Mel Weinstein, township treasurer and interim manager, told the volunteers he was concerned about liability falling on the township if the department borrowed money it could not pay back.
By Jamie Wiggan
Kennedy’s volunteer fire department station on Pine Hollow Road will soon have to face costly upgrades or construct a new building.
Presenting to township officials immediately after the adjournment of the Sept. 10 business meeting, volunteer firefighters said they had contracted a viability study which indicated the station could either be renovated for $4.7 million or replaced with a new building for
President Bob Ligouri said in order to secure federal grant money, the department would need to obtain ownership of the property, which currently belongs to the township. He called on officials to transfer ownership to the department.
“It will help the township in the long run,” he said. “The big issue is that we need the property.”
Assistant Chief Tom Kappert said he had spoken with several grant writers, who suggested up to $2 million could be available in federal funding if the volunteers take ownership of the property and also incorporate the police department into the new building.
“They’re looking for consolidation,” he said. “We want to save the township as much as possible by getting grant money.
Ligouri said the department would finance the remaining costs after factoring grant funds.
Mel Weinstein, township treasurer and interim manager, told the volunteers he was concerned about liability falling on the township if the department borrowed money it could not pay back. He suggested he would consult with the solicitor to see if an agreement could be drafted to release the township of any financial responsibility.
During the public meeting, Weinstein announced the township had secured state funding to replace a broken drainage pipe on Clever Road near the Pitchfork Drive intersection.
The broken pipe helps drain the land surrounding the road, which is prone to flooding. It was first installed after a severe bout of flooding caused by Hurricane Ivan in 2003.
Weinstein said the $287,000 grant was secured through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection with help from State Rep. Anita Kulik. He said the township is still awaiting receipt of the funds and expects work to begin in the spring.