Bucks County Herald

Richland Township moves ahead with park plans

CLIFF LEBOWITZ

A new public park in Richland Township, originally planned in 2001 and featuring numerous children’s playground features, is finally in the works for completion by the end of this year.

At its June 12 public meeting, the board of supervisors approved advertising for construction bids for Brayton Gardens II Park. The hosting development presently has access from Tollgate Road, east of Trumbauersville Road, onto Brayton Court.

During discussion, development resident Tom Marino, a member of the township’s Park and Recreation Board, recalled a long series of meetings and delays for the project. It was in the original developer’s plan, and then passed on to the succeeding developer before finally being taken over by the township, which was the original intent. That final transfer was a snag for many years.

The $450,000 cost was in the 2016 township budget, and was moved to the 2017 budget when the land transfer was delayed further. Engineering for the project has been completed by township planner Boucher & James.

A trail in the original plan has been removed due to wetlands preservation concerns, but it may be taken up again later. What remains, and is now to be advertised for bidding within a timeline calling for completion by Dec. 21, are swingsets, seesaws, and 14 other popular children’s playground feature attractions. There is also to be a basketball court, picnic tables and a frame-building type pavilion that includes lighting and electrical access.

Also at the June 12 meeting, responding to pressure from PennDOT, supervisors considered a proposal for condemnation of a small portion of a private property, by eminent domain, to allow for the final easement needed to start construction of the Closed Loop Project for Route 309. The project has been in the works for more than 15 years, with about 20 easements needed from the township and Richlandtown Borough, toward establishing a traffic signal timing system with a real-time monitor that can enable timing changes to respond to traffic flow and volume.

Uncomfortable with the use of eminent domain, supervisors opted to table the matter, pending another attempt to negotiate a settlement with the owner of the 32-square-foot site of a signal that was originally improperly installed by a PennDOT contractor.

In addition, responding to a resident’s complaint, supervisors authorized installation of no-parking signs on both sides of Beck Road, in the vicinity of Last Chance Ranch, where attendees of special events have apparently been unwilling to use grassy extension of parking facilities on the hosting property. Further complaints, regarding trespassing on adjacent properties by the facility’s volunteer dog walkers, a charge disputed by the owner, were referred back to the complainants for visual documentation and more timely summoning of township police.

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