BRISTOL BOROUGH >> Bristol Borough Mayor Joe Saxton at the Oct. 5 council meeting assured Wood Street residents that law enforcement - both at the borough and county level - continue to investigate the shooting that occurred on Sept. 22.
The incident took place at approximately 5:30 p.m. when the driver of a cream colored SUV exited his vehicle and fired several rounds down the street. Police said there were several individuals on the sidewalk at the time, including a nine year old girl, however no one was hit.
The shooter is described as a black male 5"10", slim build with dreadlocks. The shooter returned to the vehicle and fled the scene, said police.
Police have since located and impounded the vehicle involved in the incident and are working towards identifying the actor. Police have interviewed numerous witnesses and are analyzing video footage.
“We’re very fortunate to have Chief Steven Henry in our corner. We have support from the District Attorney’s office and the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force,” said Saxton. “I want to reach out to the people of Wood Street to say that ‘You’re not forgotten.’ We are actively investigating and we appreciate the cooperation of our residents while we investigate this cowardly act.”
In other news from the mayor’s office, Saxton announced that the borough will take part in the nationwide prescription drug take back collection event on Saturday, Oct. 24.
Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., residents can drop off their unused prescription drugs at the Bristol Borough Hall. A collection also takes place at the Grundy Tower from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In other business, Council President Ralph DiGuiseppe reported that he is working behind the scenes to form a committee of school board members and borough officials to discuss recreation opportunities in the borough.
“I think the school board should have some input in how we move forward with what we’re going to do,” he said.
In other news, Councilman Louis Quattrocchi announced that the Bucks County Rescue Squad held a ceremony on Oct. 1 to officially launch its new Frontline M1 Ambulance.
The new $160,000 ambulance, which will respond to medical emergencies in Bristol Borough and Bristol Township, replaces a 2009 ambulance with more than 100,000 miles.
Manufactured in Winter Park, Florida, by Keystone Emergency Vehicles, the new ambulance is being paid for partially through a $133,000 grant from the Redevelopment Authority of Bucks County.
The funds were jointly requested by Bristol Borough and Bristol Township through the Pennsylvania Race Horse and Development Gaming Act of 2004 and allotted by the Bucks RDA to Lower Bucks County communities.
Under the act, one percent of the gross terminal revenue from Parx Casino and Racetrack is allocated to administer municipal grants in Bensalem, Bucks County and to municipalities contiguous to Bensalem.
“It was a little over a year ago that the rescue squad was in dire shape because of fraudulent things that had gone on. Through the Borough we were able to work with the township and got them back involved. Since then, things have turned around to a point where the money lost to fraud is being returned to the squad,” said Quattrocchi. “It’s good to see the squad is back in action. This town really depends on the squad and they’re doing a good job.”
Quattrocchi also thanked everyone who participated in the annual Bristol Rotary Club Golf Outing. Last year’s event allowed the club to give out more than $16,000 in scholarships, most of them to Bristol Borough residents.
Councilman Michael Gorman also gave a shout out to the Bristol Borough Lions Club for its update of the Bristol Lions Park Gazebo, including new lighting, additional decorative brackets and replacement flooring.
The gazebo, located behind the King George, is the centerpiece of numerous borough events, including a series of summer cultural and ethnic festivals and the annual Lions Club Summer Outdoor Concert Series.
“They felt it was time for an update and as you can see it ties in very nicely with the Wharf,” said Gorman. “Thank you to the Bristol Lions.”
During her report, Council Vice President Betty Rodriguez recognized National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) by commending Anna Rosato and Josefina Berrocal-Irizzary.
Rosato recently graduated from the Buck County Opportunity Council’s Self-Sufficiency program and was recognized by Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick with a flag and certificate.
“This young lady is a single mom and bought her first house on Buckley Street. I’m just very proud of her being who she is - a woman, a Puerto Rican and being single - but moving on in life and not depending on the system to take care of her,” said Rodriguez.
Josefina owns and operated Josefina Unisex Salon (JUS) at 475 Pond Street, one of eight salons nationwide chosen as a winner in the Pantene Beauty Products x Dresscode Project for its welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for the LGBTQ+ community. The recognition comes with a $10,000 cash award for the salon.
“It’s an honor for someone in our community to be recognized that way,” said Rodriguez. “Congratulations to Josefina and her staff.”
In other reports, Councilman Greg Pezza encouraged borough residents to consider stepping forward and serving on the borough’s various boards and commissions. A description of the boards and commissions and what openings are available can be found on the borough’s website or by contacting borough manager Jim Dillion.
Councilman Tony Devine thanked Tim Witherspoon Jr. and his group of volunteers for cleaning up at the Jefferson Avenue basketball courts and the surrounding area.
“It’s really cool that we have a former world heavyweight champ right here in our community who is helping to clean up the borough,” said Devine.
Devine also asked why the borough is planning to spend more than $1 million in grant money to fix the Maple Beach bridge, which he said “leads to no where.”
According to Dillon, the bridge project, to be done with grant dollars with no impact on borough taxpayers, would provide direct access to the borough’s sewer treatment facility. It would also provide a pedestrian and bicycle link to the west side of the Bristol Marsh nature area.