Liberty Township: First report of facilities plan review expected in December

Jim Fischer
ThisWeek
Liberty Township sign

Liberty Township has enlisted support from the Delaware County Finance Authority in completing a full assessment and master plan for township facilities and an update to its comprehensive plan.   

Liberty Township trustees approved the agreement in October and work is underway on the facilities plan.   

County Economic Development Director Bob Lamb, whose office oversees the DCFA, said he hopes to have at least the first phases of that reporting done and ready to present to the trustees before January.   

“This is being done at a definite savings to the township,” trustee Bryan Newell said. “We couldn’t do or go out and hire these services for the same cost as this agreement with the (DCFA).”  

The contract for services is for $50,000 and runs through the end of 2021, although the township can terminate the contract earlier if the goals are accomplished sooner, Newell said.  

The DCFA, in its role as an economic development driver for the county, contracts with consultants in a wide variety of professional-service fields, Lamb said, including zoning, bond financing and architecture and design standards.   

With contracts already in place, the DCFA can offer those services to political subdivisions in the county at costs lower than if those entities were to contract independently, Lamb said.   

“It’s a natural outgrowth of our work to promote economic development and smart growth,” he said. “We can provide services to the various districts within the county and save their local taxpayers some money by sharing resources.”   

Lamb said the DCFA partners with other townships, including Berkshire, Berlin and Orange, on a range of professional services.   

He said discussions began informally with Liberty Township about a year ago. The DCFA expects to provide between $250,000 and $300,000 worth of professional services to the township over the course of the agreement.   

Newell said the facilities plan will provide some guidance on concerns that include the township’s maintenance buildings and office space, the lease for which ends in March.   

“I think the public is going to see the need,” Newell said, adding the plan should include financially creative and responsible ways to solve those issues.   

Newell said the township is in need of an update to its comprehensive plan, and this process will include a ‘visioning exercise” and residents' input, the goal of which is to “bring a sense of place and identity to Liberty Township.”   

Newell said trustees have discussed working with the DCFA on an architectural standards guide as well, but said any zoning or related work would not become part of the township’s zoning code unless formally adopted by the trustees.

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