Newlin opens bids for Powell Road drainage work

12 bids for new culvert, to be awarded Feb. 15
By Mike McGann, Editor,

Powell Road, in Newlin.

NEWLIN — The township Board of Supervisors opened and reviewed a total of 12 bids Tuesday night for the repair of a culvert on Powell Road.

While the final bid will not be awarded until Feb. 15, after review by the township’s engineering firm, Yerkes Associates, to determine whether the bids meet all requirements set out in the original bid specifications, the low bidder was Groffdale Concrete Walls of New Holland, which bid $53,684. The bids ranged from that low to a high of $366,550.

Board vice chair Robert Pearson, who is also the township’s roadmaster, recused himself from the bid opening, as he is a subcontractor on one of the bids. The new culvert will replace a culvert that collapsed on Powell Road. The bid is expected to be formally awarded at a public meeting, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. at the old Po-Mar-Lin Firehouse in East Marlborough.

The project will not address the bridge deck replacement, which still awaits approval from the Army Corps of Engineers because of wetlands concerns. That study will not be completed until the weather warms up. There is some concern that the area might be a bog turtle habitat, which could add a layer of complexity to any construction work in the area.

The approved repairs call for replacing some 88 feet of pipe, which the township already owns and has in storage at the township building. The new pipe should be better aligned with the local stream and help with some local erosion problems.

In other township business, Township Secretary/Treasurer Gail Abel reviewed options for the township’s banking deposits and proposed moving some funds to a new account. Currently, the township placed $110,000 of surplus in an account for renovation of the township building, primarily to ensure it continues to have federal deposit insurance.

“Part of the quandary is that we want to keep our accounts under the $250,000 FDIC limit,” Supervisors chair Janie Baird said. “Some banks do not offer municipal accounts with FDIC protection.”

With $100,000 coming to the township as part of a community development grant to purchase property next to Stargazers Stone, without reworking the current deposits and accounts, the township could have accounts above the $250,000 limit that would be insured. One other issue: interest. Under the current economic environment, typical municipal accounts earn very little interest.

Abel said she did some research and compared some local banks, finally suggesting opening an account at Meridian Bank in West Chester. The bank is offering fully FDIC-insured accounts and 1.2% interest, compounded daily. The supervisors approved the recommendation.

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