More than a feeling: Advocacy for sidewalk at Denver property stepped up

By on March 1, 2017

Sidewalk conditions spurred a spirited discussion at the Monday, Feb. 27, Denver Borough Council meeting.

The session opened with visitor Robert Getz expressing concern about a property listed for public sale.

Getz said the borough has “always shown compassion” to the owners of 318 East Lancaster Avenue regarding sidewalk and curbing.

“I think the time has come where we need to forget about compassion,” said Getz. “If we are going to enforce an ordinance, and I understand that we have one right now in effect, that when a property changes hands, the sidewalks and curbing are inspected to make sure they meet code requirements.

“I’m asking you, now it’s time, after 50 years to put curb and sidewalk on that property. We need to be sure we are being fair to all the tax-paying property owners. While there may have been a time where showing compassion was an issue there, I think we’ve long past that time. So, I’m asking you to be sure that we see sidewalk and curb there.”

The property sale is set for April 29.

Councilman Mike Gensemer was concerned that the new property owner be aware at the time of sale, the condition of the sidewalk.

“Before they buy it, they need to know what is required,” said Gensemer.

Council members discussed possible handicap ramp sidewalks at the location.

Councilman John Palm made motion that would require the new homeowner to install sidewalks by August 2018. The motion was approved.

Gensemer referred to a recent LNP article about what police costs are per person in different municipalities in Lancaster County.

“I think for the boroughs, it ran anywhere from $121 per person up to $248 per person,” said Gensemer. “We’re a little less than $130 per person.”

“The real point of the article was its legislation or a bill that’s being pushed to access municipalities that don’t have police departments, a $25 per person for police services,” said Gensemer. “I’d just like to see the borough on record and maybe a letter to our elected officials asking them to support something like that.”

“I saw the same article, Mr. Gensemer, and I don’t disagree with you,” said Council President Blake Daub. “I think there’s a point and time where people need to take responsibility for their police services.”

Mayor Rodney Redcay asked Chief Terry Arment of the East Cocalico Police Department about the possible elimination of the Cocalico district justice office. The judge in New Holland would take over cases from East Cocalico and Denver Borough. West Cocalico and Adamstown use the Ephrata-based judge.

“My main concern is the further breakup of the Cocalico community,” said Arment.

Arment also discussed the inconvenience it would generate in commuting to and from New Holland as opposed to keeping the office local.

Matt Arment from Arment Concrete, along with Zach Painter, provided a presentation on the project schedule concerning the completion of Phase II of the Denver Skate Park and the long-term plans for Phase III.

“It brings me great satisfaction and a lot of joy to be part of the Denver Skate Park,” said Arment. “I grew up in Denver. When we first started raising funds, it was 25 years ago. It feels good to have the community behind you when you try to do something.”

“Success is more than I thought it would be,” said Arment. “On any given day, there’s 20 or 30 kids there, it doesn’t matter if it’s 25 degrees outside,” said Arment.

Arment discussed details of what needs to be done to finish Phase II. Phase III will cost $19,500.

Council members were impressed that Arment and “the kids” have been raising the funds themselves and that the area has not had problems involving police.

In other news, a tattoo shop will open in the lower level of 341 Main St. in April.

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