Boyertown Schoolboard Balks for $ 250,000 Calls for Intersection Improvements – Reading Eagle

COLEBROOKDALE — Boyertown School Board members were cautious about requesting Colebrookdale Township staff to assist in paying for intersection improvements designed to improve traffic flow from Boyertown High School on Tuesday.

Township lawyer Jeffrey Carver tells the board about the district’s interest in improving the intersection of three streets, Henry, Montgomery, and North Reading, and offering up to $ 250,000 to make it happen. I gave a presentation.

This map shows that Henry Avenue, North Reading Avenue, and Montgomery Avenue do not exactly match. (Image from screenshot)

Beginning in 2014, when the district was preparing to expand the Boyertown Area Senior High School to accommodate grade 9, the district was looking for a way to access campuses other than Monroe Avenue through the Boyertown Autonomous Region.

The idea was to extend Monroe Street north to Montgomery Avenue. This puts additional pressure on the unpopular intersections of Montgomery, Henry and North Leading Avenue.

“The town has spent years working with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to devise designs,” Carver told the board. “Sending signals is not a simple intersection, it’s not just a traffic light.”

He said it included a left turn lane and required the town to obtain an easement from a nearby real estate owner for the design to work.

Colebrookdale Township Supervisor Todd Gamler said it was very difficult to work with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and at some point Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials would show that it wouldn’t work. He said he requested a township engineer to design a roundabout.

“The time it took to get through the PennsDOT was ridiculous,” Gamler said.

Equally difficult, Mr. Carver said he was coming up with money to pay for it.

The school district has already provided $ 247,000 for design work and the township is spending $ 35,000. At some point two years ago, the school board provided $ 800,000 for townships throughout the project, according to Carver, at which point the townships were rejected.

Five times in the last three years, the town has applied for state subsidies to cover the costs and has failed four times. Gamler’s fifth effort was partly successful due to the influence of State Senator Bobmensch, R-24 District.

The estimated remaining cost of the $ 1.2 million project is $ 898,000, and Colebrookdale received a $ 800,000 state grant.

Knowing that construction projects tend to exceed their estimates-a lesson that Boyertown has learned too well-Carber said he wants townships to promise to contribute to the school district. to $ 250,000 for the total cost. At some point, the district was ready to pay $ 800,000, so Township wants the board to see the request as an overall savings, Carver said.

He emphasized the “maximum” element of the request several times.

“If it turns out that the cost overrun is over $ 250,000, we won’t incur any more costs. You won’t see us again,” Carver said.

However, James Brophy, a member of the school board, was not impressed with the qualifying. “If we say we’re going to cost up to $ 250,000, we’re basically paying $ 250,000,” he said.

He and board member Ruth Dierolf also pointed out that material and labor costs are currently very high due to a pandemic shortage, suggesting that “it’s not the right time” to start the project. bottom.

Carver wouldn’t allow bids until January, and if it was too expensive, he said, “Township refuses them and is willing to try again when prices go down.”

He also wanted the township to be very collaborative with the school district in recent architectural projects, giving the school district many exemptions to save thousands of dollars, and making the school district a similarly collaborative partner. I pointed out that.

“It seems easy to move forward,” Carver said, given the amount of money already spent and the large state grants that should cover most of the remaining costs. increase.

Eastern Burks Police Chief Barry Leatherman knows that the intersection wasn’t the scene of many accidents, but that locals avoid it “including my police car when they don’t need to answer the phone.” Said the body.

The planned improvements “will improve traffic flow throughout the region,” Leatherman said.

Gamler said he had spent five years preparing and preparing the project, and said it would be “catastrophic” if the school district decided not to contribute.

Jeffrey Sultanik, a Boyertown Schoolboard Solicitor, told township officials that the board would discuss it and inform them of their decision.

Boyertown Schoolboard Balks for $ 250,000 Calls for Intersection Improvements – Reading Eagle

Source link Boyertown Schoolboard Balks for $ 250,000 Calls for Intersection Improvements – Reading Eagle

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