Municipalities collaborating on push for Route 41 improvements
By Richard L. Gaw
Representatives from four area townships and one borough are in the early stages of drafting a letter that will be sent to state senators to express their concerns about the future of the Route 41 corridor -- namely its traffic, safety and road improvements.
The letter was introduced by the London Grove Board of Supervisors chairman David Connors at a meeting on June 5.
The letter, in draft form, is addressed to Rep. John Lawrence, Rep. Chris Ross, Sen. Dominic Pileggi and Sen. Andrew Dinniman, and is signed by David Connors, chairman of the London Grove Township Board of Supervisors; Stephen Allaband, chairman of the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors; Bill Shore of the Avondale Borough Council; Richard Brown of the Londonderry Township Board of Supervisors; and Scudder Stevens, a member of the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors.
The letter states that it is in the municipalities' mutual best interests to support the projects listed on the wish list for Route 41, pertaining to the 2013 Transportation Improvements Inventory (TII), for which the Chester County Planning Commission (CCPC) has solicited input from all municipalities in Chester County. In the letter, each municipality will state its immediate priorities for road improvements.
The letter had its roots in a recent conversation Connors had with Rep. Lawrence to discuss how Route 41 can remain high on the priority list for improvements.
“Sen. Lawrence told me that nobody from Londonderry down to New Garden will see any money from Harrisburg or PennDOT regarding our safety and traffic improvements, until we start to cooperate and support each others' initiatives,” Connors said.
Connors said he then contacted representatives from adjacent townships, and that all agreed in principle to support the collaboration. Connors suggested that the next step in the process – after the letter is approved and signed – will be to hold quarterly or bi-annual meetings, or to draft a joint resolution signed by representatives from these municipalities.
“Here's the scary part,” Connors added. “You look north towards Gap, and every improvement PennDOT has been making, as they make our way toward us, is in the form of widening. If we don't do something soon, we're going to have four-lane highways here.”
“If we don't get anything totally outside the box on Route 41, we are going to have 8 lights from Avondale to Route 1, which will result in traffic backlog and using up hundreds of millions of gallons of gas,” supervisor Tim Nelson said.
In other township business, Connors introduced the formation of an Emergency Service Board for the West Grove Fire Company, a committee designed to improve communication between the company and the six municipalities served by the company's ambulance component.
Connors had recently met with reps from these municipalities to discuss funding for the West Grove Fire Company's fire and ambulance services. Connors said that those at the meeting agreed to continue to use the contribution formula – one that bases contribution levels on the population of the township or municipality.
“I think it's a good thing to have the municipalities meet. It's not about bashing the fire department, but to ask what the numbers are, what's the capital and what the projections are for next year,” Connors said.
Connors asked that the board consider designating a representative to serve on the committee. The next meeting of the committee will be June 18 at 7 p.m. at West Grove Borough Hall.
Inniscrone Golf Course general manager Tom Bolko reported that the course has seen a 23 percent increase in revenue from January to May of this year, in comparison to the same period of 2012.
Bolko said that the course's revenue has jumped 17 percent this year, to a little less than $100,000 in revenue, compared to $80,000 in revenue at this point last year. On the average, he said, average daily revenues range between $3,000 and $4,000, as opposed to this time last year, when daily revenues hovered in the $1,800-a-day range. Bolko said that bunker renovations to the course were completed in the spring, and that the course will install new tee signage throughout the course.