YARDLEY BOROUGH >> Three weeks after he was shot during an offender check on August 18, Yardley Borough Council on Tuesday welcomed back Chief Joseph Kelly with a standing ovation.
Mayor Chris Harding opened up the meeting by sharing a post he wrote on Facebook during the incident.
“Words cannot express my admiration for him, and for the members of our Yardley Boro Police Department who exude the core values he preaches and lives by ... integrity, loyalty, respect and courage,” said Mayor Harding. “Chief Kelly, and our entire department, demonstrated each and every one of these qualities.
“Spilt second moments can change lives, and for those who put themselves in harms way to protect others, these moments can come all too soon,” Harding continued. “Thank you to the residents of our amazing community for your support, cooperation and understanding throughout this event. And as Mayor, thank you to each and every public official, emergency service provider, and police officer that assisted us. There are too many to mention, from all over the county, and from PA to NJ. Please know Yardley Boro is forever grateful, and will not forget your selfless willingness to help when called upon.”
Chief Kelly responded by commending the police department for its outstanding work over the last three weeks, lead by Sgt. Will Golden and Corporal Adam Clark.
“They have been working extended hours, almost to the point of exhaustion, first to deal with the shooting on August 18 and most recently to deal with the high water events. I’d like to thank them and their subordinates for everything they have done to step up in my absence.”
In other action at the meeting, the council unanimously approved a collective bargaining agreement with its four full-time police officers.
Under the agreement, effective Jan. 1, 2022 and extending through Dec. 31, 2025, the borough’s full-time officers will receive five percent raises each year over the term of the contract.
“This increase will help bring our salaries in line with similar size departments in the county. The agreement will also make a few other adjustments in some of their benefits,” said Councilwoman Kim Segal-Morris.
In other business, council unanimously directed its engineer to seek bids for the construction of phase two of the North Main Street sidewalk project.
Phase two, which is expected to be built this fall, will extend the walkway from Wayfaring Drive to the Mary Yardley Footbridge easement.
The borough recently received verbal approval from PennDOT of a phase two and phase three highway occupancy permit, which is required before the project can move forward.
According to Councilman Matt Ross, phase three is scheduled to be built in 2022 and would complete the project by extending the walkway to McKinley Avenue.
Another borough project - the replacement of the Mary Yardley Footbridge - remains in limbo as the borough reaches out to other potential vendors due to cost and time concerns.
Borough leaders remain optimistic that the bridge, linking North Main Street with Rivermawr, will be replaced before the end of the year. The project had originally been scheduled for replacement in June.
The project will include replacement of the existing wooden span with a long-lasting, prefabricated site-sensitive metal bridge that will be built off site and then lifted into place by a crane.
In other business, council approved a special event permit for the Yardley Beer & Wine Festival to be held on Saturday, October 16 from 12 to 4 pm under the big tent at FitzGerald Field. The event is sponsored by the Yardley Business Association.
The event will feature more than 75 different brews and wines, food vendors and live music. First Tap is $75 and gets you a t-shirt, a cooler and entrance into the event at 11 a.m. Limited tickets available.
General admission is $45, which includes admission into the event from 12 to 4 p.m. Designated driver $10 ticket holders get a bracelet showing they are there to offer a safe ride home.
To order tickets, visit YardleyBusiness.com and scroll down to the purchase tickets tab.
Council also approved event permits for two Music On Main rain date concerts, one on Sunday, September 12 at 5 pm featuring Eco Del Sur and the second on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 5 pm with a bluegrass concert by the Lewis Brothers.