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Final vote on Chester bond tonight

CHESTER -- Chester County leaders expect to take their final vote tonight on borrowing up to $3 million to buy a building that would house numerous county departments.

But that's only $1.4 million of what the bond will cover. According to county records, $2,700,500 is the grand total, with the remaining money marked for purchases ranging from police cars to renovations on the Great Falls Memorial building.

Here are the items the bond will pay for and what they'll cost:

• Building purchase: $1.4 million

• Bypass building furnishings: $50,000

• Upfittings for bypass building: $50,000

• Lease payoffs: $255,000

• Lease payments: $356,000

• Police cars: $100,000

• Computers: $110,000

• Vehicles for animal control, emergency management, coroner's office: $75,000

• Costs associated with the bond process, including attorneys' fees: $20,000

• Matching funds to help West Chester Fire Substation: $30,000

• Great Falls Memorial Building renovations: $50,000

• Wheel loader: $112,000

• Fingerprinting system for the sheriff's office: $20,000

• Geographic Information System (GIS) for tax assessor's office: $72,500

The county will hold a public hearing on the matter tonight before the final vote.

The county plans to pay for the items through general obligation bonds. That would result in a tax, but County Supervisor Carlisle Roddey has said such details, along with bond rates, haven't been sorted out.

The facility sits on about 7 1/2 acres, contains 60 offices and has 122 parking spaces.

The move would shift nearly all the county's offices out of downtown Chester to a 29,580-square-foot-facility owned by Omnova Solutions.

County leaders said the Omnova facility will ease their growing pains and allow residents to handle lots of business in one place.

In the weeks after the announcement, some downtown business owners and one former City Council member have expressed concerns about the project, including whether it will hurt downtown businesses. Roddey maintains the move will not hurt downtown.

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