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Plum council takes first step with bond issue

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Plum Borough about 10 years ago purchased land in Renton, intending to move the public works operation to the site.

A decade later, the plan has come to fruition with a new public works building and garage set to open next month. A salt storage building also is on the site located between Renton Road and Old Leechburg Road.

And more development is on the way.

Council members last week voted to adopt an ordinance for a bond issue, the proceeds from which are intended to pay for a new fire station for the Renton Volunteer Fire Department and EMS base for Plum Emergency Medical Service. The ordinance is the first step to council approving the bond issue.

Officials also plan to use a portion of the money to construct a road through the site and help the Unity Volunteer Fire Department with a truck purchase.

Ground breaking for the new fire station/EMS building is scheduled for Oct. 10 at the site.

Plum Manager Michael Thomas told council members that costs for the building, the road and the fire truck are expected to total about $3.5 million.

The fire department and Plum EMS are to be responsible for paying about half the $55,000 increased debt service cost. The two groups also are to reimburse the borough for the cost of the building.

Plum EMS Deputy Director Bob Moran said he is looking for about 6,000 additional square feet of space in the new building. The EMS base in the complex with the borough offices on New Texas Road occupies about 2,000 square feet of space. Moran is looking for about 8,000 square feet in the new building.

Councilman Michael Dell, finance committee chairman, said the bond issue can proceed once the borough gets a firm number on the cost of the projects.

Next, bids for the building will be awarded, Dell said.

The councilman anticipates that construction could begin in the spring.

Dell said more development is on tap for the site.

“We have plans over the next four years,” Dell said.

Development of a municipal center at the site hinges on redevelopment at the current borough building site on New Texas Road, Dell said.

A marketing study several years ago indicated a grocery store would be profitable at the site.

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

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