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Court addition debate continues

Pictured are Robin LaDolce, director of the Pike County Area on Aging, left; Lana Romeo, agency program-activity director; and Gwen Watford-Miller of Quality Health Care, in-home nursing services. The women appeared before the Pike County Commissioners on February 19 to introduce expanded assistance services for the most elderly of county seniors program users. The program is being introduced in Delaware Township and may be expanded countywide depending on participation.
TRR photo by David Hulse

By David Hulse
March 5, 2014

MILFORD, PA — The debate about Pike County’s plans for a courthouse addition continued and are not likely to end any time soon, Commissioners Chair Rich Caridi said after the morning session.

Discussion about the county’s controversial plan to relocate or demolish one of the buildings in Milford’s National Historic District for a 44,000-square-foot addition was renewed by opponents on February 19.

Caridi said the commissioners have decided to listen to all points of view about the project and following that, anticipate another lengthy review before the borough’s architectural review board.

Bill Kiger of Concerned Pike, which opposes the proposed plans, said he was frustrated by the lack of data on paper to compare to alternatives. “Milford is a special community, one of the iconic villages in the state—architecturally special.”

Opponents have been questioning county space needs, and suggested that adaptation of the historic Kenworthy Building could provide the needed space.

Pike engineer Mike Lamoreaux said the connection was deemed impractical, as two below-ground floors would be required. He said no study data exists about that decision. “Any building can be moved. The time and money have to be considered,” Lamoreaux said.

Caridi said the county has not issued any request for bids on the Kenworthy Building move or demolition.

Kiger said that decision was very important to the town and opponents would ask for numbers.

Caridi said that there is “nothing stopping you from hiring your own engineers and studying it.”

“We’re not going to give up easily. Our due diligence is not through,” Kiger replied.

“The facts come down to dollars and cents,” said Commissioner Matt Osterberg. “One point two million dollars to buy a lot, when we have an option to move it—no lot is worth it,” he said.

Wednesday’s meeting also featured renewed allegations about Lamoreaux’s firm, McGoey, Hauser & Edsall Consulting Engineers, and its role in problems and litigation concerning official buildings in Cornwall and Newburgh, NY.

Lamoreaux, who had addressed these allegations at an earlier meeting, did so again and was supported by Osterberg. “We’re not here to attack McGoey, Hauser & Edsall. They’ve been employed by the commissioners for many years.”

“We’ve sat, met and talked to everyone, all different opinions. We represent the county, not the borough. We should take the plan to the borough and you can take it up with them. That’s my feeling,” Commissioner Karl Wagner said.

“There’s a lot of people in Concerned Pike who are not from Milford,” said opponent Matt Eber.