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Westmoreland

Unity set to open bids Oct. 30 for replacement garage

Jeff Himler
| Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, 1:12 p.m.
In this file photo from Sept. 25, 2017, burned out vehicles remain in place after a Sept, 24 fire at the Unity Township public works garage. A state police fire marshal ruled it an arson.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
In this file photo from Sept. 25, 2017, burned out vehicles remain in place after a Sept, 24 fire at the Unity Township public works garage. A state police fire marshal ruled it an arson.

Unity supervisors could be ready in November to award contracts for replacing the township’s torched public works building, but officials can’t say when construction might begin.

“As quick as possible,” said John Mylant, chairman of the supervisors.

The township on Oct. 30 will open for review bids for the project’s four primary contracts - general and mechanical construction, electrical and plumbing. Three sealed bids had been received as of the supervisors’ meeting on Thursday .

The new building will be located on the site of Unity’s previous public works garage, which was destroyed in an arson on Sept. 24, 2017.

The township’s insurance carrier has offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to a conviction in the crime. Anyone with information about the arson is asked to contact state police at 724-832-3288.

Unity officials have said the new public works building will be similar to the old one. A major difference is that the new structure will have a sprinkler system, in compliance with current construction codes.

According to township Solicitor Gary Falatovich, installation of the sprinklers will be handled under a separate contract, with bid specifications for that part of the project still pending.

It may be a while before bids are sought for the sprinklers.

“Sometimes it’s easier to complete specs for sprinkler systems once the internal framing is done,” Falatovich said.

A state police fire marshal estimated the loss of the building, and vehicles and equipment inside, at up to $5 million.

Mylant and township employee Scott Morrison were able to drive a few vehicles out of the burning building, and several others already were parked outside.

The township has replaced most of the destroyed items and is renting two temporary garages on Route 981 and Lloyd Avenue Extension. Originally leased for a year, the two sites will continue to be rented on a month-to-month basis, Mylant said.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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