For the second meeting in a row, the Ross Township board of commissioners has heard dire predictions about the future of the public works garage on Cemetery Lane.
After a visit to the facility with fellow commissioner Peter Ferraro, commissioner John Sponcer did not mince words Monday night.
"We need to seriously consider what we're going to do with that building. It's in very serious shape," said Sponcer. "At some point in time we're probably looking at another engineer look at that building and decide whether or not we can keep it. I don't think we can."
Sponcer said that over the years, the salt from plows parked on the second floor garages has deteriorated the concrete beams supporting the building. The structure was erected in 1967 according to Ferraro.
"When you look at it, it's not a failure of the building. it's a failure of the maintenance of the building," he said. "The salt's just eaten thing away in there. you take a truck, you park it inside, with salt in it, and the moisture in the building and heat in the building, it's just eating away at it."
Ross commissioners voted 9-0 Nov. 19 to spend thousands of dollars to rent equipment to shore up the second floor of the building, where the township's heavy dump and salt trucks park. The initial cost of the equipment is $17,120, and the township will have to pay $135 a day to keep the material in place.
At that meeting, Ross Public Works Director Mike Funk told the commissioners that several walls are cracked and he feared for the safety of his workers. "This is a problem which should have been addressed a long time ago," he said.
Sponcer, Ferraro, and fellow commissioner David Mikec will head up a committee to make recommendations.
"Before we would make any firm commitment, I think we should get some other engineers out there and let them to some type of core drilling samples and see what they would do from the standpoint of shoring it up," said Ferraro. "I'm not an advocate of spending taxpayers money, but I don't want to put good money after bad, so I'd like to get some good fundamental engineering studies in place before we more forward and make a decision to possibly put up another building."
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