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Solebury supervisors review Route 202 development plan

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Former Cartwheel and Fountainhead area eyed for assisted living facility and urgent care center
 
After an informal presentation to the Solebury supervisors for a 93-unit assisted living facility, an adjacent urgent care center and four small stores next to the Route 202 Giant shopping center, the developers said Tuesday they are ready to prepare an application to the Solebury Zoning Hearing Board for some adjustments.

The project, next to the former Fountainhead property, is being proposed by New Cartwheel Partners for the assisted living units and Penn’s Grant Corporation for the urgent care center and stores.
Changes from their October 2019 presentation to the township planning commission includes changing the relief road (access road) to a tract previously earmarked for additional parking.

They are also seeking a reduction in parking spaces to 76 for the assisted living section.

“ I think an urgent care center will be a true asset for our community,” said board Chair Mark Baum Baicker.

In other matters, the board took up the issue of paving the Laurel Park parking lot and adding a pickle ball court, which was put on hold last month because of financial considerations.

This time around the measure to approve a $141,105 contract with Gorecon Inc. was approved unanimously.

Baum Baicker pointed out that originally the project was budgeted for $191,000, “but due to the decline in the cost of oil and competitiveness of the market…” the bid came in at a savings of $49,000, or more than 25 percent.”

“It’s unlikely you’re going to get a price this cheap again,” said Robert Wyn, the township engineer.

The supervisors are now reconsidering their postponement of a $5 million bond issue for open space conservation.

“The original plan,” said Baum Baicker, was to borrow those funds in July or August of this year.”

But the impact of COVID-19 on the then-low March interest rates “was so severe that (the increasing) municipal borrowing rates were completely out of whack with treasury rates with the result that there was no benefit to early borrowing,” he said.

“Depending on where rates settle out when the process is complete over the next month or two, we may or may not proceed. Rates are currently in the 1 to 1.25 percent range and we anticipate the bond sale on July 9. ... This would be well below the 1.59 percent we received on our bond issue six months ago,” Baum Baicker said.

The supervisors also heard a presentation by Robin Robinson, the Bucks County Recorder of Deeds, about preserving county deed books dating back to 1684.

She said there are some 700 deed books. Some have already been restored with a process that the manufacturers say will give the books another 500 years of life “and I’m going to hold them to it,” she smiled.

Robinson also promoted the Adopt-a-Book project run by her department, which collects funds to continue the repair work.

In other business, the board:

- Appointed Elaine Crooks to serve on the Land Preservation Committee, replacing Joel Weiner who has resigned. Crooks had served as a non-voting associate member of the committee. The board also accepted the resignation of Kevin MacDonald from the Historical Architectural Review Board.

- Added a total of 43.09 acres owned by James and Adrienne Mageras near the intersection of Pidcock Creek and Windy Bush roads to the township’s Agricultural Security Area. The designation promotes viable farming operations by protecting farmers from nuisance ordinances and enabling them to participate in state farmland preservation programs.

- Awarded a $70,360 contract to Bertolet Construction Corporation for repairs to the Armitage Road bridge. The work includes demolishing and replacing bridge the superstructure and abutment caps and improvements along Armitage Road.

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