October 15 - New Hope Borough

 NEW HOPE BOROUGH COUNCIL 125 NEW STREET, NEW HOPE, PA OCTOBER 15, 2013 PUBLIC MEETING MINUTES CALL TO ORDER Council President Claire Shaw called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. ROLL CALL John Burke, the Borough Manager, called the roll. Claire Shaw, Ed Duffy, Sharyn Keiser, Geri Delevich, Rey Velasco, Nick Gialias, Mayor Larry Keller, Borough Solicitor T. J. Walsh and Chief Cummings attended. Absent: Bill Scandone. MAYOR’S REPORT Mayor Keller discussed a letter that the Police Department recently received complimenting Officer Gruber’s professionalism. COUNCIL PRESIDENT’S REPORT Claire Shaw announced that there was no Executive Session this evening. Claire Shaw announced that fall leaf collection began on October 9, 2013, is scheduled for each Wednesday morning, and will end on November 20, 2013. Claire Shaw announced that the next items on the agenda are reports by the Borough Traffic Engineer, Amy Kaminski, on West Bridge Street pedestrian access and Bridge & Main traffic signal modifications. Amy Kaminski stated pursuant to your request, Gilmore & Associates, Inc. has completed an analysis of the traffic signal operations at the intersection of Main and Bridge Street in New Hope Borough. Gilmore was contacted to investigate the recent pedestrian/vehicular crashes on the eastern leg of the intersection (Bridge Street, east of Main Street) involving southbound left turning motorists striking pedestrians crossing legally within the marked pedestrian crosswalk. Over the past three years there have been three pedestrian/vehicular crashes. Ms. Kaminski stated the New Hope Borough Police Department provided historical crash records (reportable and non-­‐reportable) and Gilmore obtained pedestrian counts and vehicular turning movement counts in July 2013 during several peak vehicular and pedestrian days. With the provided data, Gilmore prepared the necessary reports for PennDOT review, and offered several alternatives to consider. In late-­‐September, 2013, New Hope Borough staff and PennDOT visited the intersection during the AM peak hour to observe motorists, and it became apparent that several of the southbound left turning motorists would “jump” the green signal in anticipation of turning left prior to the movement of the northbound through vehicles. Unfortunately, this type of behavior can jeopardize pedestrians that have stepped into the roadway in an attempt to legally cross the street and can potentially lead to severe pedestrian/vehicular crash incidents. 1
Ms. Kaminski stated that several alternatives were discussed during the field observation. 1. Signage: It was determined that signage will not resolve this situation. Motorists are currently ignoring right of way rules with regard to yielding to both oncoming vehicles and pedestrians in the crosswalk; it is unlikely signs would provide sufficient warning to alert motorists to the presence of pedestrians walking in the crosswalk. Moreover, there are a significant number of signs posted on the southbound approach of Main Street at Bridge Street and additional signs should be avoided, as the new signage would disappear in the sign “clutter”. No cost estimate is provided, as this would not resolve the situation. 2. Northbound Main Street 3 Second lead: We would like PennDOT to consider allowing a 3 second lead permitted green phase on the northbound approach of Main Street. The 3-­‐second lead green for the northbound approach of Main Street would effectually protect pedestrians and eliminate the potential for motorists turning left on southbound Main Street from “jumping” the signal. This does not introduce any significant delay to all approaches and is a minor timing adjustment. Our Opinion of Probable Cost for permitting and timing changes is $5,500. 3. Provide a 3 Second LEAD for Pedestrian Movement: This alternative would provide a three (3) second LEAD WALK time for all pedestrian movements while all other vehicular movements would remain red. This is very effective in moving the pedestrians into a more visible location and does not introduce significant delay to intersection operations. This would require a signal permit plan change along with controller cabinet timing changes. Our Opinion of Probable Cost for permitting and timing changes is $5,500. 4. Provide a 3 second lead for both northbound Main Street and all pedestrian movements: This alternative would provide a three (3) second lead phase for both northbound Main Street motorists and all pedestrian movements at the intersection. Our Opinion of Probable Cost for permitting and timing changes is $5,500. 5. Main Street Left Turn Green Arrow: Although PennDOT initially denied an advanced left turn green arrow for both approaches of Main Street in 2008 and again in July 2013, another pedestrian/vehicular crash occurred one week prior to the field meeting with PennDOT representatives and PennDOT has reconsidered and will allow this alternative. The request to PennDOT was accompanied by a capacity analysis clearly showing the intersection and approach capacities will not be compromised by the additional time necessary for the left turn green arrow implementation. However, the southbound approach left turn storage length of 75’ may need to be extended as the 95th percentile queues are anticipated to reach 75’. This could potentially exceed the available left turn storage lane resulting in blocking the through lane movement. PennDOT may require the elimination of one parking space on each approach of Main Street to provide an additional 20’ of storage on both approaches of the intersection. We have requested that PennDOT consider holding off on requiring the elimination of the parking space and the Borough will monitor the situation to determine if additional storage will be necessary. This would require a signal permit plan change and minor signal alterations. Our Opinion of Probable Cost for permitting and construction is $19,000. 2
6. Provide an All-­‐Pedestrian Phase: This would require reactivating the pedestrian push buttons that were disconnect several years ago. Our understanding is that the push buttons were deactivated because pedestrians were unable to locate the push buttons. During our field visit, we noticed that during high pedestrians times, the push buttons were not visible as pedestrians were standing directly in front of the activation buttons and direction signage. PennDOT has turned down the introduction of an all-­‐pedestrian phase for this intersection; therefore, no cost estimates are provided and we do not recommend reactivation of the pedestrian pushbuttons. Ms. Kaminski stated that the changes that are being discussed here would require a single permit plan change through PaDOT, and also require a TE160 form to be filled out authorizing changes to the municipal signal, and the Borough Council would have to approve the signal changes by resolution at a public meeting. Ms. Kaminski concluded by recommending installation of a three second lead phase for the northbound approach of Main Street along with providing a three second lead WALK time for all the pedestrian movements at an approximate cost of $5,500. The benefit of the lead green for the northbound approach of Main Street, along with the lead pedestrian time would allow the northbound vehicular movement to provide some protection for the pedestrian movements on the eastern leg of Bridge Street. In addition, the advanced timing would place pedestrians midway in the crosswalk prior to providing a green indication for motorists turning left on the southbound approach of Main Street. Ms. Kaminski stated that she does not recommend installing a left turn green arrow for both approaches of Main Street because in my professional opinion, this would not adequately address impatient left turning motorists from continuing to jump the green phase in front of the northbound Main Street motorists. In fact, this could potentially increase aggressive behavior by southbound left turning motorists by extending turns into the green phase on Main Street in an attempt to retain control of the intersection. Rey Velasco asked if the combinations of the two total $5,500. Amy Kaminski answered yes, and stated both recommendations could be accomplished through the one-­‐step PennDOT process. John Burke asked if the 3 seconds for the pedestrian and the 3 seconds for the northbound motorists run simultaneously. Amy Kaminski answered yes, much like it does right now. Amy Kaminski stated that the signal would go into a two second all red all the way around before the green phase and then a three second walk phase along with the north bound movement. Claire Shaw added that it would put the pedestrian in the roadway first because you have of motorists that jump. Claire Shaw asked if there were any questions by Council. 3
There were none. Claire Shaw asked if there were any questions from the public. Gerry Monigan of Village II asked what will the impact be on traffic on the weekends? Amy Kaminski answered that she does not anticipate it getting any worse than it is; it is basically 3 seconds of green being added to a 60 second cycle. The left turns could have some difficulty making that turn only because it is probably happening right now. The through movement should not suffer; the real suffering comes with turning movements because of the conflict with pedestrians when motorists make those lefts and rights. However, a left turn arrow phase would cause even more delays for motorists. Amy Kaminski added that an all-­‐pedestrian phase was discussed with PaDOT that would shut down the entire intersection with red and allow pedestrian to move through the intersection at will, going in any direction, for approximately 23 seconds. PennDOT was not open to this discussion at all. Pam Kerr asked if there could be more time added for southbound vehicles making eastbound turns? Amy Kaminski answered that in Pennsylvania a “left turn lag” is not allowed. What that means is that at the end of the green you would get an arrow that would clear the intersection out for those turning movements. Now, about 75% of the time it is not an issue, but during the weekend when there are high pedestrian movements and you are not clearing those sidewalks off during the pedestrian cycle, the eastbound left turns would have difficulty completing their turns. Normally they should be able to complete their left turns when the pedestrians have moved out of the way, but during the weekends New Hope has significant pedestrian traffic. Ms. Kaminski observed in the am during weekends there was plenty of movement and opportunity for left turns to occur. Once the flashing sign goes up, pedestrians should not be stepping off the curb. John Burke asked why PennDOT does not allow a left turn lag movement. Amy Kaminski answered the only time you can get a “left turn lag” is if you do not have an opposing left turn from the other direction. The theory behind it is called a “left turn trap”, and basically the idea is that when motorists are going to get their clearance they are not aware that there is an extended green from the other direction ending up with left turn vehicles that are getting trapped in the intersection. Geri Delevich stated that she had sat in her car through three lights because pedestrians would not stop during this past weekend and asked if Amy would recommend a police officer’s presence. Amy Kaminski answered that a police officer could be used at high traffic times and that is really all you can do, outside of educating the public. 4
Geri Delevich asked the Chief what the high traffic times are. Chief Cummings answered 12 noon to 6 pm on summer weekends. Ed Duffy stated pedestrians hamper both right and left turns from Main onto Bridge at high traffic times. Rey Velasco stated that in Provincetown police provide enforcement in high traffic areas and the enforcement was effective. Amy Kaminski added that the State of Pennsylvania allows the Police Department to control signalized intersections. Diane Whitman asked about the “sound queue option,” which was not mentioned in the presentation as an alternative. Amy Kaminski answered that it would be a retro fit, which might cost approximately $8,000. What it does is chirp as pedestrians move into the intersection and the chirps becomes faster and alert the pedestrians that the blinking “no walk” phase of the light has begun. Claire Shaw announced that this item will be revisited in November and the next item on the agenda is West Bridge Street pedestrian access. Amy Kaminski stated pursuant to your request, Gilmore & Associates, Inc. has completed a pedestrian access analysis for West Bridge Street (SR-­‐179). Presently, there are no street grade sidewalks on the north side of Bridge Street and the borough wished to investigate various alternatives to provide ADA compliant access on the northern side of Bridge Street. Ms. Kaminski stated that three alternatives have been explored to improve pedestrian access along the north side of Bridge Street. All alternatives would require a PennDOT Highway Occupancy Permit as the work performed would all be within the PennDOT legal right-­‐of-­‐way. In addition, all alternatives require removal of the existing stone pillars, as the pillars are a fall hazard to pedestrians. 1. Alternative 1 includes: a. Removal of existing stone pillars b. Installation of a PennDOT approved fence in replacement of the existing stone pillars; located along the existing capstone. c. Construct a 5’ sidewalk along the north side of Bridge Street d. Estimated cost for engineering, permitting and construction (excludes meetings): Total: $ 55,371 2. Alternative 2 includes: a. Removal of existing stone pillars b. Construct new curb along north side of Bridge Street c. Construct 6-­‐7’ wide sidewalk along north side of Bridge Street d. Revise travel lane pavement markings and retain south side on-­‐street parking (reduce parking width to 8’, and travel lanes to 10-­‐12’) 5
e. Estimated cost for engineering, permitting and construction (excludes meetings): Total: $ 120,719 3. Alternative 3: a. Similar to Alternative 2; however, provide an 18” planter between the new curbing and the 5’ sidewalk on north side of Bridge Street. b. Estimated cost for engineering, permitting and construction (excludes meetings): Total: $ 119,852 The plantings would be in barrels. Claire Shaw asked if Council had any questions. Geri Delevich asked that instead of using the 18-­‐inch wide planting strips could there be a possibility of putting some trees in to soften the industrial look since there seems to be enough room for wheel chairs? Amy Kaminski stated that with trees we have to be careful that the trees do not block any of the movements coming out of the driveway to the north of this, and there would be concern that the root structure may get too large creating structural problems with the sidewalk and the street at a future date. Geri Delevich added that there is a Shade Tree Commission that would be willing to look at this. One of the complaints that she hears is during the summer the sun really beats down on that street making it very hot and the trees would soften the look of the street, even if it were two trees. Amy Kaminski added that this option would have to be discussed with PaDOT and we have to make sure that the trees do not create some kind of a future hazard for motorists because there is a clear zone that is required by PaDOT. You could potentially move that planting strip to the back of the sidewalk off of the front side of the street. Geri Delevich asked if traffic slows down and is calmer when a street is narrower? Amy Kaminski answered yes; the improvements might affect a slow down in traffic. Geri Delevich added that the wide sidewalk sounds appealing. Amy Kaminski stated that moving the planting strip closer to the fence areas would place the pedestrians closer to the roadway, which is not a desirable outcome. Ed Duffy added that he feels that the options are a lot of money for the Borough. He asked to look at the inside of the fence putting the pedestrians closer to the business by dropping down to that lower sidewalk? How much would it cost to make a ramp that drops down to that area? Amy Kaminski answered that this would be a lot more money than any of the alternatives presented this evening. This type of ramping would have to meet a minimum grade, and the slope of that cannot exceed a certain amount and the width would have to meet a certain 6
standard. This would require a snaking type treatment to get down to street level over that distance, and the grade would have to extend over 100’s of feet creating a long runway. Amy Kaminski added that the alternatives presented tonight present ways to gain the walkway back that New Hope had before and to make is safer. Now, with these choices there will be a chance for pedestrians to walk down the street and see the businesses by looking down, and this is a better situation since the pedestrians have only been moving on the sidewalk across the street. Rey Velasco asked if the gate in the middle of the street could be utilized since it has been permanently closed for a long time because none of the alternatives show this gate or steps to access the lower part. Mr. Velasco further added that the stairway does not appear in any of the alternatives. Claire Shaw added that no one knows who owns the steps. Amy Kaminski answered that she does not know who owns the steps, but she does know for a fact that it is in the PennDOT right-­‐of-­‐way. It is very unlikely that PennDOT would allow that gate to be opened up because there is a fall hazard. Also, the rules for ADA compliance require that if pedestrians have access from the curb to the stairway that same accommodation has to be available for someone in a wheelchair. It is very limiting in what we can and can’t do for that area. Claire Shaw asked the public if there were any questions. Steve Coppens of West Bridge Street commented that he is very happy that this issue is being looked at. He also wanted to state for the record that he does not want to see taxes raised for this project. Steve also stated that the curb would have to be repaired along this section of West Bridge Street and that he opposes any reduction in the width of the cartway travel lanes, which options 2 and 3 would necessitate. Steve Coppens asked if there is any money for this? Claire Shaw answered at the moment no, but this is a goal and we know where we are headed. Steve Coppens asked could a fence be used? Amy Kaminski answered that when you start looking into decorative fencing the prices begin to go up. We may be able to use something like the free bridge fencing but keep in mind that it is a PennDOT road. All of these alternatives would require transitional adjustments and approvals. Steve Coppens asked if this would improve the bed and breakfast business on West Bridge Street and any of the other businesses? Amy Kaminski answered that there could be an improvement. Claire Shaw asked if there were any other comments from the public. 7
Joe Favoroso, owner of Villa Vito, came forward and added that these ideas seem like they will make the area safe and help the businesses and thanked Council for looking into this matter. Council thanked Amy Kaminski for her time and efforts. Claire Shaw announced that this would be scheduled on Council’s November meeting agenda. Claire Shaw announced the next item on the agenda is a consideration of establishing a standard 5K-­‐race route in the Borough. Lately the Borough has experienced an increase in requests to host events that require road closures. There is no foolproof method of informing the residents, religious establishments, businesses or other organizations of these events involving road closures. Recently, there was a run that had a negative impact on the Synagogue. The Chief provided a route this evening that has been used successfully by the “Girls on the Run” organization and seems to be less disruptive to the residential and business communities in New Hope. Chief Michael Cummings stated that the “Girls on the Run” event closes a section of Bridge Street, part of North Main Street, and ends at the high school, causing less disruption to the town. The impact of this route is not high, and this race typically takes 45 minutes to complete. Claire Shaw asked for a motion to approve this route as a permanent route for future running events. Sharyn Keiser moved to approve the route and Rey Velasco seconded. Claire Shaw asked for discussion from Council. Geri Delevich asked if this proposed permanent route for all future running events has been shared with all the groups participating in past events. John Burke answered that Pat McCloskey has been notified. Pat is associated with two of the three events we have each year in the Borough. Pat McCloskey came forward and stated that his runs have the least impact and his runs are on a certified route allowing for adequate parking and showing off the town. He feels that his events are all manageable for the Police Department. He does not believe that the “Girls on The Run” route is a certified route. Sharyn Keiser asked if the route has to be certified? Pat McCloskey answered that the route has to be measured and calibrated at a cost of $75.00 a mile to $125.00 a mile. Sharyn Keiser feels that this proposed route from the Chief has the least impact on everyone and she is in favor of it as a permanent route. There is adequate parking and it is manageable to our Police Department. Claire Shaw asked if there were any other questions from Council. 8
Geri Delevich introduced Ryan O’Keefe, who represents “Run Now Wine Later.” Mr. O’Keefe stated that the event overall and involving the Playhouse was very much enjoyed. It brought people and business into the town. It kept people in town after the event. The impact to the event at the Synagogue was less than originally thought. Rey Velasco stated that this event ends in downtown New Hope. Ryan O’Keefe stated that the finish was at the wine tasting, which should always be done at the Playhouse because it brings people into town. He asked Council to consider that the next time. It was a very successful event, and he apologized for any disruption at this year’s event and stated that no disruption will be caused the next time. Mayor Keller asked if there were 400 participants and you had not been at the Playhouse, where would they have parked? Ryan O’Keefe answered that they would start at the school and also do metered parking and the nice thing is that they finish at the wine festival. Sharyn Keiser stated that the issue with the school is the wine festival following this event. Ryan O’Keefe added that he feels this event really supports the businesses and non-­‐profit organizations as well as adds excitement to the town. Geri Delevich stated that there should be a compromise here and there should be exceptions made for events like “Run Now Wine Later” because it was so successful in bringing so many people into town. Geri Delevich further added that she would not like to see New Hope lose this race. Claire Shaw asked if there were any other comments from Council. Ed Duffy agreed with Geri that these events provide entertainment for tourists, residents, and the runners who come into town and support the local businesses. There should be an exception to the rule with certain events. Sacrifice is necessary to have success. Claire Shaw asked if there were any other comments from Council. There were none. Claire Shaw asked for a motion to establish a routine 5K-­‐route similar to what Girls on the Run uses every year. Geri Delevich asked to amend the motion adding the allowance of exceptions. Sharyn Keiser added that this is the best route that works for the Borough with the limited resources we have to support these events. Sharyn Keiser asked Chief Cummings for clarification. 9
Chief Cummings stated that these events are now disrupting our residents and organizations along with the functioning of the town. The “Run Now and Wine Later” event changed their plans at the last minute causing the Police Department to make time consuming changes involving operations that day. Residents have been constantly complaining to all the police officers about being locked into their residences by these events. He does not have the manpower to support this number of events, which has gone from 5 each year when he first began working for New Hope to 24 events now. Chief Cummings added that he feels that the maximum level has been reached. The fire police are not available all the time and their force has decreased in size as well causing more limitations in staffing availability. John Burke added that both Pam Chapin and the Thompson Classic have complained about the fees charged by the Borough for the police services required for these events. We are charging in the range of $1500 to $1700 per event. The full-­‐time officers are entitled to 4 hours overtime on their days off, so the full 4 hours time must be charged. Mayor Keller stated that this is just a fee that strictly covers the cost of the event. The Borough is not making any revenue. This really needs to be addressed because the number of events has gotten excessive. Claire Shaw added it would be difficult to pick and choose what events benefit the business district and community the most. Sharyn Keiser added that walking from the high school to downtown New Hope is only three blocks. Chris Seiler also identified himself as representing “Run Now Wine Later.” Mr. Seiler stated that his organization runs the Trenton Marathon each year, with over 4,000 runners. This event shuts down the entire City of Trenton. If the runners can’t finish in downtown New Hope, they will get back in their cars and leave. John Burke stated that he has been frustrated in dealing with many of these so-­‐called “professional” organizations. Mr. Burke stated that he has to constantly remind them by email and telephone to submit the necessary supporting documents to the Borough. These documents are vital to the event operating in New Hope, and sometimes he has found himself chasing these organizations down to the day before the event for the necessary insurance and indemnification documents. Chris Seiler apologized about the disruption caused and reminded the Borough of all the people that came in to town for the event, supporting the businesses and non-­‐profit organizations. They will do a better job next year. Claire Shaw added that there are two groups of people in New Hope. There are residents and there are business owners and her responsibility is to the residential community. Ms. Shaw stated that she is in favor of establishing this 5K route for use by all. Nick Gialias stated that he feels that the number of events shows growth and adds to the dynamic nature of the town. At the end of the day a lot of people want to come here to do things and maybe we are not prepared for these certain events yet and maybe planning better 10
and making this route a standard route would help, as well as allowing for exceptions. Going from 5 events to 24 shows a lot of growth and these runs share the community with other people. Claire Shaw announced that we are in the process of possibly amending the motion. Sharyn Keiser stated that she does not feel that the motion needs to be amended and that Council already makes considerations if there is an exception that may need to be made. Council can listen to requests for exemptions on a case-­‐by-­‐case basis. Claire Shaw called the question to establish a routine 5K-­‐route run similar to what “Girls on the Run” uses every year. The motion was passed unanimously. Claire Shaw stated that Council received documents this evening from Gerri and Rey with suggestions on the Community Room guidelines. Claire Shaw asked Council to take this home so that it can be brought to the November meeting. CONSENT AGENDA Claire Shaw asked for a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. A. Consideration of approving payment of accounts payable for October 15, 2013, in the amount of $108,569.59; of payroll for September 18, 2013, in the amount of $79,371.12; and of payroll for October 2, 2013, in the amount of $58,723.07. B. Consideration of approving the minutes of the September 17, 2013 public meeting of Council. C. Consideration of approving a proposal by Bee Bergvall & Co., Burton & Browse Division, to conduct the 2013 audit of Borough accounts. D. Consideration of approving issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness, as recommended by HARB, for: (1) Irene McElory, 350 South River Road, Unit #G16, for wIndow replacement; (2) Christine McGinn, 244 South Main Street, for sign installation; (3) Keith Voss and Diane Harvey, 43 Old Mill Road, demolition of the front porch; (4) Mother's Restaurant, Inc., 34 North Main Street, for exterior painting; and (5) Andrew & Amy Popkin, 40 South Main Street, for exterior painting. Rey Velasco moved to approve the Consent Agenda and Nick Gialias seconded. Claire Shaw asked if there were any questions by Council. Geri Delevich added that she had a clarification on page 8 of the minutes, located at the bottom of the page, where she is reported to have started, “ should be allowed.” This should be changed to “they should adhere to the rules of the Liquor Control Board.” The motion was passed unanimously with the change to the minutes. 11
COUNCIL VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT Rey Velasco asked for consideration of appointing Sally Weisman to the Park & Recreation Board, for a term expiring on December 31, 2013. Claire Shaw asked for a motion to approve Sally Weisman’s appointment. Sharyn Keiser moved to approve the appointment and Rey Velasco seconded. Claire Shaw asked for comment from Council. There was none. Claire Shaw asked if there were comments from the public. There were none. The motion was passed unanimously. Rey Velasco asked for consideration of appointing Chris Fusco to an alternate position on the Civil Service Commission for a term expiring on December 31, 2019. Claire Shaw asked for a motion. Rey Velasco moved to approve the appointment and Sharyn Keiser seconded. Claire Shaw asked for comments from Council and the public. There were none. Claire Shaw called the question. The motion was passed unanimously. Rey Velasco reminded the public to get their flu shots and that it it Breast Cancer Awareness month. SPECIAL EVENTS REPORT (Community Affairs – Geri Delevich & Rey Velasco) Rey Velasco asked for Consideration of a request by the Greater New Hope Chamber of Commerce for a special event permit to close a section of West Ferry Street, from S. Main Street to Stockton Avenue, for the annual tree lighting ceremony and holiday celebration on Sunday, December 1, 2013, between 4 pm and 9 pm. Claire Shaw added that this is an annual event and that Connie Gering is here to answer any questions. There were none. Claire Shaw asked for a motion. 12
Rey Velasco moved to approve the special event permit and Sharyn Keiser seconded. Claire Shaw asked if there were any comments from Council or the public. There were none. Claire Shaw called the question. The motion was passed unanimously. PARK AND RECREATION BOARD AND REVITALIZATION COMMITTEE REPORTS (Parks & Recreation -­‐-­‐ Bill Scandone & Nick Gialias; Revitalization – Sharyn Keiser and Ed Duffy) Claire Shaw announced that the next item on the agenda is consideration of accepting the Annual Report of the Revitalization Committee. Sharyn Keiser presented the report below. Significant Activities Following is a summary of the significant activities that have been pursued by the New Hope Borough Revitalization Committee over the past twelve months: Provide Access from Ferry Landing Park to the Bucks County Playhouse Promenade The Committee suggested that the borough pursue the possibility of opening the fence between Ferry Landing Park and the adjacent Bucks County Playhouse promenade to enable access to the riverfront. This action has been completed. Visitors to Ferry Landing Park can now access the promenade along the Delaware River via the steps leading to it from the park. Noise Abatement The Committee met with Mayor Laurence Keller to explore ways to reduce noise in town. The Committee suggested proactive measures in the borough’s approach to the enforcement of its noise ordinance. Among the ideas was to start the spring season with strict enforcement so the word would get out early. Mayor Keller reminded the Committee that cost and manpower are issues, but he said that he would discuss the possibility of employing a proactive stance for the first six weeks of the season beginning in May. Review of Comprehensive Plan Action Items Committee members completed a review of all 36 Action Items included in the Comprehensive Plan to determine which items involved the Revitalization Committee, and to prioritize items for action. Meeting with Lynn Bush of the Bucks County Planning Commission The Committee met with Lynn Bush to explore possible ways to fund sidewalk improvements around the borough, and to recruit banks to provide below market interest loans for small businesses for improvements. A follow-­‐up meeting is planned. Property Maintenance Members of the Committee have visited numerous shops around the borough to stress the importance of cleanliness and appearance of storefronts and sidewalks. Noticeable improvements at some locations along South Main Street have been observed. 13
Future Activities Following its review of the Borough’s Comprehensive Plan, the Committee voted to pursue the following action items during the next year: Trash Collection and Removal—Installation of artistic trash containers The committee will identify locations around town that would accommodate new artistic trash containers, and identify places where new trashcans are needed. Elimination of cigarette butts around town will be considered when the acquisition of new containers is explored. Cannon Square A subcommittee including Connie Gering, Earl Bierman, Joe Franlin, Susan Taylor and Roy Ziegler will pursue the process that is required to begin improvements to Cannon Square, the area between the Logan Inn and the Parry Mansion. A preliminary sketch of the area improvements had been completed by Dennis Wise a number of years ago. The concept design would create a kind of “Town Center” at the cannon on West Ferry Street. The area around the cannon would be rebuilt using fieldstone, and would create safer space for those who approach the cannon for photographs, etc. Ferry Street would be covered with red brick pavers that would be installed around the cannon west to the end of the Parry Mansion and east to Ferry Landing Park. Claire Shaw thanked the Revitalization Committee for having done a great job in improving the town and in following the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan, which is vital to New Hope. MANAGER’S AND SOLICITOR’S REPORTS There was no report. LAND USE AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION REPORT (HARB -­‐-­‐ Ed Duffy & Rey Velasco; Zoning Hearing Board – Ed Duffy; Planning Commission – Ed Duffy & Bill Scandone) There was no report. PUBLIC WORKS REPORT (Bill Scandone & Nick Gialias). Nick Gialias asked for consideration of authorizing the purchase of a used dump truck. The current truck, which hauls stone, dirt, asphalt, branches and especially snow, has reached the end of its life cycle. Public Works would like to replace the truck and Tom Carroll has found a good used truck as a replacement. Public Works will save the dump portion of the truck and move that onto the used truck that is in good condition. The total cost is $7,500 and half of that money would come from state liquid fuels grant funds and the other portion from the General Fund. Also, the sale of the current truck may net a few hundred dollars for spare parts. Nick Gialias moved to approve the purchase of a used MDR-­‐EFI box truck with 53 thousand miles that will be fitted with the dump truck portion of the old one at a cost of $7, 500. Tom Carroll mentioned to Council that Public Works couldn’t do without this type of vehicle. They have no other vehicle that can haul stone, dirt, asphalt, branches and snow. Claire Shaw asked for a second. 14
Rey Velasco seconded. Claire Shaw asked Council and the public for comments. There were none. The motion was passed unanimously. Nick Gialias moved to approve the adoption of Resolution No. 2013-­‐10R, authorizing the sale of a Dodge Dump Truck at an on-­‐line auction conducted by Municibid. John Burke added that this is a 1995 Dodge and has given 19 years of good service. Claire Shaw asked for a second. Rey Velasco seconded. Claire Shaw asked if there were comments from Council and the public. Geri Delevich asked that she noticed that there are other vehicles awaiting sale. John Burke answered that Council adopted a resolution a number of months ago authorizing those first four vehicles to be put out to bid. We still have them because Tom is still striping every part out of them he possibly can before they go to bid. Claire Shaw asked if there were other questions from Council or the public. There were none. Claire Shaw called the question. The motion was passed unanimously. COMMUNITY AFFAIRS REPORT (Community Affairs – Geri Delevich & Rey Velasco). Rey Velasco announced that he does not have a Visitor Center Report. Community Activities Report Geri Delevich announced a Breast Cancer Awareness Fashion Show at the Bucks County Playhouse on October 16. Geri Delevich announced on October 19, at the Bucks County Playhouse, there will be Broadway Cares showing with Alan Cummings. Geri Delevich announced on October 23, there would be an open house at the Historical Society. 15
Geri Delevich announced The Rocky Horror Picture Show, October 23 through November 22, at The Playhouse. Geri Delevich announced on October 27 a High Heel Drag Race at 6pm on Mechanic Street. Geri Delevich announced on October 28 at the Bucks County Playhouse will be a tribute to Angela Lansbury. Geri Delevich reminded everyone of Election Day on November 5. Claire Shaw announced that the Fire Museum at the Fire House opened October 3rd and encouraged all to spend some time there. OTHER BUSINESS Claire Shaw asked if there was any new business by Council. Geri Delevich asked for updates on Odette’s, 46 N. Main Street, and 18-­‐20 West Mechanic Street. John Burke answered that there is a meeting scheduled with Claire, himself, T. J. Walsh and the new owners soon. T. J. Walsh added that the property is under agreement but he cannot disclose who they are yet because they have not gone public with their identities. John Burke stated there is an agreement of sale for 46 North Main Street with a realtor who has met with our Borough staff, who discussed property maintenance and landlord registration requirements. John Burke stated that there has been nothing new submitted to the Borough on the 18-­‐20 West Mechanic Street project; however, there was a dispute between some of the principals involved and the last time the John Burke spoke to their attorney, Steve Harris, there was no sure answer that there is still a project. Sharyn Keiser stated that the area really needs to be cleaned up. PUBLIC COMMENT There was none ADJOURNMENT 16