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New Hope Borough Council Meetings
For 2017, Borough Council meetings will begin at 7 p.m. with the first meeting of the year on January 17, held in the Community Room at 125 New Street.
Bucks County Herald Article
Gerry Monigan: New Hope Notebook
Council recaps 2016 activity
At the Dec. 20 borough council meeting, president Bill Scandone said 2017 “was a year of transition for us,” and he summed up the council's activity in 2016.
There were 10 borough council changes, including three newly elected members (Alison Kingsley, Ken Maisel and Laurie McHugh), one resignation (Cliff Montgomery), and one replacement (Joe Franlin). Scandone replaced Claire Shaw as president.
The council passed 22 resolutions and adopted four ordinances. It formed six committees, including a finance committee, which is likely to play a major role in the future.
There were 11 projects, some of which are ongoing and include: refinancing the borough debt, amending the animal-control ordinance; procuring new street lighting; upgrading access to the canal towpath; redesigning Cannon Square and installing Parkmobil, the smart-phone app that enables paying for parking.
There were 12 staff changes, including four retirements and four replacements. There were 17 advisory board changes. The council approved 19 special events.
Big ash problem
One of the committees formed was under the shade tree commission, and its task was to identify the scope of the borough's exposure to the emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive insect that kills ash trees.
Gloria Broeker, who chairs the committee (and next year will chair the commission), told the council and the audience that the EAB has killed more than 50 million ash trees in North America since 2002.
Broeker said the EAB is reported in Bucks County, and although the borough does not yet have a problem,. “It will come. The destruction is imminent.” She said it poses a public safety hazard.
New Hope has approximately 500 ash trees, Broeker said, 38 of which are under borough jurisdiction. Owners of the properties containing those 38 trees are being notified, by letter, that the trees will be infested and will die unless they are treated.
Once infected, trees die from the top down within three or four years. Broeker said removal is complicated and expensive; treating the trees is not only preferable, it is more economical.
The borough will seek grants to treat the few trees that are on borough property, Broeker said. She said she treated two trees on her Riverwoods property at a cost of about $230 each. The formula is $20 per inch of tree-trunk diameter.
Canal pump update
The pump at Centre Bridge, which fills the stretch of Delaware Canal that runs through the borough, traditionally has been funded by the mule-barge ride concession, but since no one bid on the lease on that concession this year, a local group, New Hope for Our Canal, has paid the electric bill, mostly by holding fund-raising events.
Council President Scandone reported Dec. 20 that the council had considered donating to NHOC, but because it is not a group recognized in borough code, it is ineligible for a borough donation.
However, councilor Joe Franlin said he will propose to the state DCNR that it pay to run the pump, which the state owns.
PECO's inner Grinch
You might have noticed the absence of the big illuminated snowflakes that usually adorn Main Street during the holiday season. That's because the borough is following PECO's policy that prohibits attaching anything to its utility poles.
Chamber gets grants
The Delaware River Towns Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Visit Bucks and a $25,000 grant from the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism. The monies will fund marketing efforts to draw visitors from the New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. areas.
Nine-Foot Sturgeon Sculpture Installed at Ferry Street Park
A metal Sturgeon sculpture was placed at the Ferry Street Landing on May 17. The sculpture is being placed at the landing on the loan from the New Hope Arts by the artist Kate Graves. Special thanks to Tom Carroll and Carol Cruickshanks for coordinating this project.
New Hope-Solebury Wins Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge
The Bucks County Transport Management Association announced that New Hope-Solebury High School is the overall winner of the Ninth Annual Bucks County High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge.
New-Hope Solebury student drivers had the highest overall seatbelt use among 18 other Bucks County high schools that participated in the challenge.
Dog License Compliance Checks Underway
Under Pennsylvania law, all dogs three months of age or older must be licensed by Jan. 1 of each year and have a current rabies vaccine or owners could face fines of up to $300 plus court costs. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced it is conducting statewide license and rabies compliance checks. Licenses may be purchased through a registered issuing agent, county treasurer or by calling your county courthouse. License fees are $8.50 for each dog or $6.50 if spayed or neutered. Older adults and persons with disabilities may purchase a license for $4.50 for spayed or neutered dogs and $6.50 for others. All dogs and non-feral cats, more than three months old, must be vaccinated against rabies. For more information, visit www.licenseyourdogPA.com or call 717-787-3062.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) urges all Pennsylvanians to test their homes for radon, a deadly radioactive gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. DEP also urges residents to take action to reduce radon levels in their homes if levels are high. Testing is the only way to know if a home or other structure has elevated radon levels. Test kits can be purchased at most hardware or home improvement stores at an average cost of $15 to $25 per test. For more information about radon testing and radon resistant construction, visit DEP’s website at www.dep.pa.gov/radon.
Pennsylvania Yellow Dot Program
Pennsylvania’s Yellow Dot Program was created to assist citizens in the “golden hour” of emergency care following a traffic accident when they may not be able to communicate their needs themselves. Placing a yellow dot in your vehicle’s rear window alerts first responders to check your glove compartment for vital information to ensure you receive the medical attention you need.
The program is a cooperative effort among the Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation, Health and Aging, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and First Responders and local law enforcement.
How does it work? Participants complete a personal information form, which includes the participant’s name, contact information, emergency contact information, medical history and medications, allergies and the participant's doctors’ names. A photo – showing only the participant’s head and shoulders – is then taped to the front of the completed information sheet.
The yellow dot decal provided in the program kit is placed in the lower left corner of the participant’s vehicle’s rear windshield. The decal should be no higher than 3 inches from the bottom of the windshield. This decal alerts first responders that vital information can be found in the vehicle.
Place the completed information sheet, with the attached picture, into the Yellow Dot folder, and then place the folder into the vehicle’s glove box.
Additional information may be found at PennDOT's web site.
The Fall 2015 issue of the Borough Newsletter includes articles by former Council President Claire E. Shaw, the Park & Recreation Board, Landmark Towns of Bucks County, the Shade Tree Commission, and the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. The newsletter also features articles on sidewalk liability and state laws governing dogs. If you did not receive a copy in the mail, please stop by 123 New Street to pick one up at the front desk.
Click on any of the links below for current or previous newsletters.