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Solebury, New Hope sign facilities agreement

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It’s a done deal.

Smiles and high-fives ruled the night as Solebury and New Hope officially signed an intergovernmental agreement on shared use of the township’s parks and recreational facilities on May 23 at the township Municipal Building.

“I just want to thank Connie Gering (New Hope Council president) for working so closely with me to make this happen and look forward to continued collaboration with New Hope’s Council on behalf of our respective residents,” said Solebury Board of Supervisors Chair Mark Baum Baicker. “There’s no reason we can’t do more.”

Signing for the borough were Gering and Borough Manager E.J. Lee and for the township it was Manager Dennis Carey and Baum Baicker.

The pact comes after three years of strife over the amount paid by New Hope for use of the township’s athletic fields. New Hope had been paying $1,500 a year since 2007 and balked at any increase. Solebury was paying $137,000 as its share. With no agreement in sight, Solebury finally terminated the agreement in February 2018 and charged each non-Solebury player a $50 fee.

However, with the recent election of Gering as the new council president, Baum Baicker said, they both agreed resolve the stalemate.

The resulting agreement, which becomes effective June 1, calls for New Hope to pay $5,000 a year to Solebury for an initial three years and will automatically renew for three additional terms of one-year each. Either party may terminate the agreement.

New Hope residents will pay the same registration fee as township resident.

“We’re all on the same page now,” Gering said.

Kevin Campbell of the township Parks and Recreation Board, thanked the board “for not letting this die.”

Frank Lawson, president of the Solebury Soccer Club, also thanked Baum Baicker and Gering, emphasizing that “it’s important to keep the New Hope kids in (the recreation programs).”

Lawson requested the board to also eliminate the $50 fee per child that still remains for Lambertville and other non-New Hope children.

Baum Baicker said the supervisors would consider it.

Lawson later noted there is now a decline in the number of kids signing up for the soccer, baseball and lacrosse teams due to New Hope drop-outs, but also to the general decline is the student population.

He said in 2017 there were 14 teams, in 2018 there were 12 and in 2019 he expects there to be nine or 10.

In other matters, Supervisor Robert McEwan said he has had more than 100 responses via interviews and emails about ways to develop the Route 202 corridor, extending from Logan Square to Upper Mountain Road in the township.

The township’s engineer, McMahon, Associates, and an urban planning firm will give presentations at the June 18 supervisors meeting on development along Route 202, traffic patterns, issues along the route, recommendations for changes and managing growth.

The supervisors also appointed former Assistant Township Manager Gretchen Rice, who retired in 2017, to the township Planning Commission. She fills the vacancy left by the resignation of Christopher Caputo. The term ends Dec. 31.

Other Planning Commission appointments were: Lesley Wright Marino filling a vacancy left by Daniel Moser, for a term ending Dec. 31, 2020; and Amishi Castelli as an associate member for a term ending Dec. 31, 2019.

Steve Young was appointed as associate member to the Historical Architectural Review Board.

The board also:

– Extended the 25 mph speed limit on Carversville Road to Street Road. It was previously 40 mph.

– Reminded residents of the Recycling Forum set for 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 11, at the Municipal Building and the E-Waste/Electronic Waste collection event for Solebury residents 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, June 22, rain or shine, at the Municipal Building parking lot, 3092 Sugan Road.


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