Penn supervisors seek state grant to fix dangerous intersection
By Nancy Johnson
Curtis Mason, the chairman of the Penn Township Board of Supervisors, has announced that the township is seeking a grant to make improvements to the intersection of Route 796 and Baltimore Pike.
“We’re applying for a grant that kind of blew up to be more than we expected,” Mason said at the May 7 supervisors meeting. “It could be $2 million.”
The board adopted a resolution to request a multi-modal transportation fund grant from Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to be used for traffic and pedestrian safety improvements at Baltimore Pike and Jennersville Road (Route 796), one of the most congested intersections in the township.
“[Pennsylvania state senator]Andy Dinniman is willing to help us,” Mason added. “He told me that this is the time to do it, especially since the intersection just went from number 20 to number four in the ranking for bad intersections.”
The hope is that PennDOT would be responsible for the complete design of the intersection, Mason said.
Now that the township owns the Red Rose Inn, Penn would give the right-of-way for that key property. “There will be considerable expense in taking a portion of the building down,” Mason said.
The supervisors also discussed some of the plans for the Red Rose Inn. Mason said they will be able to reuse pavers and bricks from the original building, but some parts, like the porch, were found to be not original and won’t be reused. A mural that had hung in the Red Rose Inn dining room since the early 1970s was recently removed.
“I would hope it will hang in the new community room when we build it,” said supervisor Bill Finnen. “It would be beautiful there.”
Finnen also told his fellow supervisors, “While we are on this subject, I want the township to be vigilant with the Waltman house and not let them tear it down.”
He was referring to the brick home across the street from the Red Rose Inn which has a similar architectural style.
In other business, the board approved field change revisions requested by the Jennersville Medical Office Building as the project recently got under way. While the supervisors had no problem with moving the water pit closer to the road, as requested by Chester Water, Mason said he wasn't happy with some aspects of the project.
“We were sold a bill of goods,” the chairman said. “Remember all the open space and walking trails they talked about? They aren’t going to be there now.”
He said there is talk of the owners subdividing some of the property, which was never discussed when the plans were approved. “The conditions we placed on them were based on what we were told -- like it was going to be one medical office building. Now they could possibly be subdividing the property. This was definitely misrepresented.”
On another subject, supervisor Victor Mantegna expressed thanks to the CCIU and Technical College High School for their willingness to help with speeding and other traffic issues along Pennock’s Bridge Road. They have implemented announcements, classes and are communicating with residents who have issues. “Hats off to them. They have done everything we have asked and more,” Mantegna said.
Suzanne Regnier and Eric Crist, Avon Grove Library representatives, gave the board an update.
“We have a great story to tell,” said Regnier. “Our little library rocks, and we are doing it with great frugality.”
She explained that contributions from the municipalities -- Franklin, London Britain, London Grove, New London, and Penn townships and Avondale and West Grove boroughs -- make up one-third of the $360,000 budget. She also noted that Penn Township had upped its contribution for the second year in a row, and that they ranked second in circulation among the various municipalities using the library.
Crist added that the number of children and adults using the library is up and computer use has increased considerably as well.