The Lower Merion Board of Commissioners on Wednesday night approved the transfer of $15,000 of “reprogrammed” funds to the (“Positive Aging in Lower Merion”) to cover additional costs for the rehabilitation and engineering of the Ardmore senior center.
The project is underwritten by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, said Bob Duncan, director of building and planning for the township.
During a meeting of the township Grants and Community Development Committee that preceded the full board meeting, Duncan said the additional money was needed to pay for increased expenses for engineering services, along with higher construction costs than originally anticipated.
When the project was initially submitted for funding, the township had planned to have its facilities director prepare the PALM Center project specifications, Duncan said.
But when the facilities director was assigned to the Ludington Library renovation project, he was no longer able to work on PALM. The specs were then assigned to a CDBG consultant, resulting in additional costs from having to pay for the outside engineer, Duncan said.
Duncan said the initial project estimate comes from the non-profit organization requesting it, and that it “really hasn’t been vetted out”—typically, adjustments to the project budget are later needed.
Dolores Capers, PALM’s executive director, told the board the additional funds would be used for paying the outside engineering consultant, but also public health and safety issues such as a sump pump and repairing the center’s steps.
On a related note, the PALM Center to assist in the its activities, classes and events.