Bucks County Herald

Gerry Monigan: New Hope Notebook

Parking kiosk installation begins next week

The parking kiosks are just around the corner … figuratively, that is. And in November, they will be there literally, as well.

At the Sept. 11 borough council workshop, it was announced that beginning the week of Sept. 17, representatives of Cale Systems Inc. will tour New Hope with borough representatives to determine the exact locations of the 22 kiosks that will replace the parking meters. Soon thereafter, the machines will be installed, and they will be “up and running” in November.

In addition, the borough has agreed to add the Pay By Phone smartphone application to the payment options for parking. The Parkmobile app already is available and will continue to work once the kiosks are installed.

The kiosks will accept credit cards, dollar bills and coins, as well. They are expected to increase parking revenue, because vehicles will no longer inherit unused time from meters, while decreasing parking tickets, because patrons will be notified and will be able to add time via cellphone before their time expires.

Shared services
Solebury Township supervisors recently sent the New Hope council a letter suggesting a “joint work session to discuss equitable funding of shared services across the two communities.” Those include “library, fire, park and rec, as well as EMS/ambulance” services, the letter said. It offered two possible dates.

Solebury had previously requested such a meeting, the letter said, and New Hope Council President Alison Kingsley declined, citing the November ballot referendum to decide if residents will grant a tax increase to expand advanced life support from 12 hours per day to 24 hours.

At Monday's session, it was decided to decline the invitation once again, tabling the issue until January, when the ballot referendum will have been decided and two new council members will be seated.

In the Aug. 17 edition of the Herald, Solebury Supervisor Helen Tai was reported to have said that New Hope wants to pay its share of shared emergency services on a per-capita basis rather than on the number of generated calls, which is greater in New Hope than in Solebury because of New Hope's tourism industry.

Monday, Kingsley said New Hope does not advocate a per-capita basis. She said state law dictates that boroughs are allowed to contribute only a half-mill of the proprty-tax levy to emergency services, which New Hope does, unless residents vote otherwise, which they might in November.

“We're not doing anything on shared services until January, when the voters have told us what they want us to do,” Kingsley said. “And we will do what we're legally allowed to do based on the state borough code, which is different from the state second-class township code [which governs Solebury].”

Councilor Claire Shaw said the same issue was raised in 2014 or 2015, when she was council president, and “I closed the door on it.”

Shaw said she informed Solebury that New Hope pays its fair share, does its due diligence, pays its bills, is “happy with the way this works, and that was the end of it.”

Go, Cozmo, Go
Robert “Cozmo” Consulmagno, the retired Marine who calls New Hope his spiritual home and whose passion is raising awareness of mental health issues, is at it again. Saturday, Sept. 24, beginning at 1 p.m., he will attempt to perform 1,000 standing abdominal rollouts, which would be far and away the most anyone has done in one session.

He will set the record at the Newtown Athletic Club accompanied by Matthew Bellina, a retired Navy aviator who is battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease. Bellina is an advocate for the so-called Right to Try bill that would guarantee those with terminal illnesses the ability to try any experimental therapies that might save their lives, regardless of approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

The bill has passed the U.S. Senate, and Brian Fitzpatrick, who represents Bucks and Montgomery Counties in Congress, is pushing it in the House of Representatives.

Supporters are encouraged to attend and donate to Cozmo's causes.

High, low notes
Eagle Fire Company Captain Matt Taylor reports that four kayaks capsized in the rapids below the wing dam Saturday morning, and his air-boat crew found all the boaters safely and recovered their equipment, as well.

On a sour note, some members of the fire police were spat upon and verbally abused Sunday morning when motorists became irate because of road closures associated with the Run Now, Wine Later 5k race.

The council had granted the race's organizers an exemption from using the course prescribed for such races in the borough. The prescribed course causes fewer closures.

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