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Board Of Burgesses Talk Streetlights, Ram Pasture Signs



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At the June 11 Borough Board of Burgesses meeting, the burgesses continued discussion on adding streetlights to the Church Hill Village district, restoration and allocation of funds for a new sign for Ram Pasture, a website for the Borough, and the reallocation of funds for Edmond Town Hall.

The discussion of the streetlights was tabled after the burgesses expressed opposition to the idea. Burgess Jim Gaston said, “It’s primarily, like 95 percent, enhancing someone’s commercial property. On top of that … our electric bill is huge. Now we’re adding to that electric bill, not every year, every month.”

Chris Gardner, senior burgess, agreed with Gaston saying that, “We don’t really have a long-range idea of how we’re going to pay to do these lights. I mean, once ARPA funds run out, unless we tax people, I don’t know what we’re going to come up with.”

They moved to discussion of Newtown Village Cemetery Association’s request of American Relief Plan Act funds to restore the Ram Pasture sign at the intersection of Sugar Street and Main Street, as well as the creation and installation of a new sign at the intersection of Hawley Road and Elm Drive. The total project would cost $13,772.73. The burgesses talked about possibly replacing the sign that is there now rather than restore it.

Burgess Maureen Crick Owen explained the only other option, other than restoration, would be to create a new sign at the Route 25 and 302 intersection. The cost of a new sign and restoration to the concrete pillar might be less expensive than restoring the sign. Sarah Phillips, burgess and Borough historic district commissioner, said that the new, smaller sign at the Elm Drive side of the pasture will be made of composite material, and the replacement parts on the big sign will use that same material. Phillips explained she is waiting to hear back about the certificate of appropriateness from the Borough’s historic district.

Despite the possibility of a new sign, the request passed unanimously, and the community can expect to see at least one shiny, new sign at Ram Pasture.

The next item up for discussion was allocation and possible action on the creation of a Borough website. The projected start up cost for the website is $15,860 and the projected maintenance cost is about $3,360. The start up costs would cover the creation of the site, the photography to populate the site, and the rights to the domain until a .gov site is obtained. Crick Owen brought this idea to the burgesses last meeting.

“A website is our online city hall,” Crick Owen stated. The Borough has information on the town site, but it “is buried deep within … It’s not simple or efficient for a resident to find Borough information.”

Gaston expressed concerns over the expected cost of the site. “The costs of 18, almost $20,000 … that’s ten percent of the Borough budget.”

Crick Owen quoted Joe Chapman, the zoning officer, as he was not present, saying that he thinks having the zoning forms online on the Borough’s website would be beneficial for all Borough residents. Jodi Enriquez, the Borough tax collector, agreed with Chapman saying, “There’s even a gray area where my old legal notice sticks … there’s some kind of phantom page, too, that’s got old stuff on it.”

Gardner made a motion to allocate $19,000 for the implementation of the website, and the vote passed unanimously.

Edmond Town Hall asked to reallocate their approved $47,500, which the burgesses passed. The new reallocated funds are as follows: $3,946.16 for the fiber optic internet upgrades, and the remaining $43,553.81 for the Edmond Town Hall Door Project. This money does not include the cost to replace the front doors.

Other noteworthy topics from the meeting include the Borough’s Historic District Commission appointing their newest alternate commissioner, Bruce Walczak, on July 9, and an announcement for ground breaking on the Sugar Street sidewalk project in July. The project is expected to take four weeks to complete.

The July meeting is tentatively cancelled, pending any pressing matters.


Reporter Sam Cross can be reached at sam@thebee.com.

Jay Maher, Warden (left), Senior Burgess Chris Gardner, and Burgess Maureen Crick Owen discuss allocations of ARPA funds. —Bee Photo, Cross
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