Construction projects coming along at Plum public works site

| Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

As one project nears completion on the borough-owned property in Renton, another is in the design phase.

Plum Councilman Leonard Szarmach said the new public works facility is scheduled for completion and move-in later this month.

“The facility we are in now (off New Texas Road) is long overdue to be replaced,” said Szarmach, chairman of council's public works committee. “It (the new building) will be a welcome addition. My focus is to get the guys over there.”

The 21,000-square-foot building and garage has a capacity for 25 vehicles, bays for mechanics and lifts for vehicles.

The building also has offices, a training room, restrooms, locker rooms and a kitchen area. A salt storage building also is part of the project.

The cost of the building that is on property between Renton Road and Old Leechburg Road is about $7 million.

Szarmach said a big plus in the new building is the space to keep public works department vehicles and equipment inside so they last longer.

Some vehicles and equipment stay outside at the present facility because of a lack of indoor space.

“It is unbelievable how quickly things deteriorate when they are sitting out in the weather,” Szarmach said.

Szarmach said former public works Director Bill Berchick, who retired earlier this year, has been working on a consulting basis to help with the move.

In addition to the physical move, Jason Muggli, information technology coordinator, is working to ensure a smooth transition for computers, phones and other equipment.

Meanwhile, officials with Plum Emergency Medical Service and the Renton Volunteer Fire Department last week met with the design team — including an architect, landscape architect and engineer — working on a new building to house a fire station and EMS base at the site, a short distance away from the public works facility.

Borough officials plan to refinance a $7 million bond issue from 2010 that is expected to glean the borough about $1.6 million for the building. The fire department and EMS are to be responsible for paying about half of the $55,000 increased debt service cost.

The two groups also are to reimburse the borough for the cost of the building.

Renton Volunteer Fire Department President Anita Maydak said the group started with a “blank piece of paper.”

Maydak said members talked with the design team about room sizes and other attributes the fire department would like to see in the fire department portion of the building.

“We asked them to make it look like a fire station, not a box for identity,” Maydak said.

Tom Izydore, Plum EMS director, said ambulance service staff are looking for additional garage and storage space and a comfortable area for paramedics and emergency service technicians to both do computer work and relax during long shifts.

Deputy Director Bob Moran said officials are shooting for a groundbreaking in February or March.

Maydak said the next design meeting is scheduled for Aug. 21.

“It is exciting,” Szarmach said concerning both projects.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or

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