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Spring Garden Township is taking another shot at upgrading township facilities at a much cheaper price compared with the last attempt a year ago. 

The township commissioners hosted an open house Tuesday, March 6, to discuss options for a new municipal complex on Tri-Hill Road, which also could include upgrades at its municipal facilities on South Ogontz Street. The improvements could cost as much as $12 million.

There are 14 options being floated, from upgrading the Tri-Hill Road building for police services to building a new building that would consolidate departments into one site, Commissioner Dan Rooney said. 

Municipal services are split into the administration building at 558 S. Ogontz St. and the police and recreation building at 340 Tri-Hill Road. 

Last year, the township discussed plans for a new municipal complex on a 56-acre parcel at 1799 Mount Rose Ave., which could have cost $20 million or more. 

Sean Clark, a member of Friends of Spring Garden, said he wants Spring Garden Township commissioners to responsibly spend taxpayers’ money on pending township facility upgrades.

"The big multimillion-dollar building didn't happen," 39-year-old Clark said of the axed Mount Rose plans. "I consider that to be a community success." 

Clark spearheaded a local movement a year ago to kill the former plans. He said he is pleased that residents' comments are being taken into consideration this time.

"That's why they are holding these open houses, so we can all get here and tell them what we want. I would personally like to see us spend the least amount of money," Clark said.  

Dick Rehmeyer and his wife, Joyce, said they are "concerned about cost and taxes."

There are a lot of variables to consider, Rehmeyer said of the project. He and his wife agreed the police department needs upgrades, but, he added, "we've got no extra" cash to spend as senior citizens. 

"You're patching up an old building," Rehmeyer said. "I guess we all almost have to accept that something needs to be done. We're just concerned about the cost."

Rooney said he wants to analyze all costs associated with any option going forward, from possible demolition to renovation to construction.

"I want to look at a building's lifespan," Rooney said. "What is it going to cost the township over the next 25 to 50 years, not just 10 years?"

Spring Garden Township will host a second open house from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 10, in the Meeting Room of the municipal building at 340 Tri-Hill Road.

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