Kulpmont building project facts and figures
KULPMONT - A public meeting to discuss the borough's proposed municipal complex project is scheduled for 6 p.m. today at West End Fire Company, 1254 Maple St. A regular council meeting will follow at 7.
Here are some facts and figures about the project:
Q. What does the new project involve?
A. The plan is to construct a 4,000-square-foot borough building and 5,000-square-foot maintenance garage along Fir Street, between Seventh and Eighth, on land donated by Susquehanna Coal Co. (The current building is 7,000 square feet on each of two floors, although the borough doesn't use nearly all of the space, and there is a separate maintenance shed.) The new buildings would house administration offices, maintenance, street and police departments, the code office, mayor's office, a boardroom, community room and food pantry. There will be separate administrative and police entrances, each with covered porches. The maintenance building will have four bays, two offices, a break room, utility room and restroom. There would be a 30-space parking area.
Q. What is the status of the project?
A. Earlier this year, council was hoping to be moved in by September. Instead, only site preparation work has been done and the project has yet to be bid.
Q. Is the borough spending $1.47 million on the complex?
A. That's how much the U.S. Department of Agriculture has said it would loan the borough over 39 years, but council members say they hope to get the cost under $1 million. Council President Bruno Varano said he might have the latest plans and estimates at Tuesday night's public meeting. He noted the borough rejected two bids in June 2012, the lowest of which was $1.36 million, because they were too high.
Q. What is the projected monthly payment?
A. The only estimate provided to this point by USDA is based on the $1.47 million loan. At an estimated 3.125 interest rate, monthly payments would be $5,439 and total payback would be approximately $2.5 million.
Q. Why can't they just repair the current building?
A. Council has had two separate analyses done through which they determined it would be more economical to build new. One analysis put renovations of the 75-year-old building at $750,000 for new electrical wire, a new heating system and a new roof, while a second estimated renovation of $2.5 million for both floors.
Q. My taxes were already raised for the new complex. Since it hasn't been built, where is that money going?
A. Council in January approved a 4.5-mill property tax increase, with 3 mills earmarked for payments on the building. With construction having yet to take place, treasurer Paul Niglio said the money is being put in the general fund, but it's still earmarked for loan repayment.
Q. Kulpmont Senior Citizens use the current building. What happens to that group if the borough moves and the building is shut down?
A. It is unknown at this point where the seniors might move. There had been consideration for housing the center in the basement of the new complex, but efforts to reduce costs and address drainage issues at the new site eliminated a basement from the plan. Also, there are state requirements for a senior center that would have to be met. Northumberland County pays $8,100 annually in rent to Kulpmont to house the senior center at the current building.
Q. What will happen to the current building if a new complex is constructed?
A. The former Wilson Grade School is still owned by Mount Carmel Area School District, which has allowed the borough to use it free for the past 30 years. An agreement states that ownership reverts to the district should the building no longer be used for municipal purposes, but district officials have indicated they would consider other options.