers and for large item impounds such as fatal crash vehicles, bicycles, etc.  The current parking area often falls short of meeting our needs and is anticipated to double in size and will include lighting for safety. An update to the current video surveillance system will further enhance safety and accountability. Many people currently use the municipal parking lot for child custody exchanges, transferring property, etc. and a well-lighted, video recorded lot is a nice resource for the public.
  • Office Space and Schedules – The renovated building will provide office space for all government officials. Some of these officials have hours of operation that are consistent with Township hours and sometimes not. The design includes solutions that allow all offices to operate collectively or independently, as needed, on a daily basis.


The project is scheduled for completion in 2020. The RACP grant process is progressing forward and we anticipate putting the project out for bid around March of 2020 if possible. We would like to receive bids and get on a builder’s schedule to take advantage of good weather for the project as soon as possible.  The project is also specifically designed to work in phases. This allows the Township to stay operational during the process.

  • Phase 1 – Road Department – this includes an additional pole building area and some upgrades to the current pole building. Upon completion, the road department moves to the rear of the property, vacating their current location that becomes the police department.
  • Phase 2 – Police Department - built within the old road department space and includes a small addition, (approx. 10’x24’) to the rear and a garage to the east end of the building. The police department then moves through an interior doorway into the new space.
  • Phase 3 – Municipal Offices - the old police department space gets ‘gutted’ and an addition is added to the rear. This area includes the Township secretary/treasurer and clerk, the tax collector and the sewer authority.
  • Phase 4 – Board Room, Restrooms, Zoning/Code Offices - The restroom area includes a small addition to the rear to achieve the necessary ADA design elements and the offices and board room are updated. Zoning and Code occupy the old secretary offices.
  • Other – The front portico and roof extension, walkways, etc. will have some flexibility on build times and may be completed during the ‘down times’ when departments move from location to location to keep the project moving forward.


We would like to also address some points of view on renovating versus building new and resource conservation. Too often, entire buildings are demolished to be replaced with some ‘Taj Mahal’ facility. This project is being driven by necessity and will be finished modestly so it ‘fits’ our Township. We believe that the current facility lends itself well to renovation. Much of the current facility is ‘money in the bank’ and it would be wasteful to simply abandon it to a landfill. Additionally, moving can be a real pain! For any of us that have moved a residence, imagine the burdens of moving a municipal government while staying operational. Years of consideration and planning have provided a clear direction to make use of as much of what we already have to conserve resources and hold the line on costs.


The Township will continue to provide updates regarding this project.

  • Click below to view and download a copy of the ‘Draft Floor Plan. This was the preliminary drawing used in the original grant submittal.  Like any project, some changes are likely and will become clearer in the months ahead.
  • Additionally, we have provided a draft ‘Major Projects Budget & Schedule’. This is a rough guide used to help lay out a tentative work schedule for public knowledge and show the spending ability of the Township for major projects. Please note that this is a guide and subject to change.


We feel confident at this point that the building project and many road projects already on the table can be accomplished without any borrowing. The Township will also retain the capability into the foreseeable future to maintain a reasonable road construction and repair schedule.