YARDLEY BOROUGH >> Yardley Borough is applying for funding through the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
The borough is eligible for up to $263,138 through the federal COVID-19 stimulus package approved earlier this year by Congress. The funding, however, is limited to certain uses including pandemic-related expenses and stormwater management projects.
Chief on its list for funding is $40,000 to purchase livestream and video equipment for borough hall. The borough, which relied heavily on Zoom technology throughout the pandemic to conduct borough business, would like to improve the quality of its live stream broadcast and involve more residents.
The plan also allows the borough to claim up to 4.1 percent in lost revenue during the pandemic. The borough will be requesting $76,385, according to Caroline Thompson who chairs council’s general government committee.
It also win be seeking $10,000 to be split into two local stimulus pots - $5,000 for borough nonprofits impacted by the pandemic and $5,000 for borough businesses, also negatively impacted by the pandemic.
“The nonprofits would have to provide evidence that they lost revenues andi charitable donations last year and nonprofits in the borough could apply,” said Thompson. “Another idea would be for local businesses. Most of our larger businesses got some money, but our smaller restaurants didn’t get any money. We’d like to have this available for those folks to apply.”
But the bulk of the borough’s requests - between $150,000 and $200,000 - is allocated for a number of different stormwater management projects throughout the borough.
The funding would be used to open up four clogged storm drains; install storm drains at the South Main Street underpass, which frequently floods; install back flow preventers in Rivermawr; conduct jet cleaning of sidewalks; and improve sidewalk drainage and upgrade stormwater facilities on Van Horn and at the Yardley Country Club.
A funding request is also included for the installation of a 150 foot storm drainage pipe between Garlits Pond and Fuld Street to ease flooding in that area.
“The area of Garlits Pond south to Fuld has no storm drains whatsoever. And we have had problems there in the last 10 years. That’s also our last way out of Rivermawr in high water events. That would regain our exit there,” said Wes Foraker, the borough’s emergency management officer.
Other funding requests include digitalization of property records and the purchase of gator golf carts for the borough’s Police Department. Gators are used by borough police and borough officials during emergency management situations to access locations closed by flooding and fallen trees.
In other business, council approved a special events permit for the Yardley Car Festival to be held on Saturday, September 11 at FitzGerald Field with a rain date of Sunday, Sept. 12.
Council also approved an offer by PennDOT to paint sharrows every 250 feet along East and West Afton avenues from the borough line to the river. Once they are painted, it will then be up to the borough to maintain the 19 sharrows.
Sharrows are pavement markings designed to improve cycling safety on streets that are too narrow for traditional bike lanes. The markings indicate to drivers that the road is a preferred bicycle route, and that they should be prepared to share the road with cyclists.
During public comment, David Appelbaum, the president of Experience Yardley, announced that Music On Main will return on Saturday, July 31 with a series of six Saturday evening concerts.
The outdoor concerts will again take place at Buttonwood Plaza next to the Greetings from Yardley mural. Bring chairs, blankets and takeout food to enjoy with the music.
Watch for the band lineup at the Experience Yardley Facebook page.
Looking ahead, the borough is preparing for a busy summer construction season.
The deteriorating wooden Mary Yardley Footbridge is on track to be replaced with a long-lasting, site-sensitive metal bridge sometime in August, according to Councilman Matt Ross, the chair of the borough's public works committee.
The project had been scheduled for this month. However, it has taken longer than expected to secure permitting for the project.
Once the work begins, it will take about three weeks to complete, beginning with the removal of the existing bridge, remediation of the site and hoisting the newly-built prefabricated span into place by crane.
Also scheduled for construction in August is the extension of the North Main Street sidewalk from the Brock Creek bridge to the Mary Yardley Footbridge access.