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Council: Club to Pay for Raised Crosswalk Instead of Sidewalks

Representatives for Silver Creek Country Club won a conditional waiver for sidewalk installation from Hellertown Borough Council March 5. According to the agreement reached, the club will instead fund installation of a raised crosswalk on Durham Street.

 most likely won't be required to install sidewalks along a piece of subdivided property it owns at Depot and Durham streets in Hellertown. However, according to an agreement reached after a lengthy discussion at Borough Council's March 5 meeting, the club will instead fund the installation of a raised crosswalk on Durham Street in the vicinity of the .

The unusual trade was agreed to after representatives for the country club argued that the cost of installing sidewalks along the perimeter of the subdivided parcel--which Silver Creek is in the process of selling--would be exorbitant.

"We are a not-for-profit," said general manager Casey Counsellor. "We're just trying to ask for consideration."

Borough Council originally --citing the requirements of the borough's ordinance.

Months after that decision, to inform members that installing the walkways would result in the loss of at least eight mature hardwood trees.

Following that revelation, and in light of the fact that the sidewalks would connect to few other walkways, several council members were willing to entertain attorney and Silver Creek representative Jim Preston's proposal to put the money that would have paid for the sidewalks into an account for another pedestrian improvement project: a raised crosswalk.

However, councilwoman Gail Nolf asserted that the trade "can't be a financial break (for the country club)."

Council president Philip Weber noted that the borough's estimate for sidewalks from engineering firm Barry Isett and Associates was for about $35,000, not including the cost of removing any trees.

After discussing an approximately $10,000 difference in the borough's and country club's estimates for the sidewalks--which was attributed to the fact that the borough would have to pay prevailing wage for the work--council members voted on a motion to grant a waiver for them.

According to the motion, in lieu of the sidewalks, Silver Creek will pay for the installation of a raised crosswalk and required signage, if upon review of the design for the crosswalk the club finds it acceptable.

If not, the waiver for the sidewalks will be null and void, and their installation will still be required, the motion said.

Council members approved the motion by a vote of 6-1, with Michael McKenna casting the only dissenting vote.

An earlier motion by McKenna to have Silver Creek install the sidewalks died for lack of a second.

Preston indicated at the meeting that the club was eager to come to some kind of resolution, because it has an agreement of sale for the one-acre property, and the issue of sidewalks needs to be resolved before its title can be cleared.

Borough engineer Bryan Smith noted that the nature of the improvements related to the construction of a raised crosswalk on Durham Street is not clear.

"There may be some storm water improvements (needed)," he told council.

"I don't know what the value will be," he added.

Lower Saucon Guy March 20, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I'll bet that will look good near a historic home like that. There hasn't been any sidewalks there in over 200 years, but now they're needed. Don't people have anything better to do than to come up with stupid ideas all the time.

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