Richard D. L. Fulton
(4/15) Carroll Valley Borough Mayor Ronald Harris briefed the council April 15 on the current recommendations regarding the replacement of the current borough office.
The borough office, located at 5685 Fairfield Road, serves as home to the borough administrators and police department, and also houses the public meeting room.
The mayor also serves as a member of the borough Building Steering Committee established by the council in October 2012 to evaluate options to address a deteriorating borough office plagued with roof leaks, flooding, wood rot, and diminishing available office and storage space. Harris previously stated, "The building is falling apart."
The mayor told the council at their April meeting that the steering committee has narrowed their choice of options down to one, building an entirely new town office complex near the existing building in Carroll Commons.
The project is estimated to cost around $2,180,978, several hundred thousands of dollars less than the cost projected for overhauling and upgrading the current facility (estimated at $2,461,640).
Other options considered and ultimately rejected included construction a new office complex at 14 Ranch Trail (estimated cost $3,403,900), and purchasing and renovating an existing structure located at 104 Sanders Road (estimated cost $2,566,081).
Harris said another factor that contributed to the steering committee’s decision is that the new building located in Carroll Commons could take advantage of existing water and sewer lines that would be vacated by demolishing the existing office.
The new office would also be more of a multi-purpose building, and not serve solely as a town office and police headquarters.
The mayor said the project should not trigger and tax increase, and would be paid for by existing money in conjunction with grants. The next phase will entail hiring an architect, who will also serve as the project manager, and finalize funding.
Borough hall began its life as a snack bar in the 1960s, which had reportedly been constructed in association with a putt-putt golf course, according to Harris. Thus far, photographs of the old snack bar, or even its name, have not surfaced.
The borough, which was incorporated in 1974, acquired the snack bar and made it their borough office in 1977. In 1987, the building was expanded to include the public meeting room. However, an initial expansion may have also occurred earlier and might have included the main hallway, bathrooms and the police squad room.
Harris has had a difficult time documenting the evolution of the present building, since all of the construction was apparently carried-out by volunteers.
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