Feiner

Mayor Chris Harding adminsters the oath of office to incoming councilman Uri Feiner. He is joined by his family members.

YARDLEY BOROUGH >> The Yardley Borough Council on Feb. 18 welcomed Uri Feiner to the council table after voting Feb. 10 to appoint him to a vacancy on council.

The vacancy was created by the decision of councilman-elect Patrick McGovern not to accept his seat on council. His decision followed a political dust-up in November over a sarcastic social media page he created.

The meeting opened with a swearing in ceremony officiated by Mayor Chris Harding. Feiner was joined by his wife and children as he took the oath of office.

Feiner, who previously served a four-year term on council from 2014 to 2017, is an entrepreneur and consultant in the health and wellness education field. He lives on North Main Street with his wife, the former Poet Laureate of Buck County, and their two young boys.

Feiner’s appointment is for a two-year term, which expires at the end of 2021.

In other business, council voted unanimously to submit an application to the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources seeking approval to to replace the Mary Yardley Footbridge with a composite bridge.

Council has been debating the replacement of the wooden span with either a composite or a steel bridge, the latter being more expensive, but more in keeping with the historic nature of the canal.

While the bridge is not historic, it does span the Delaware Canal, which is a Registered National Historic Landmark.

At an earlier meeting, Susan Taylor, the executive director of the Friends of the Delaware Canal, which has been working with the borough on fundraising for the project, objected to plans for a fiberglass span.

“A fiberglass bridge is not appropriate for a national historic landmark. It may be expeditious. It may be cheaper. But there are no fiberglass bridges across the Delaware Canal. It would be unprecedented,” Taylor told council.

A composite bridge would be slightly cheaper than a steel bridge, but a steel bridge could cost as much as $60,000 more to install given its weight and the potential need to reinforce the abutments, said Councilman Matt Ross, who made the motion.

The current wooden bridge, built in the mid-1980s, has fallen into disrepair and needs to be replaced. The span provides residents on the west side of the canal access to the towpath and the residents of Rivermawr an escape route during flood events.

The original iron bridge was built around 1900 to provide access into town for the new residents of Rivermawr. The span stood until the 1980s, when it was replaced.

In other business, council Vice President Caroline Thompson said the borough is working to boost its CRS rating, which would boost the discount rate on flood insurance from five to 10 percent.

Thompson said the borough’s code enforcement officer has identified five areas where improvements can be made, including community information and training.

In other news, Mayor Harding announced plans for this year’s Carry the Load relay and borough rally scheduled for Wednesday, April 29.

“This year we are challenging our team to walk 60 miles. Last year we did 40. This year we’ll try to do 60,” said Harding.

The group will meet at Washington Crossing around 1:30 pm and will arrive in Yardley Borough at East Afton and Delaware avenues at about 3 p.m.

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