Kennett Square celebrates completion of Cypress Street improvements
● By Steven Hoffman
Kennett Square Borough celebrated the completion of $1.4 million in West Cypress Street improvements with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of Victory at Magnolia on June 15.
Dan Maffei, the president of Kennett Square Borough Council, outlined the scope of the project, explaining that the project included streetscape upgrades to approximately 2,000 linear feet of West Cypress Street. The improvements included the paving of a stretch of Cypress Street, a new water main, fire hydrants, curbs, sidewalks, ADA ramps, stormwater inlet repairs, and the addition of more than 70 trees. There is also a center island that was added for traffic calming. A gateway sign is expected to be added in the future.
The project was made possible, in large part, by a $956,000 grant from the county, and Chester County Commissioners Terence Farrell, Kathi Cozzone, and Michelle Kichline joined a host of Kennett Square officials, including borough manager Joseph Scalise, council members Maffei, Geoff Bosley, Doug Doerfler and LaToya Myers, and Historic Kennett Square executive director Mary Hutchins at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Farrell lauded Kennett Square officials for how they have utilized Community Revitalization Program (CRP) funds as a tool to help revitalize the borough through the years, and said that the borough is a model for its revitalization efforts.
Farrell noted that while some of the upgrades included in streetscape projects aren't glamorous—not many people will get excited about a new eight-inch water main, for example—these upgrades are nonetheless very important to a borough's revitalization efforts.
Cozzone echoed that sentiment, explaining that some of the improvements to West Cypress Street took place below-ground, and aren't even visible to residents. Even so, the streetscape improvements benefit the entire community. She also praised Kennett Square for its ongoing revitalization efforts.
According to Kichline, the county has allocated $57 million to urban centers in the last 14 years as part of a larger economic development strategy to keep Chester County's cities and boroughs vibrant. Kennett Square has received about $3.76 million of that funding, Kichline said.
“This investment reflects how the town has evolved,” Kichline said. “Kennett Square cares for its residents and loves its visitors.”
Maffei thanked the county commissioners for the county's ongoing support. He noted that this latest round of streetscape upgrades met up with where a previous project left off. Streetscape projects like this would not be possible without county funding.
The work on the streetscape improvements began last summer. Maffei said that the contractors that handled the project did a good job and kept disruptions to a minimum for residents and motorists. In fact, there wasn't a single complaint during the construction process, Maffei said.
Because the borough received nearly $1 million of funding from the county for this project, the borough funded the balance of slightly more than $400,000 of the costs. Meliora Design served as the lead design engineers on the project.
Standing in the shadow of Victory Brewing, with traffic moving past on the newly improved West Cypress Street, Farrell perfectly summarized the completion of another project to revitalize the borough.
“Kennett Square,” Farrell said, “is really on the path to Victory.”