Town­ship con­sid­ers pur­chas­ing open space

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Matt Free­man Fpr 21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com

Just days be­fore its first park opens, Kennett Town­ship is eye­ing an­other open space ac­qui­si­tion.

KENNETT TOWN­SHIP >> Just days be­fore its first park of­fi­cially opens, it seems Kennett Town­ship is eye­ing an­other open space ac­qui­si­tion for pub­lic use.

Like all such ne­go­ti­a­tions, the lo­ca­tion of the ap­prox­i­mately 80-acre tract is be­ing kept con­fi­den­tial, Town­ship Man­ager Lisa Moore told the town­ship su­per­vi­sors at their sec­ond monthly meet­ing on Wed­nes­day. Town­ship of­fi­cials have ex­plained in pre­vi­ous cases that iden­ti­fy­ing the land in ques­tion could draw in other po­ten­tial buy­ers and de­rail the pur­chase.

But the land would be open to the pub­lic and have hik­ing trails on it, Moore said. The land might even be turned into a park, she said, sim­i­lar to the town­ship’s new Bark­ing­field Park.

“It would def­i­nitely be open to the pub­lic,” no mat­ter what the ul­ti­mate plan is, Moore said.

Moore asked the su­per­vi­sors to au­tho­rize her and the town­ship’s le­gal coun­sel to of­fer $1.9 mil­lion to ac­quire the prop­erty. The money was avail­able in the town­ship’s open space fund, Moore said, which cur­rently holds about $3 mil­lion.

The town­ship might ap­ply for

grants to help de­fray the costs, Moore said, with grant funds of be­tween $500,000 and $750,000 pos­si­bly avail­able.

An­other way to de­fray the costs, the su­per­vi­sors said, was to use the town­ship’s new trans­fer of de­vel­op­ment rights or­di­nance. The or­di­nance al­lows own­ers of pre­served open space to sell the de­vel­op­ment rights they have given up to de­vel­op­ers who can then have higher-den­sity con­struc­tion than nor­mally per­mit­ted in cer­tain des­ig­nated ar­eas.

The mo­tion to au­tho­rize funds for the po­ten­tial pur­chase passed unan­i­mously.

Road­mas­ter Roger Lysle an­nounced that the long­planned project to sta­bi­lize a sec­tion of stream bank along Mar­shall Bridge Road that threat­ens to col­lapse and take some of the road­way with it would be­gin Thurs­day and should be done by De­cem­ber.

Po­lice Recog­ni­tion

The meet­ing also in­cluded a recog­ni­tion of sev­eral mem­bers of the town­ship po­lice force who were re­cently pro­moted. Pa­trol of­fi­cer Matthew Gor­don was pro­moted to sergeant; Jef­frey Call, also a pa­trol of­fi­cer, was pro­moted to cor­po­ral; and Amanda Wen­rich, an­other for­mer pa­trol of­fi­cer, was pro­moted to the rank of de­tec­tive.

Po­lice Chief Ly­dell Nolt said the new roles for Wen­rich, Gor­don and Call rep­re­sented by the pro­mo­tions would in­crease the ef­fi­ciency of the force’s op­er­a­tions.

The project to sta­bi­lize a sec­tion of stream bank along Mar­shall Bridge Road that threat­ens to col­lapse would be­gin Thurs­day and should be done by De­cem­ber.

MATT FREE­MAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

New pro­moted mem­bers of the Kennett Town­ship Po­lice Depart­ment in­clude, from left to right, Sgt. Matthew Gor­don, De­tec­tive Amanda Wen­rich, and Cpl. Jef­frey Call, seen here with Chief Ly­dell Nolt at Wed­nes­day night’s meet­ing of the Kennett Town­ship Board of Su­per­vi­sors.

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