YARDLEY BOROUGH >> The Yardley Borough Council will be reaching out to PECO with an offer to potentially acquire a former substation lot at Morgan and Fuld avenues in the Rivermawr section of town.
To kick-start negotiations, council is sending a letter to PECO with an offer to pay $55,000, the borough’s appraised value of the land, provided it is successful in obtaining a grant to fund the purchase and that a phase one environmental assessment is conducted by PECO prior to any land transfer.
The property, now a grass-covered, vacant lot, is located in the floodplain and is not developable. If acquired by the borough, it would be preserved as open space and be used for community gatherings, like the annual Canal-O-Ween Carve-A-Thon.
The land is located adjacent to the historic Delaware Canal State Park and next to the Mary Yardley footbridge, which is slated for replacement in 2021.
In other borough business, council voted to pay $325 to the Bucks County Conservation. District for an erosion and sediment permit for its phase two North Main Street Sidewalk Project.
“We will be scheduling a meeting soon with impacted residents to go over plans so everyone can have their say before we finalize the plan and move into design,” engineer Liz Coletti told council.
Depending on available grant funding, phase two would extend the sidewalk as far north as the Mary Yardley Footbridge easement. Longer term plans include extending the sidewalk to McKinley Avenue and the borough line with Lower Makefield.
Coletti also reported that as part of the project, PennDOT will be requesting that PECO relocate its utility poles out of the path of the proposed sidewalk. The cost of the relocation will be borne by the public utility.
In other action, council granted a certificate of appropriateness to Tom Cramer to install bollards between the parking lot and the sidewalk in front of Cramer’s Bakery and the CVS Pharmacy at 16 East Afton Avenue.
Council also voted to appoint American Legion Commander Ted Smith to an opening on the borough’s Civil Service Commission.
Looking ahead, Council is scheduled to approve a final budget and to review its floodplain ordinance at its next meeting on Dec. 15. The budget is proposing a four mill tax increase, part of which is needed to shore up a deficit mostly created by the pandemic.
In other news, David Appelbaum, the president of Experience Yardley, announced a substantial donation of 20,000 face masks from the Spearhead Group, a packaging and design company headquartered inside the Yardley Grist Mill on North Main Street.
“We are helping to distribute them throughout the community to our public safety organizations - police, fire and EMS - and to community businesses, many of which are our restaurants to help these folks get through this pandemic a little easier,” said Appelbaum.
Police Chief Joseph Kelly also announced that the number of traffic accidents investigated by the department has decreased significantly from the previous year.
From the beginning of the year through November, the borough has logged 50 reportable accidents, half of the borough’s annual average of 100.
“We think we’re going to end the year in the low 50s, a significant improvement in traffic safety in the borough over 2019,” said the Chief.
Kelly attributed the decrease partly due to the pandemic, which has decreased traffic considerably, and partly due to the public education and enforcement efforts of the department.
In another announcement, Council Vice President Caroline Thompson said the first part of a three part seminar series on floodplains will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 9 beginning at 7 pm.
Guest speakers include a certified floodplain manager and insurance agent Peter Toft of Nottingham Insurance. The topics include Flood Insurance 101 and flood elevations.
Zoom links for the seminar series will be posted on the borough’s website and on its Facebook page.
The educational series counts towards the borough’s Community Rating System, which provides a discount on flood insurance premiums. The discountsprovide an incentive for communities to implement new flood protection activities that can help save lives and property when a floodoccurs.