DALLAS TWP. — The long road to relocate the township’s offices is over and the municipality is ready to show off its new digs to residents on Aug. 16.
Many of the township offices moved into new space located in the former Hildebrandt Learning Center headquarters on Lt. Michael Cleary Drive, according to Township Supervisor William Grant.
The municipal offices were located at 2919 Route 309.
“It was a long trip, but we got there,” Grant said about the real estate purchase process. “Everyone is very pleased.”
The new offices currently house the township tax collector, zoning and code enforcement officer, township manager and secretary.
State Rep. Karen Boback, R-Harveys Lake, is leasing the second-floor office space for $12,000 a year and has staff established at the site.
The Dallas Township Police Department will move into the basement of the 8,136-square-foot building later this year following renovation, Grant said.
The public is invited to see the new offices and meet the staff at an Open House scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, at the new municipal building at 105 Lt. Michael Cleary Dr.
“We will be dedicating the building and the flagpole,” Grant said. “There will be a ribbon cutting.”
The road to get to the open house contained a lot of hurdles.
In January 2017, supervisors Frank E. Wagner and Elizabeth A. Martin approved a motion to purchase the property pending the completion of a list of contingencies, which included securing funding to buy the building, annex the 1.5-acre lot from Dallas Borough, plus obtain a building appraisal and inspections.
Grant abstained from voting, citing he previously was a member of Hildebrandt Leasing LLC.
“I sold my interest in Hildebrandt Leasing LLC in May 2015 to Matthew Marceron and Hall Kaplan, who are now the remaining members,” Grant said at the January 2017 meeting. “I am no longer a member of Hildebrandt Leasing LLC.”
In the following months, supervisors and the municipal Attorney Thomas Brennan worked through the annexation process, which required approval from the Court of Common Pleas.
The township did qualify for a $1 million USDA loan with a fixed rate of 3.75 percent over 35 years, but before officials could sign on the dotted line, the new year ushered in a new supervisory board, which rescinded the motion to purchase the building.
In Feb. 2018, supervisors Frank Wagner and Robert Wagner voted against purchasing the property. Grant abstained from the vote due to his prior connection to Hildebrandt Learning Center and the property.
Residents put pressure on supervisors to reconsider their vote after learning the cost to renovate the current 4,182-square-foot municipal building, located off Route 309, and the expense to purchase the new building and remodel the lower level to accommodate the township’s growing police department.
The cost of purchasing and renovating the new facility was estimated at $1.97 million and would have been partially funded through the USDA loan, Grant said at the Feb. 12, 2018 meeting. The remaining costs would have been funded out of a $3 million surplus held by the township, he said.
The township’s annual payment would be $51,340.
Township engineer Ryan Doughton estimated the cost to expand the current 4,182-square-foot municipal building between $1.6 to $1.8 million.
The cost to finance the remodel through conventional funding would result in a 4.25 percent fixed interest rate 10-year loan, Grant said at the February meeting. The annual payment would be $65,008, he said.
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.