Following the Colebrookdale Railroad’s request to close a part of Third Street, the Boyertown Borough Council added three variables following their review of the ordinance at their Nov. 2 meeting.
Approval of the ordinance will be contingent upon these variables, with reasonable negotiation.
“This is a step along the way,” said Chris Hartman, borough solicitor, explaining how there are procedures that must be followed in order for the street to the vacated.
An ordinance is a part of the process and is required for authorization. In addition, public notices would need to be sent out and advertised. A public hearing would also need to take place.
Lori Carnes asked what would happen to that part of Third Street is the railroad’s operations would cease to exist in the future.
Hartman confirmed that the borough would then need to reacquire ownership. Once realized, the council decided to include re-ownership as a part of the agreement.
Council President Frank Deery emphasized “This is a ‘vacation’ process.”
“It’s not a sale,” said Hartman. “The property goes to the adjoining property owner(s) – it is not a sale transaction.”
Up until this point, and until the agreement is made, the costs involved with this process are falling on the borough.
“No agreement has been made with the Redevelopment Authority,” said Deery.
Requesting a show of hands, he asked borough council members if they would like Borough Manager Pat Loder to reach out the authority regarding the street vacation costs and any possible reimbursement. The majority was in favor of the idea. Loder will be compiling the costs.
There was also an agreement that the borough would need to acquire rights to the water line which falls within that portion of Third Street — between Chestnut and Pear Streets.
A motion was then made to add those three items – the water line, the rededication, and the reimbursement – to the agreement in order for the ordinance to be approved.
The motion passed for a vote of 4-1. Gene Gabel voted against the motion. Keith Endy was absent from the meeting.
In other news, a motion was approved authorizing the borough solicitor to prepare an ordinance for a multi-stop control intersection at Second and Chestnut Streets — according to the council this need has been determined following the traffic study for Third Street, but is needed regardless of what happens to Third Street.