Parkesburg March Borough Council Meeting Notes

Council members and Borough residents listen as Anthony Maras of Heritage Homes Group presents his company's revised plans for 306 new apartments to be added to the 36 existing apartments at Crystal Springs.

My notes including misspellings, misquotes and typos from last night’s March Borough Council meeting.

Roll call – all councilpersons are present, Mayor John Hagan away on a personal matter

Agenda – No changes

Minutes from 2/20 council meeting – Council person Mel Keen asked about the new website that the minutes don’t reflect that council approved the purchase.  Minutes unanimously approved

Approval of the bills – approved unanimously

Public Comments – None

Police Report by Police Chief Brian Sheller – 61 traffic citation, 17 parking tickets

Fire Report by Fire Chief Richie Klinger – 11 calls, 45 seconds, we been having consolidation meeting for the past 18 months.  The meetings are the 3rd Tuesday (tomorrow) at the Parkesburg Fire Company and are open to the public.

Crystal Springs Development – Anthony Maras making a presentation on behalf of Heritage Homes Group.

We here to talk about the redesign of the Crystal Springs expansion project.  We are trying to take into account all the changes council asked for.  The Army Core of Engineers wants specific changes made to the dam and pond.  We made the changes they asked for.  We also made changes to accommodate the fire company.  This new plan has more open space and less blacktop. The design is now cleaner than it was.  Were ready to start moving

    • The project won’t start until the Spring of 2013
    • The 36 existing apartments on the site will be renovated to match the new buildings, 306 new 1 and 2 bedroom apartments will be built
    • The units would be owned and managed by Heritage Development.
    • Monthly rentals will start at the $950 to $1,050 range
    • The plans include a tennis court, club house and pool
    • The entrance will be moved 150 feet south and placed directly across Route 10 from Sadsbury Road. A signal will be placed at the intersection to control traffic flow.
    • The existing dam and pond will be removed and plants placed along the creek to cleanse the water as it flows into the creek.
    • The project will be spread over two phases to accommodate the extensive site development that will be required.
    • Services including play areas, trash collection, and snow removal will be done by Heritage.  Parkesburg will provide police and fire services
    • The focus of the project is to attract young professionals.  Young professionals don’t want to worry about cutting grass or maintaining a house.  They want to come home from work, get changed, go out and do something.

Council Person Joe Dynesco asked if Heritage saw the demand for so many apartments.  Mr. Maras indicated all the market studies they had done indicate yes, there was a demand.  Chester County is projected to have the highest demand for apartments in the state.  Increased access of rail service, cost of buying a home to the east, and the expanding number of companies in the area all contributed to that demand.

PABA President and Parkesburg Resident Steve Mellinger asked about if the development was all within Parkesburg’s border.  Mr. Maras said it was and is no portion of the development fell outside of Parkesburg.  Mr. Mellinger, as food for thought, asked  how we prevent the town from becoming segmented.  We want to make sure we stay united.  Mentioned a conversation he had with someone on Christiana’s Borough Council who mentioned that when 28% of properties become renters policing and crime goes up.  Councilperson Mel Keen spoke up to say Parkesburg is at the 40% level already.  The police have looked at the plans and approved.  Rental maintenance agreement implemented last August will help us maintain a high standard.

Bells Delight project – Borough Solicitor John Carnes spoke, Bells Delight wants to expand their business at the intersection of Routes 10 and 372 and is looking for a conditional approval of their plans this evening.  There are still a few details to work out.  The existing facilities would stay as is for this season and then construction would start in the winter.  The plans were approved by Borough Council.

A motion for the Borough to reimburse Chetty Builder $21,700 and some change from the Builder’s escrow account.  Approve unanimously

No unfinished business

Borough Manager’s Report – Jim Thomas

  • Bob Garrett of PennDOT could not make it to make it tonight to make a presentation about the train station.  He will be here next month.
  • We are working on with storm water management with Brandywine Valley Association who.  They recently secured a grant for $375,000 to restore 1,400 feet of the Little Buck Run creek in the Borough.  The grant will be used to fix the storm water damage done to the creek in last summer’s storms.
  • Yard waste collection will start up again on on April 2nd, the first Monday of April.

PABA Report – By Steve Mellinger  PABA met a couple of weeks ago.  Sign and external appearance guide has been developed.  Steve will review with Wendy who will post it on the web.  Voting on Business person of the year.  PABA will attend the bike tour planning meeting.  We are looking to increase membership, volunteerism, etc.  Next meeting is at 7:00 PM on April 4th at Borough Hall.  Thanked Parkesburg Council for their service and for the close working relationship the Borough has with PABA.

Solicitors Report – Chetty Builders, developers of the Parkesburg Knoll area, has approached the Borough and asked for an escrow adjustment.  Meeting with Chetty is scheduled for later this week

Finance Committee Report delivered by Mark Agen– The committee continues to monitor finance.  Budget looks good.  Warm weather helped us keep street maintenance costs low.

Police Report by Chuck Persch– recommending we lease one car because the car we have now is being held together by coat hangers.

Library Report by Mel Keen – met with Chester County library director earlier this month to discuss ways to raise more funds to keep the lib open.  The library’s garden tour is on June 2nd.  The library is still looking for a few more interesting Gardens to include on the tour.

Public Comments

George Evans spoke to an engineering study done on the bridge.  He also spoke to 1987 document authorizing the Borough to collect $250 per unit that would go to the fire company.  He spoke of the traffic light that would go at the entrance of the new Heritage Springs development.

Bev Ely a resident who was born here and lived here most of her life.  Our town doesn’t need politicians.  I can not believe this is Parkesburg.  The town I was born in, raised in, lived in and love.   You guys are ruining Parkesburg.  First, Parkesburg Arms, that place is a hell hole.  I don’t know why our Police dept aren’t doing a better job cleaning the place out. (Mel Keen chimed in to say she was in the building a couple of weeks ago and found the place quiet and clean.)  We have rules and regulations and they need to be enforced.  Next, the trash on the streets.  I have to pick up trash every day.  I’m tired of it.  We work to keep our property clean.  We need more trash cans downtown.  Third, the state of the roads in Parkesburg, especially First Avenue, is deplorable.  We have to do something.  Ask the state for grants.  Other than that I can’t think of too much more.

Chuck Vail asked about the status of the Borough’s new website and was told it was moving forward.

Joseph Ronzca (sp) spoke about the trash on First Avenue also mentioned that the owner of the Parkesburg Arms is trying to turn the place around.

Jack Norton asked about the 25% tax increase if we will get the tax increase back next year after the bridge is done. .45 mills (25% of the tax increase) went to the fire company and the remainder ( 1.55 mills) went to the bridge.  Chuck Persch said he anticipates the tax return being rescinded when the bridge is done next year.

George Evans suggested we adjourn the meeting.

Ken Knickerbocker spoke about Parkesburg Point and encourage the council members to attend their fund raising dinner on March 31st at the Coatesville Country Club.

Debbie Helms asked why her comments weren’t in the engineering reports and why she gets the same report every month?  Councilperson Keen responded only those items that are 1) serious and 2) not resolved are included in the report.  Shared pictures of trash in the old greenhouse on 4th Avenue with council.

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