Restoring the Manor House Community Meeting - Whitpain Township

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Restoring the Manor House Community Meeting - Whitpain Township

Restoring the Manor House

Community Meeting


Township Goals

• Remain creative in our pursuit of open space

• Dedicated to preserving our current open space assets

Restoring and preserving the Manor House


Park and Open Space Inventory

• Preserved Open Space

– Armentrout Preserve (37.5 acres)

– Cooke Tract (62.5 acres)

– Saint Helena’s Tract (34.5 acres)

– Briar Hill Preserve (33.5 acres conservation easement)

Township Parks

– Wentz Run Park (70 acres, active and passive recreation)

– Stony Creek Sports Park (12 acres, active)

– West Side Park (.1 acre, playground)

– Erbs Mill Park (1.3 acre, passive)

– Prophecy Creek Park (82.5 acres, active and passive)


Our Discussion

• The History of the Manor House and

Prophecy Creek Park

• Funding Options

• Discussion

• Next Steps


History

• The Thomson Tract acquired by Township in 1999 for

$8.7 million

• Dedicated as Prophecy Creek Park in 2000

• 82.5 acres of preserved open space

• Link to Briarhill Preserve preserved open space

Manor House is 100-year-old estate home


The Manor House

• Annual debt service from 1999 purchase of Prophecy

Creek Park is $900,000 through 2017

• $60,000 invested annually in general maintenance for

Manor House

• Annual depreciation expense of $16,000

• No budget for capital improvements

• Used less than dozen times per year


The Manor House

• Capital improvements estimated at $500,000

• Needs include

– Structural

– Electrical

– Heating

– Plumbing

• $30,000 budgeted for study to define exact scope


Deteriorating foundation, structure and HVAC system


Interior ceiling damage


Failing heating system


Funding Options

• Private Foundations

• Public-private partnership for leasing of Manor House for

special events

• Real estate tax increase

• Property sale


Public-Private Partnership

• Request for Proposal (RFP) prepared to solicit interest

from catering companies

• RFP is opportunity to learn about possibilities

• No requirement to award contract

• Resident input in RFP details


Public-Private Partnership Objectives

• Catering company uses Manor House for weddings,

birthdays, meetings, and other events

• Leasing provides funds for restoration and potentially for

open space preservation

Township maintains control over type of events

Township not involved in day-to-day operations

• Minimal impact to trails and paths at Park


Walking path at Park


Trail crossing stream


Ponds that are in need of work.


Next Steps

Township favors RFP process

• Test the waters

• Allows for community input in use guidelines


Next Steps

• Collection of ideas

• RFP to reflect community input

• RFP to be authorized at Board of Supervisors meeting

• Establish resident sounding board to facilitate effective

dialogue


Discussion

Thank You for Attending.

Thank You for Your Input.

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