BROOMALL–The Marple Township Board of Commissioners listened to a presentation on Monday night about a proposed bond issue for the construction or renovations of the Marple Police Department, district courts, Broomall
Fire Co. and Marple Ambulance Corps at the old Marple grade school on Malin Road.
Kirwan B. Elliottm of Janney Public Markets, stated before the board that bond interest rates are low.
"It’s a great time to borrow," said Elliott. "But a raise in rates isn’t expected over the next year.”
Attorney Marc Stein, of Blanc Rome LLP in Philadelphia, suggested that it would probably make sense for the board to do a short-term loan of one to two years to get the design plans in place for the project and determine how much the project would cost.
According to Commissioners President Michael Molinaro, the specs are done for the police station and the two district courts but “we have not gotten into the fire station.” In addition, Molinaro stated it was undetermined if the ambulance corps is interested in joining the proposed emergency services campus on Malin Road as well.
However, Township Manager Anthony Hamaday said the proposed project still has to go through the land development process.
While the township has not determined what it would need to borrow for the project, Molinaro asked what the annual debt service would be on a $5 million bond over 30 years.
Elliott said the annual debt service would be estimated to $250,000.
Commissioners Vice President George Lucas shared that there was no need to rush but to take time into carefully looking into this project
“We have time to do this properly, to relax and concentrate," said Lucas.”
But Molinaro said the board needs to get the ball rolling on the project.
“Financing is the big issue here–what we’re willing to go out with, how much it’s going to cost us…” responded Molinaro.
Fifth Ward Commissioner John Longacre also agreed with Molinaro and said the township needs to get its plan together and obtain financing in the next six months.
“And that’s the biggest bang for our taxpayers,” added Longacre.
In March of this year, commissioners approved a contract (not to exceed $28,000) to an architect for the emergency services center.
In Septemer of last year, Hamaday told the commissioners that he had sent out requests for proposals for the township’s proposed emergency services building. According to Hamaday, at the time, a total of 30 requests for proposals were sent out to architects and engineering firms.
Last August, the board faced a down economy and real estate market, and had tabled to vote on the planning process of the proposed building.
The proposed safety center is expected to be approximately $10-11 million, which would hold all the emergency services departments in the township. The proposed location of the center will be at the old Marple school parking lot off of Malin Road across from the current location of the Broomall Fire Co.