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Local News Article
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Pennsburg Engineer to Present Municipal Building Renovation Update
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Pennsburg's Building Committee will hear an update on proposed renovations to the Municipal Building, maintenance garage and salt bin next week. John Rundy, its newly appointed engineer, is expected to make a presentation during a Jan. 24 meeting. The public is welcome to attend.

            The revision will include a plan to remove asbestos from the building, located at 76 West 6th St. He estimated the abatement cost at approximately $100,000 following the Jan. 10 regular meeting.

            Rundy – of Remington & Vernick Engineers, based in King of Prussia – explained that removal expenses will be included in his overall proposal. Municipal officials have secured a $1.351 million low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to execute multiple renovations.

            In August, council voted to reject two bids for the work that came in significantly higher than the loan amount. The transition from its previous engineering firm, Terrence Naugle, of Great Valley Consultants, to its current one has delayed the rebidding process.

            Rundy said his co-workers recently discovered asbestos in the municipal building. He said they tested some caulk around the windows in the front of the building. "I'm not surprised, considering when it was built," the engineer said.

            Demolition could not occur at the structure until the asbestos, a group of naturally occurring minerals that are resistant to heat and corrosion, is removed according to Rundy.

            Inhaling the microscopic fibers can cause lung cancer and other diseases, such as mesothelioma of the pleura, a fatal malignant tumor of the membrane lining the cavity of the lung or stomach, according to information posted on the U. S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration website.

            Five months ago, the previous engineer said he planned on sitting down with a USDA official to redo the scope of the project and figure out what alternatives to include. Naugle said new specifications would be developed in approximately three weeks.

            Rundy is expected to also present new designs for the garage and the salt bin. According to council President Diane Stevens, the engineer believes that the municipality may be able to complete most of the project as originally planned with different materials.

            The current plan calls for relocating the borough's public works department to the former recycling center and demolishing 90 percent of the current maintenance garage. Additionally, that area will be replaced by a new salt bin.

            The municipality's current salt bin area will be converted into a break room, bathroom, storage, and office space for the public works department. An adjacent storage area will be refurbished. The work will include the installation of new garage doors and insulation.






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