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Philadelphia scraps plans for village office building

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PHILADELPHIA — Unable to fit project costs within its budget, the village is abandoning plans for a new office building.

Mayor Matthew J. Montroy said the annual payments for the project would have pushed the tax rate higher than what is allowed under state law.

“To add that would have been too much,” Mr. Montroy said.

The proposal for a two-story, 3,200-square-foot building had been in the works for about four years, and was previously shelved when its projected $2 million price tag was deemed to high.

Revised plans reduced the cost by eliminating space for the Department of Public Works. In February, the village Board of Trustees authorized borrowing up to $1.25 million for the project.

If it had proceeded, it would have been built on parcels at 59 and 61 Main St. that the village purchased in 2012, across the street from the municipal offices at 56 Main St.

The village board called off the project at its meeting in March. “It’s very frustrating,” Mr. Montroy said.

The mayor said the village has spent about $8,000 in engineering for the project, out of funding set aside for revitalization work.

Village offices will remain in the current office building even though it has problems, Mr. Montroy said.

“I guess we’ll continue to repair the problems until the time comes along when we can build a new building,” he said. A new building would deliver the advantage of savings on energy and heating costs, the mayor added.

Mr. Montroy expressed frustration with the tax cap, explaining that the state has increased mandates on the village since implementing the 2 percent limit on tax levy increases.

“We’ve kept our end of the bargain; they haven’t kept theirs,” he said.

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