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Contract Awarded For Construction Of Library’s Southern Branch

The Franklin Township Library Board of Trustees awarded the library’s southern branch construction contract to a Garfield-based company.

A Garfield-based construction company on December 27 was awarded the contract to construct the Franklin Township Public Library’s southern branch building.

Pal-Pro Builders was given the $2.6 million contract during a special meeting of the library Board of Trustees.

Roughly half of that amount, about $1.3 million, will be paid for through a state grant, Mayor Phil Kramer said.

Pal-Pro was one of 15 companies to bid on the project, Kramer said.

Library Director January Adams said she did not know when construction would start, but said that construction is expected to take about a year and a half.

The 5,580-square-foot building is targeted for a 2.3-acre plot of land adjacent to Franklin Park School. The Board has long sought a site to replace the small branch located in a storefront space at the Franklin Towne Center shopping plaza.

The plan has caused some controversy among some neighbors of the site who say building it will destroy natural habitat and cause increased traffic in the neighborhood.

Kramer congratulated the Board and Chairman Nicholas Ciampa for ushering the project through over the last three years.

Ciampa, he said, has been “been incredibly diligent.” The lead time “would have been a lot longer had he not taken care of details.”

“Yes, it has taken a long time, but we will enjoy it,” Ciampa said.

The building, Kramer said, “will cost less money because we won’t be paying rent.”

The new branch will have “more space and better space” than the current location, he said. “I think we are really serving the town by doing this.”

Kramer and the Board also thanked Township Manager Robert Vornlocker, township Economic Development Director Vince Dominach and Mark Healey, the township’s Principal Planner, for their help in furthering the project.

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