New borough building means taxpayer savings
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Standing beneath the new Borough of Jim Thorpe sign on the front of the new office building and police station are, from left, Mayor Ronald Confer, Councilman Jeremy Melber, council President John McGuire, councilmen Joe Marzen, Justin Yaich, and Todd Mason. Missing from photo are councilmen Joe Krebs and Gregory Strubinger.
The mayor of Jim Thorpe and members of Jim Thorpe Borough Council recently attended the dedication of the new combination borough office building and police station located at Memorial Park on E. 10th Street.
The new building contains the police station with a holding cell, and the borough office with a meeting room for regular borough business.
The regular monthly borough council meetings and others requiring more seating room will still be held at Jim Thorpe Memorial Hall which is also located on E. 10th Street.
The benefits of the construction project to the citizens of Jim Thorpe go much farther than just having a new building in which to transact borough business matters.
The new building will return triple benefits to taxpayers, such as; there is no cost to borough taxpayers for the building, thanks to a state grant; Jim Thorpe Borough will realize a savings of $36,000 a year on what had been spent on building rent expenses; and the building's design and construction will lower expenses to heat and cool the structure.
According to borough council President John McGuire, this is the first building that the borough has owned in its history for use as the borough office, and that is a result of everybody's hard work and cooperation
He noted that council member Justin Yaich put a lot of effort into securing a grant for $500,000 in cooperation with the efforts of Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Keith McCall.
McGuire added that they actually chopped $330,000 off the original design estimate of $830,000, mostly by eliminating what was supposed to be a big meeting room off the back of the building which would have extended back another 30 feet in Memorial Park.
Not only did that help to cut that amount off the original design estimate to keep it at the $500,000 amount of the state grant, it was also eliminated because officials did not want the building to encroach farther into Memorial Park.
McGuire went on to say that they kept it under budget and on-track so it cost no additional taxpayer money for Jim Thorpe residents. It was paid for with grant money from the state.
He said that council member Todd Mason followed the building project all the way through from start to finish and did a great job working with the general contractor, Kistler Buildings, and the borough's architect, Ben Walbert.
He continued by saying they also worked with Mayor Ronald Confer and chairman of the police, Jeremy Melber, to get everything set up the way that they needed it. That was key to the project, said McGuire, adding that it was a whole effort from everyone that made it successful.
Council member Yaich is the chair of the building committee which also consists of McGuire and Mason as the other two members.
Yaich noted that the money the borough will save in rent, helped keep taxes from going up this year for borough residents.
It was also noted that the building's energy-efficient design and its new "green" geothermal heating and cooling system will save on energy consumption expenses, thereby giving yet another added saving to the borough's taxpayers.