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News Article
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Grant May Save Hickory Park Restaurant Purchase
Written by Candace Perry, Correspondent

            The purchase of the former Hickory Park Restaurant property at 2138 Big Road by New Hanover Township looked like it was dead in the water due to the costs of cleaning up the site.

            An article in this newspaper, however, may have changed that.

            Township manager Jamie Gwynn reported at the New Hanover Board of Supervisors meeting on Thursday, May 5, that the Department of Environmental Protection had reached out following an article about the issues surrounding the purchase in the Town & Country.

            Removal of underground tanks on the site would cost $40,000, with the entire scope of the project, including repaving and possible tear down of the existing building, coming in at approximately $250,000. Gwynn noted that the purchase was important because the entire frontage of the property would belong to the new owner. The property is adjacent to New Hanover Township's Hickory Park.

            The good news is that there is a grant available to fund the project, under the Greenways, Trails, and Recreation Program of the state Department of Community and Economic Development. The supervisors voted to authorize Gwynn and Board chair Marie Livelsberger to execute the documents for the grant. The grant total is for $250,000 with a small match of 15% by the township.

            In other news, supervisor Ross Snook discussed a possible historic preservation ordinance that he had been working on with local historian Bob Wood. He said that he and Wood had compiled a list of historic buildings in the township.

            Snook said, "People can sign up so these buildings can be preserved," and added that if someone wanted to demolish a property, he or she would need to come before the Board.

            "It's strictly voluntary," Wood said. The ordinance would not place the restrictions on property owners that come in some historic preservation districts.

            The supervisors directed solicitor Andrew Bellwoar to prepare the ordinance.

            Under business items, township manager Gwynn presented proposals to have a special engineer, Daniel E. Gray with Knight Engineering, appointed for "plan reviews and other matters" as "back up" for township engineer Bob Flinchbaugh, of Cedarville Engineering. Gray would be working specifically on the Green at Gilbertsville development and stormwater issues. The supervisors approved the appointment.

            Gwynn also asked the supervisors to consider appointing Michael G. Crotty and Siana Law as special counsel for "land use, zoning, and other matters."  Gwynn said that Crotty has a "specialization in development disasters."

            After extensive discussion with the supervisors, Gwynn, and input from the audience, the supervisors approved retaining Crotty for a specific list of projects, including several problematic development issues.

            The supervisors also authorized the hiring of consultant David L. Woglom to recruit a new police chief to replace retiring Chief Kevin R. McKeon.







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