New Garden approves $250K grant application to construct township trail
● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
The New Garden Township Board of Supervisors gave a 5-0 approval at their July 15 meeting that authorizes the township to apply for a Greenways Trails and Recreation Program grant for $250,000 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority, that will be used to construct the New Garden Corridor Trail, that will eventually link to an existing trail in Kennett Township.
In total, the cost of the $500,000 project will be split evenly with Kennett Township. Township manager Tony Scheivert said that about 60 percent of the trail will be located in New Garden.
In other township business, the board gave approval to begin advertising the request for proposal to the St. Anthony in the Hills master site plan, that when approved will serve as the future design blueprint for the 137.5-acre property that the township purchased from St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington in 2018.
Scheivert said that the immediate plans for the site plan are to have township solicitor Vince Pompo review the request for proposal, subsequently forward it the board for further review, and advertise it before the board's next meeting on Aug. 19, for hopeful adoption at the board's September meeting.
The bulk of the site plan will be paid for through a $60,000 grant secured by Pa. State Rep. Christina Sappey, but Scheivert said that there will likely be additional township funds available to fund the cost of creating the master site plan.
Scheivert also updated the supervisors on the current payment scenario for the new 11,716-square-foot police facility for the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department, currently being constructed on Gap-Newport Pike. As of now, the township has already paid $2.75 million toward the building of the $4.34 million facility, through a $4.5 million construction loan the township secured for the project, at an interest rate of 3.72 percent.
Scheivert told the board that there is still $1.445 million left to pay for the project, which includes $850,000 for general contracting, $77,000 for plumbing, $143,000 for electrical installation, $85,000 for mechanical engineering, $170,000 for office furniture, $40,000 for security costs, $33,237 for third-party testing, $12,339 for architectural costs and $6,000 for moving and opening costs.
In other business, the board approved 90-day extension period for the transaction in the sale of its sewer system to Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. for $29.5 million. While the finalization of the purchase has been hampered by delays – it's been in negotiation for the past three years – Pompo said that he is confident that the sale will be completed by the end of the year.
“Over the last month or so, there has been some fairly significant and positive activity, in order to move this transaction forward,” Pompo told the board. “That activity has involved negotiations with the Office of Consumer Advocate, which was the party that had appealed the decision of the Public Utility Commission. There have been terms of a settlement agreement that have been negotiated and discussed between the Office of Consumer Advocate and the township, and I can say that at least in my view, we're very close to having this resolved.”
The board also gave conditional use approval to a Basciani Brothers Properties' application to open a barbershop on 1153 Newark Road in Toughkenamon, that is projected to conduct business in an existing 2,400-square-foot stone building on the property.
The approval served as a follow-up to the June 17 conditional use hearing before the board, when barber Jose Lopez told the board that he envisions the business – which he intends to call “Pepe's Barbershop, LLC” – being housed on one floor, with two to three hair-cutting stations, the eventual hiring of four to five barbers, and as many as 10 parking spots for customers.
While there were 15 conditions related to the approval, Pompo told the board that there are only a few conditions that are considered substantive. One would require that the applicant comply with signage requirements contained within township codes; the second requires that the property meet all off-street parking regulations found in the township's zoning ordinance; the third confirms the hours of operation for the business, which will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and the last condition requires that the business must install sidewalks at the front of its location, or make a contribution to the township for the installation of sidewalks.
Public Works director Ken Reed informed the supervisors that road work will be done at the following locations in the township: parts of Ellicott Road and Chambers Road will receive mill work, leveling and the application of a wearing course; and Pelham Drive, Saddle Court, Stirrup Court and Bridle Court will receive tar, chip and fog work.
The board also agreed to renew the township's air monitoring station agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, for the next four years. The monitor is located at the New Garden Flying Field.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.