Oct 8, 2009
Allentown's Love Canal
The phone rang at midnight last night, it was Dan Mest, neighborhood activist in the St. Paul's area. Dan's one of those guys you don't hear that much about, but if you live in center city, your life's better because of him. The Jackson Street Playground is just one result of his efforts. Back to last night; seems that City Council suspended their rules and bought the parcel from the Atiyeh family along Martin Luther King Drive. Council didn't see fit to suspend the rules about the Cedar Beach Project, but that's my spilled milk. Last time I heard about this property was when the Rev. Afaf Atiyeh Darcy was complaining to Council last month that her rights were being violated. Seems that no operation meet the approval of Zoning or Code, even as a tree nursery. Here's Dan's concern; that property had previously been a fertilizer and chemical plant, and is only a half mile from our water plant intake pipe. He's afraid we purchased a huge liability with no due diligence. Consider this post be to printed in pencil. I didn't attend the meeting last evening. I don't know where we are getting the money. I assume it will be an extension of the Park System, although there is no money in the budget for the WPA restorations. I do know that the land lies level with the creek and is very much in a floodplain. I do know that Dan's concerns about chemical contamination are probable. More to follow.....
ADDENDUM: LAST EVENING CITY COUNCIL APPROVED A RESOLUTION, AUTHORIZING THE CITY TO PURSUE NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE OWNER FOR PURCHASE. MOST OF THE PROPERTY LIES IN SALISBURY TOWNSHIP, AND ANY PURCHASE WOULD BE IN TANDEM WITH THE TOWNSHIP. ACTUAL PURCHASE WOULD AGAIN REQUIRE COUNCIL'S APPROVAL.