LOWER MAKEFIELD >> The township’s Parks and Recreation Department is gearing up for a much busier 2021 after a year that saw many of its activities cancelled and postponed due to COVID-19.
During an update at the April 7 board of supervisors meeting, Parks and Rec director Monica Tierney reported that the township pool is on schedule to reopen in May after remaining closed throughout 2020.
A public meeting is scheduled for May 10 to discuss updates, what’s going to change this year and how the township plans to adapt for COVID-19.
The restrooms have reopened throughout the township’s Parks and Recreation facilities and will be cleaned every day throughout the week. “Be mindful. Wash your hands. Try not to go in there with other people. And mask when you’re inside the facility,” said Tierney.
A modified summer camp will also be resuming this year. “We are only taking 20 campers at this time. We are looking at some alternatives, maybe doing one week camps here and there. One that we’re considering is a skateboard camp, maybe a science camp. There is a large waiting list for summer camps so we are looking for some options.”
Tierney said the department also will be restarting some of its outdoor programming in the parks. “Please know that you cannot run your own programs without running it through the parks department. If you’re interested in teaching a class, if you are a certified instructor or have any ideas communicate with us directly. We will be glad to work with you.”
The first scheduled outdoor class -
Sunset Yoga - will start in May at Memorial Park on Woodside Road.
“We’re looking to transition back to the community center,” added Tierney. “We’re looking at July to time it right. There will be some COVID protocols in place. There are a couple of logistics we are trying to work out. But little by little we’re trying to bring in some senior programming and some rentals so look out for that.”
In addition, Tierney reported that the sports leagues are up and running and operating with COVID protocols. “The Pennsbury tournament will be coming back in a modified way this year, which is exciting.
“You’ll also start to see some of our bigger events come back. We’re looking to bring back a modified version of Community Day. We are trying to make it more community-based and less bounce houses and high-touch areas,” said Tierney.
“For the Veteran’s Parade, we still haven’t found a solution yet, but keep your eyes out for a parade in November, but definitely a ceremony,” she said.
“We just completed our egg hunt, which was a big hit. We’re looking forward to doing it again in the future. Senior Bags were successful. We had a lot of happy seniors, which was great. We are just trying to move forward and adapt and offer as much as possible,” said Tierney.
In other business at the April 7 board of supervisors meeting, manager Kurt Ferguson announced that a proposed new bikepath on Woodside Road is on hold as the township works on grant opportunities for the project.
Estimated at $625,000, the project includes construction of a bikepath on Woodside Road from the Makefield Highlands Golf Club to Taylorsville Road where it will tie into a new bikepath on the east side of Woodside Road built by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission and connecting to the Delaware Canal Towpath and eventually to a new pedestrian path across the new Scudder Falls Bridge.
The township has $150,000 set aside for the project and $50,000 in grant money for soft costs associated with the project.
“We’ll have to continue to look for other opportunities,” said Ferguson.
Looking ahead, at the April 21 meeting Ferguson said the township’s traffic engineer will detail final plans for the Big Oak and Makefield Road Traffic signal upgrade project.
The traffic signal at Big Oak and Makefield roads is slated to be upgraded and modernized to enhance and accommodate pedestrian safety.
Pedestrian crossings would be added to all four corners of the intersection with push buttons and pedestrian countdown signals. In addition, ADA ramps would be installed and improved to current standards.
“The intersection now has one mast arm and it’s very old. The proposal is to put up four mast arms so each approach is going to have a mast arm,” said the township’s traffic consultant Joe Fiocco from SAFE Engineering.
The estimated cost of the project is $295,000, to be funded mostly through a $260,000 ARLE grant. The township will pay the balance of $35,000 for the design work.
Also at the April 21 meeting, the board of supervisors is scheduled to vote on a motion to advertise for bids for a signalization upgrade project at Route 332 and Mirror Lake Road.
The signals at Mirror Lake, Creamery Road and Yardley-Newtown Road will be upgraded so that they can be tied in with PennDOT’s traffic adaptive technology, which reduces congestion along the Newtown Bypass by synchronizing signals.
The project is estimated to cost $79,000, with $59,000 from an ARLE grant and $20,000 from the township as the project match.
ARLE (Automated Red Light Enforcement) grants are funded through the red light program, which collects fines from motorists who violate red light laws at monitored intersections in the state.
Municipalities that install red light cameras are entitled to collect half of the fine with the other half going to PennDOT for redistribution throughout the state in the form of ARLE grants.
In other business, the supervisors unanimously appointed Debbie Sanko to the 9-11 20th Anniversary Committee. Sanko’s husband, David, was killed when terrorists flew hijacked airplanes into the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.