H&K in Biltmore
One for the Road, One for the Hood: Rarely, if ever, do I think about the people who work hard to create the pleasant and comfortable moments that make my day bearable. For example, many fine mornings, I walk from my home to the WaWa in Skippack and get a cup of hot coffee. I do not stop to think about whoever grew the coffee beans or the manufacturer of the paper cup that holds my beverage. I pay, consume and move on.
This morning, in pursuit of hot coffee, I met up with Skippack Township Manager Ted Locker at WaWa. Ted remarked to me on the fine work being done by Haines & Kibblehouse in my housing development, Biltmore Estates. Haines & Kibblehouse is one of the mid Atlantic region’s largest construction materials and full-service site contracting companies with headquarters in Skippack.
Fallout from our harsh economic times brought Haines & Kibblehouse to my doorstep. Hit hard by the rapid decline in the housing market, the developer for Biltmore Estates, TH Properties, filed for bankruptcy on April 30th, 2009. Since then my housing development has been on a long, complicated but hopeful road to recovery and rebuilding. Haines & Kibblehouse was brought in to complete public improvements at Biltmore, such as laying sewer lines and paving roads and sidewalks, that were left unfinished when THP suspended operations. Initially, their work was funded through the release of an escrow account by Skippack Township, with the funds secured through a bond held by the township.
According to Ted Locker, “Both the completion of public improvements and additional housing would have taken much longer without the extra effort and help from Haines & Kibblehouse.” In addition to site construction work, Haines & Kibblehouse invested substantially from their own pocket in Biltmore Estates, showing faith in our community in the face of the harsh economy.
When I arrived home from the WaWa, a crew from Haines & Kibblehouse was paving the main street in my development, Ashland Drive. I ran to my house to grab my camera and came back out again. There I was, a community blogger following these working men and snapping photos like a paparazzo, getting the hot asphalt on the bottom of my sneaker. They put up with my awkward intrusion with patience, stopping for pictures, laughing, then going back to their tasks with the modesty characteristic of men who do real work.
Because of their hard work, I will enjoy a better quality of life and my home has a better chance of retaining its value. My debt and gratitude to these men would have been unknown even to myself had I not run into Ted Locker at the WaWa this morning. And it would not have been expressed were it not for the blog you are looking at now, dear reader.