HANOVER TWP., Pa. – The board of supervisors in Hanover Township, Northampton County, voted Tuesday night to move forward with the sole bid of $6.75 million to replace the township's community pool.
According to township officials, three companies took a bid package, but only one submitted a bid to replace the 40-year-old pool on Jacksonville Road. The pool closed in June 2019 due to problems with leaks. The one and only winning bid came from Heim Construction Co. Inc.
Most community residents who attended Tuesday's meeting, as well as all but one of the supervisors, were in favor of accepting of the bid.
Vice Chair Mike Prendeville was adamant he was not in favor, saying that accepting any bid when there was only one submitted is a disservice to his constituents.
"I have an obligation to my constituents in that I have to be fiscally responsible," Prendeville affirmed. "And I don't think that one bid at 25% over is a reasonable way."
The township's expected cost to replace the pool hovered more around $5 million, compared to the $6.75 million bid.
Supervisor Susan Lawless remained steadfast in her urgency to accept the current bid. Her rebuttal to Prendeville's stance urged that prices would only increase if they postponed their decision to accept the bid.
"You look at our salaries that we're validly saying we're going to have to increase to keep good people here," Lawless said. "Well, if there’s a recession, we're not going below those salaries. I wouldn't think this pool's going to be any cheaper next year. I just don't."
A round of applause erupted in the meeting room when township resident and teacher, Evan Kocon, implored the board to accept the bid. He referenced surrounding municipalities — specifically, Palmer Township — which he said invest in recreation, and most importantly, their youth. He said that when you compare neighboring towns, one is led to wonder where Hanover's money is going.
"Invest in your youth because they are the future," Kocon pleaded.
Chairman Jack Nagle said construction of the pool could be done without raising taxes for two years, he believes, but after that, taxes could go up.
Heim Construction and Vincent Pool Inc. will be working together to complete the project. Vincent Pool also designed and installed the Nazareth Borough Pool.
According to Nagle, the township secured a loan for $7.5 million at a very good rate on a 20-year note. The loan was anticipated to cover the cost of the pool and the water remediation project planned to address water runoff occurring across Stoke Park Road at Mark Twain Circle during heavy rain.
Lawless mentioned that American Rescue Plan Act funds would also be used for the water remediation project.