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Chester County Press

Municipalities to collaborate on grant to increase trail connections

07/25/2017 10:18AM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

The Kennett Township Board of Supervisors agreed at their July 19 meeting to join the township with neighboring municipalities in applying for a $2.6 million multi-modal grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority which, if awarded, would further link the township, Kennett Borough and New Garden Township in a labyrinth of pedestrian and bicycle trail connections that would increase public access throughout southern Chester County.
Kennett Township manager Lisa Moore, who introduced the application, said that if granted, the CFA grant -- which is due July 31 -- would help pay for a  trail connection from the township to the borough, from Pennock Park up South Street; the remainder of the Chandler Mill Road trail; a trail within Penns Manor that would connect to Pemberton Road and the borough; the construction of the Magnolia Trail, that would connect Victory Brewing to Pennock Park; a railroad crossing bridge; and a bridge on Marshall Mill Road.
Moore said that the grant would also pay for streetscaping and sidewalk trails along Birch Street in the borough, which would connect to the township's Cypress Street sidewalk project, and to other parts of the township's existing trail system.
New Garden Township is applying for the grant, in order to create a trail connection that would link about 150 homes in New Garden to a Kennett Township trail, from New Garden Preserve on Scarlett Road.
The application for the grant also overlaps the township's efforts in pursuing a grant to finance the construction of a trail connection that would link Anson B. Nixon Park to East Marlborough Township. By applying jointly, Moore said there is a much better chance for all three municipalities to receive the grant.
"I am deeply gratified that the four municipalities have come together to do something for the region and for the consequent greater benefit of the common good," said board chairman Scudder Stevens. "You've got the borough, Kennett Township, East Marlborough and New Garden, all working together, happily, with a positive perspective."
In other township business, the board approved a request from David Evans, the store manager of the Giant in Marlborough Square, Kennett Square, to permit the store to make one Sunday delivery to the store, at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning.
As part of the agreement, the store agreed not to have its refrigerator truck running idle and turn off back-up beepers during the deliveries.
Stevens and Moore recently met with Evans and neighborhood homeowner associations in the vicinity of the store to discuss the need for the store to have a Sunday delivery, in order to stock its shelves with perishables for the following week.
In order for the adjustment to the resolution to go into full effect, Evans will need to attend a hearing – and receive approval – at East Marlborough Township. The date of that hearing has not been determined.
“Our perishable delivery is very important to our business and we have had a hard time maintaining good customer service on Sundays, because of a lack of that delivery,” Evans said. “It's a really big part of us being a successful business.”
Stevens praised an activity that took place on July 19 in the Granite Ridge development that brought together the township's police department and local children, one of four events leading to National Night Out on Aug. 1, a nationwide effort that brings police units and the communities they serve together.
“This is a project that encourages communication between the police and the kids of the community, and the community is defined as the township and the borough,” said Stevens, who said the communication is highlighted by interviews with officers, and the printing of trading cards of each officer.
“As soon as the police vehicles arrived, the kids all came running out, and the mothers all came running out. The kids jumped in the cars, turned on the sirens, flipped on the lights, and requested photos with the police. It's so exciting that the kids know the police, and the police know these kids. As time goes on, these kids have a respectful relationship with the police and don't run away from them, just because they're an authority figure.”
The Kennett Township Police Department will joining the Kennett Borough Police Department at National Night Out activities on East Linden Street in Kennett Square on Aug. 1 beginning at 5 p.m., which will be followed by a community picnic in Anson B. Nixon Park.
“The key emphasis of this event is that when you have municipalities involved in their community, you end up with a healthy community, and this is just one part of what the police are doing to help foster a healthy community,” said Police Chief Lydell Nolt. “The National Night Out program is one way of putting children and police officers in close proximity to each other, to help them understand that we are just people, and that we like the same things.”
Stevens said that he and supervisor Whitney Hoffman recently met with representatives from the Kennett Square fire company and Kennett Borough council members to discuss the efforts being made to begin a fire and EMS commission to help consolidate the Kennett, Pro-Mar-Lin and Longwood fire companies, in order to better serve six area municipalities they serve.
The key areas of concern expressed by fire and EMS officials during the two-year process of beginning a commission are: Determining the approval process for the purchase of future fire and EMS equipment; comprehending how the finances for each department will be managed; and determining the geographical confines and areas of responsibility for the three fire companies.
“It's a project that's been long in gestation and full of challenges,” Stevens said. “The problem is that although we have a pretty good idea of where it's going, but the fact is that the commission is in place, nobody has the authority to make anything happen. The fire companies have to take a leap of faith into this arrangement and the municipalities have to pretty much the same thing.
Stevens called the discussions “frank and open.”
“It was a lot of communication in trying to understand the larger picture and developing the kinds of relationships and nascent networks, in order to make this work,” he said.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected] .