We are off the races once again thanks to Ms. Feldman and her FOKP. The borough is looking to purchase a tract of land for $100,000 which it has been leasing since January at the cost of $400 per month for a new public works facility, leaf mulching site and a potential placement for the Minquas Fire Company. The land does contain some contaminants and the borough has a ballpark of what would be needed to clean it up along with the availability of grants, yet Ms. Feldman says the purchase would be premature due to the fact that she is now in litigation over the seven acre parcel of land in East Caln that the borough owns which is now used for composting. It seems as if Ms. Feldman can’t decide what she DOES want. That particular piece of land was not in the Orphan’s Court decision which is also now in appeal thanks to FOKP. Is there anything that will make these people happy? I seriously doubt it.
During the whole issue I have made it known that while I see quite a bit of potential if part of what is being called Kardon Park were to be developed, but my biggest problem is with what I see is a conflict of interest with Ms. Feldman holding a seat on borough council yet continually tying council up in litigation and not voting on issues which is what the voters put these people in office for. It has been said that Ms. Feldman won the election because a majority of residents were behind her Kardon Park litigation. Yet when the statistics are meted out it is found that Ms. Feldman only won her seat by 13 votes against Mr. Madiro. That is not a mandate; the mayoral election showed a vote count of 1270, therefore half of the town voted between Ms Feldman and Mr. Madiro and the other half were split in the other races for seats. Even in the election the Mayor’s position was only won by 48 votes: that’s not a mandate that is malaise and the same goes for the election of Ms. Feldman. I have been told that my thoughts about Ms. Feldman and the FOKP are disingenuous and denigrating? Really? So someone can tell me that Ms Feldman is not the only one who is appealing the East Caln tract of land sale and development? That Ms. Feldman herself has not said, “I can make a stink on Borough Council.” And that is not self serving?
Oh wait I am the one who is self serving I forgot. Yes it’s because I agreed that part of the park if it is to stay a “park” should have signage and people should be informed what is actually in that area before trekking through it. Also that I posted a picture of the forth pond at daybreak and then three shots of what I call the sludge pond right behind me, yet “Most people who use the park would never even see the silt pond you have featured so prominently, since its north of the forth lake. They would have to enter at the silt pond to see it and that entrance point leads nowhere.” Yet even on the FOKP website it was stated that, “These two parcels are also part of Kardon Park, have been historically and are currently used as parkland…” So which is it? Is the area part of the “park” or not? You can’t have it both ways.
I have also been accused of having posts that are “…..illogical, irrational, and disjointed, as well as misinformed.” Oh yeah and I apparently am scary too. In the interest of not having the reader fall asleep I had wanted to keep the posts short and to the point I was making at the time, but since I have been “called on it” here we go.
The site that is called Kardon Park as of right now contains concentrations exceeding the MSC for Non-Residential in Use Aquifers of benzo(a)pyrene, arsenic, iron, lead, mercury and vanadium all of which lead to various ailments such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, developmental delays and interruptions and even brain damage. Now I am not too sure about you but I don’t want to expose adults to these let alone children. So a secondary remedial action was proposed by the ACT 2 report and that was to maintain part of the site as parkland and allow the other portions to be used for development. I am not an expert in legalese but to me that means that the part of The Ponds area that is already parkland is to stay that way with many enhancements, but the area that is still very toxic is to be capped with a minimum of two feet of clean soil, stone or pavement if the presently suggested development were to go through. Now if Ms. Feldman wins her suit then according to the ACT 2 that part of the land needs to have restrictions according to the non-residential park use. If the taxpayers had to pay to cap this area it would be to the tune of $1.5 million dollars of a $6 million dollar budget for the Borough. That’s about 25% of one year’s budget. Right now in Downingtown our tax burden is 6.7 mills and $1.5 million equals to 4.2 mills……tax increase anyone?
Other arguments that come to light are the burdens to the school district, traffic, and a fiscal impact. First of all the homes are to be townhomes and garden level homes which are not as attractive to families as to first time buyers, investment properties, and empty nesters looking to downsize. Even so there is already a proposed middle school that is being built on the taxpayers’ backs when there has been no significant growth in school age children in the last year. Therefore, the housing would generate cash surplus to the district which would ease the tax burden the new school will cause. The traffic will be impacted very little as it will not add more than 40 more cars on the surrounding roads within an hour’s time, due to the proximity to the train and the proposed traffic lighting to ease congestion that now exists. The fiscal impact is the big one….our taxes have risen 48% since 2006 and it’s not something that is going to go away soon. However, the borough would receive cash proceeds from the sale of $8.1 million which could then be used to pay down some of the outstanding debt of $7.6 million which is about a 1/3 of the tax burden. In addition the borough would get approximately $130, 000 per year in surplus cash and Chester County would realize about $40,000 per year.
I have been called on my assessment of the decision of Judge Platt also. I honestly do not think that had she really had all the facts in front of her that she would have been swayed the way she ruled. Even within the ruling she says, “There is less substantial evidence of a dedication of the areas of the property which are not adjacent to the trails, ponds, and Victims Memorial, particularly those areas which are contaminated……….I am compelled to treat them as one parcel. [sic] The public has historically been given access to the entire property……” So what was her decision based on? Anecdotal evidence? Most likely, because if she really had seen what the contaminated areas are used for if at all I do not see her deciding the way she did, “based on law” as the other side would have you believe.
So to the detractor who “visits” here frequently…how’s that for informed? Never mind you will still try and spin it for FOKP.
I will get back to you on the whole Johnsontown issue when it comes to fruition, but for now we are putting ourselves out there for compromise and working with the individuals we need to. It does pay to use honey over vinegar, FOKP might want to try that…oh wait little too late for that.