Jenkintown’s permit application data: The story so far

We have so far reviewed more than 150 permit applications out of about 250, and there are a few immediate take-aways:

Some residents may have gotten badly fleeced. We’ve found several instances where contractors — often the same one — provided vastly different estimates for roughly the same work.

Almost everyone paid more — sometimes significantly more — than what George Locke called “PennDOT’s going rate.” Costanzo is so far the worst. D&D was the best, but D&D abandoned the borough this year, which was unfortunate since almost all of their estimates matched PennDOT’s rate.

The Beaver Hill condo complex also submitted an application for a sizable sidewalk and curb project, and they paid about half the PennDOT rate.

The borough used no fewer than four different forms for this permit, each one with a different set of entry fields. This does not make things easy for the Borough to provide any kind of accurate accounting of this work, should they decide to do so.

At about 250 permits (so far), the borough earned at least $6,250 on applications alone.


    1. Excellent question. Last fall, D&D left an unsolicited estimate for our sidewalks that was far below the other three estimates we received. We called them repeatedly over the course of several weeks to follow up. One day, I decided to call hourly until someone finally picked up the phone. When someone answered, she told me, “Frank isn’t going to Jenkintown anymore.” Given that he undercut everyone else, often by a large margin, we can only speculate. Plus, contractors in general and concrete guys in particular are by nature pretty tight-lipped, so we may never know.

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