Open space, sidewalks in Concord

Concord Township is in the process of acquiring more open space. Township Council announced that the township has agreed to buy an 8.6-acre parcel of Featherbed Farm on Featherbed Lane to add to the township park at Bush Hill Farm. There will also be an easement placed on the other 33 acres to prevent development.

The cost of the sale and easement comes to $1.5 million, which will be offset with $500,000 in grants. The Brandywine Conservancy will hold and manage the easement, according to Council Co-Vice President John Crossan. Concord has now preserved more than 240 acres for open space.

Also during the July 6 meeting, township engineer Nate Cine announced that PennDOT's ARLE — Automatic Red Light Enforcement — Grant money will be used to update the traffic lights at Route 1 and Applied Bank Boulevard for pedestrian traffic. Cline said the updated lights would have push-button controls for pedestrians.

Cline also said the township is working with Home 2 Suites to complete the sidewalk running south on Applied Bank Boulevard from Route 1 to Wegmans.

He added that the township has applied for another ARLE grant to improve the intersection of Route 1 and Evergreen Drive. The funds would be used to install a second left-turn lane from northbound Route 1 onto Evergreen, making for better traffic flow for motorists heading toward Costco and the other businesses and medical facilities on Evergreen.

Township Manager Amanda Serock announced that Concord received $938,516, half of the $1.87 million that's the township's portion of the American Rescue Plan Funding, part of the COVID relief. The remainder will come a year from now, according to Council Member Colleen Morrone.

The money needs to be spent by the end of 2024, Morrone added, saying there are restrictions on how the money can be used.

"There are certain things we can use the funds for, and there are things we can't use the funds for," she said. Among permitted uses are to recover from the negative economic impacts of COVID, assistance to households, businesses, and nonprofits, as well as infrastructure and loss revenue replacement.

"There are a lot of different ideas…Many of us have been thinking about uses that we can identify throughout the township that these funds can be used to prepare the township for the future and address some concerns that we have," Morrone said.

But, to figure out the best use of the funds, council wants to have a special meeting for residents to give input. That meeting is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 10, a week after the regular August meeting.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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