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Improvements Coming to Quakertown’s Cedar Grove Park
Written by Jennifer Frieze, Correspondent

            At the September 25th Quakertown Borough work session, a presentation was given on the future renovation project of Cedar Grove Park.

            The 4.5-acre park is located off Roan Tree Drive at the western end of the borough. Currently, there are basketball/street hockey courts, a playground and a stone walking path.

            Public concern has been expressed to the borough about safety issues in the park. The benches are rusted out and usable playground equipment is waning. In addition, the safety of the surfacing around the playground equipment is problematic as is accessibility to and within the park.

            The recreation committee recommended to council that it would be beneficial to close the playground for liability issues. The deconstruction and removal of malfunctioning playground equipment will take place in the near future.

            The plan is to remove stone and pave the walking paths. The athletic courts will be updated and trees planted to landscape the park. A rain garden will be planted to offset stormwater runoff. The playground equipment will be replaced to accommodate a range of ages and abilities.

            Safety is also a focus. Cameras and lights will be installed to deter deviant behavior.

            The cost of the entire project adds up to about $662,000. The borough secured $250,000 from a DCNR grant, but the project needs to begin before funds will be released. The Parks and Recreation Committee is looking into other grants as well. There is also $650,000 in the borough's bond budget. However, the borough intends to preserve the majority of those funds.

            In addition to grants, the committee will also be reaching out to the community for support. Donations will be welcomed from local businesses and organizations. Sponsorship levels will be part of the fundraising aspect of the project.

            Council authorized moving forward with the project. A sign will be erected to let residents know that the park will be under reconstruction. The project will be done in stages with the anticipated opening in the fall of 2024.

"We can start to put it in gear…bring it to fruition," said Member Michael Johnson.

            Council members also discussed the ParkMobile meter change. The new parking system will be implemented at the start of the new year. ParkMobile gives the borough the ability to manage and customize parking that best serves downtown Quakertown.

            The council is considering the demographics of the area and is taking into consideration that not all residents utilize smartphones. Quick stops at local stores will be made easy for residents as well. The borough plans to make the transition as smooth as possible.

ParkMobile is a parking app that is widely used. "This is the most effective way, without upfront costs to the borough to manage parking," said Johnson.

            The parking plan and possible future expansion of parking will include the trolley barn, train station, town triangle and the borough parking lot. Redrafting of ordinances will be required for new and adjusted parking zones. A redraft of the parking ordinance will be presented at the borough work session meeting at the end of October.

            Another item on the work session agenda was the Quakertown Historical Society donation request for the Fries Rebellion Film. Council members reviewed the script to better understand the direction of the film. An opening scene of the film features McCoole's Inn and the historical significance of the area.

"I have no objection…it will give us some credibility to our own reputation," said Vice President James Roberts, Jr.

            The borough agreed to a $500 donation to the film project and plans to asssist in promoting the film through its social media platforms and community outreach. This will be on the agenda for the borough council meeting next month.






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