Antrim and Atapco strike deals, budget reviewed

PAT FRIDGEN

Patrick Coggins, vice president of development for Atapco Properties, brought several issues before the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors April 27, seeking financial concessions as the company develops its Antrim Commons Business Park at exit 3.

Antrim solicitor John Lisko said the township originally was requiring Atapco to put up a $5 million bond or letter of credit to assure the realigning of the exit was completed. Through negotiations, the two sides agreed Atapco would name Antrim to its insurance policy for over $10 million of liablity coverage. Coggins said contracts were already out for engineering.

"The township is not contracting for any of this work," he said. "We are on the hook."

Lisko told the board he wanted a $2 million LOC in hand until the contracts were awarded, then it could drop to $1 million. In addition, Atapco would put $50,000 into an escrow account to cover any soft costs inherited by the township. "That's sufficient guarantee to protect the township," Lisko said.

The board unanimously approved the measure.

Coggins also asked that Atapco be required to maintain a new traffic light only for 10 years, or until the property was fully built-out, whichever came later. Then he wanted any other new developments in the area to contribute a fair share to the light.

Lisko had encouraged Atapco to maintain the light for perpetuity, otherwise PennDOT would require the township the responsibility. He admitted if the nearby vacant properties did undergo development, Antrim could likely require them to fund the light expenses.

Coggins argued, "We're bringing economic development in, which will increase revenue. The light benefits a lot more people than just our property. Other projects will come along behind us. You have as much power with the next developer as you do with us."

The supervisors agreed that other parties would impact traffic at the intersection and voted to pass along maintenance costs to them, if legal, on a fair basis.

The board also authorized Lisko to continue working with Atapco's attorney on agreements concerning Antrim exercising eminent domain, if necessary, on small strips of land surrounding the location of the new traffic signal, with Atapco picking up the cost; details on grant administration; and other issues as they arose.

Budget update

Antrim administrator Brad Graham announced the status of the 2010 budget at the quarterly mark. Taxes were in at 25 percent, overall revenues at 14 percent, and spending at 15 percent.

Snow removal slammed the budget. With $29,500 allocated for the year, the township already spent 223 percent of that, $65,799. Not knowing how much state or federal reimbursement would actually be received, Graham said the township would compensate by doing five rather than six road projects.

Paving of sections of Hollowell Church Road, expected to run $100,000, was dropped, but some work on Marion Road would be added. The other projects remained on the list, parts of Ridge Road, Angle Road, paving and box culverts on Talhelm and Lehman roads, and the Antrim Church Road/Route 16 intersection.

Graham continued that the unemployment tax expenditure was at 487 percent because of a jump in rates. The general fund was operating $54,652 behind budget.

"We had large expenses upfront," he said. "I expect revenue later in the year."

Park mowing

Tuscarora Landscaping was the low of two bids, and was given the go to mow the three parks, municipal building grounds and water plant. A $17,720 bid came from Jeremy Bard, Fort Loudon, who was present at the meeting. The high bid of $72,035 was from Mark's Lawn Care. They were opened April 21 in a special meeting.

In the interim Bard had had difficulty finding bonding, necessary because the service was over $10,000. He had told the township the insurance company wouldn't provide it since the two bids were more than 10 percent apart. His $2,300 deposit to the township was at risk.

"If he can't provide financial security in seven days, he loses the money and so be it," said Lisko.

Bard acknowledged his bid was too low, but he would honor it and just break even.

Outside of the meeting, Bard, 29, stated he underbid but the other bid was too high. "I just financed a $12,000 machine for this job and was going to hire an employee. I can't get a letter of credit and I have good credit."

Bard had a week to meet Antrim's requirements and supervisors were sympathetic to his situation.

In other business, the board accepted the one bid to rent the township acreage on U.S. 11 South to Jason Johns for $800 in 2010, and $1,000 the next two years.