Mahoning Township is closer to erecting a new pole building to house the road crew and machinery now that supervisors have officially awarded the bid for construction to Penn State Construction of Lewistown, PA in the amount of $193,275 with a 4-0 vote. Supervisor Todd Weaver was absent from the meeting.

The bid covers erecting the steel building that will house the trucks and crew separately from the township police and office staff. This in turn will resolve many of the violations for which the township was cited due to complaints made to PennDOT about the safety and air quality in the building. Supervisors have been keeping the Bureau of Labor and Industry apprised about the progress of the building process and recently received another extension to complete the building.

"The base bid from Penn State Construction includes a wooden framed firewall in the building versus a masonry firewall," said Supervisor Bruce Steigerwalt who has acted as the coordinator of the project along with supervisor Frank Ruch. Steigerwalt said the difference in price for the masonry wall was about $2400 and supervisors felt the base wood frame firewall was sufficient.

The only other contractor to bid on the building itself was Double Tree whose base price was $224,485, a difference of over $31,000. All bidders were required to attend the pre-bid meeting on August 17th at the township building. This included both those bidding on the general contract as well as those companies bidding on the various components of the building including heating, electrical and plumbing systems.

The other bids were also awarded with 4-0 votes on each system. Before the series of votes that awarded the various contractor bids, Township Code Enforcement Officer Carl Faust recommended the board verify the baseboard heating was included in either the electrical or heating contracts citing a recent job he inspected where both subcontractors believed the other was responsible and as a result the baseboards were omitted from the bids. The board also discussed whether to place the propane tank above ground or below ground.

After the discussions about some of the particulars of the construction, the board awarded the bids to Penn State Construction for the general construction. They awarded the electrical work to Frable and Son Electric at a cost of $26,750. L&S Electric was awarded bids for the plumbing work at a cost of $20,100 and the HVAC work at a cost of $17,300. Landscape and site preparation work will be done under Steigerwalt's oversight by the road crew.

The board also agreed to advertise for propane for the completed building. There was some discussion as to the volume of propane to place out on bid since there was no historical data to use an estimate. The other issue concerning supervisors was having a contract for fuel out of sync with the rest of the fuel needs for the township which are normally awarded in June for the year. After some debate about the issue the supervisors voted 4-0 to advertise for up to 3,000 gallons of propane more or less to be delivered to the township up until June 30, 2013 after which the propane bids will be included with the other fuel bids.

Steigerwalt said township engineer Tim Edinger recommended requesting a construction schedule from Penn State so the board would have a time frame for when the building will be completed. He also recommended that each contractor be paid as they submit invoices however the township would withhold the final 10 percent of each contract until the final building is inspected and accepted by the township. At that point the final amounts would be awarded to the respective contractors. The consensus was that this would be a good idea.

The board is hoping construction could be completed before winter at least with the shell and outside work.