Pocopson supervisors move forward on Barnard House feasibility proposals

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Brandywine Red Clay Alliance to include Pocopson roads for Earth Day clean up

By Karen Cresta, Staff Writer, The Times

POCOPSON – The Barnard House remains as a permanent agenda item for the township and Monday night’s Board of Supervisors meeting focused on how to move forward with the 19 feasibility study proposals.

The feasibility study was advertised several months ago to gather information by third parties on the appropriateness of occupancy for the historic Barnard House after much debate whether it was suitable for municipal offices. The 19 responses from the Request for Proposals (RFP) are currently under review by the three supervisors. The proposals vary in price for the plans from $6,900 to $60,000 and timelines from six weeks to 16 weeks.

The supervisors agreed to take into consideration deed restrictions, time, scope, expenses, reputation, etc. and to come back with their top five choices in April. There was some discussion of creating a small committee to narrow down those choices and for Supervisors Alice Balsama and Ricki Stumpo to interview some of the companies for more details, if needed – Supervisor Elaine DiMonte was present during all the site tours along with Public Works Director Mark Knightly.

The supervisors took time to discuss on how to proceed and Balsama asked, “What kind of report are we looking for?” “We may need to spend up to $20,000 to get something decent,” she added.

Stumpo added that the residents need to be satisfied with the one company that is chosen and inform them why that decision was made. DiMonte added that the top choices should be within the price point.

The supervisors discussed their fiduciary responsibility to the residents and that a large loan could not be supported after spending $900,000 thus far in renovations. They all agreed to make the best decision with rating the proposals from highest to lowest and taking into consideration all the options.

James Jordan, Executive Director of the Brandywine Red Clay (BRC) Alliance, visited the meeting to clarify the partnership with Pocopson for the 2017 Brandywine Creek Clean Up scheduled on April 29. This year’s volunteer event will expand its coverage to include roads in the township – in addition to the creek clean up done by canoe.

Jordan explained and apologized if the $1,000 sponsorship money requested at March’s meeting was interpreted the wrong way and withdrew the request for the donation and instead focused on getting volunteers on foot for the roadway clean up. He requested 20 – 30 volunteers to partner with BRC for the rain or shine event.

DiMonte stated, “I think we should make a contribution.”

The supervisors agreed to rescind the $1,000 and agreed to make a first-time donation of $500 toward the cause. For more information, or to register as a volunteer, residents can email contact@brandywineredclay.org or call 610.793.1090.

In other news, the township approved Act 537, the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act, to address existing sewage disposal needs, and to prevent future problems through proper planning, permitting and design of sewage facilities. Resolutions included the Riverside development, the Shops at Lenape, residences along Pocopson Road, and the Locust Grove Schoolhouse. Consultant work was approved to begin for these locations.

For more information including township news and meeting minutes, visit www.pocopson.org.

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