Parking, safety and neighbor concerns biggest hurdles to event going forward
By Liz Brown, Staff Writer, The Times
BIRMINGHAM — It appears the township could become home again to The Battle of The Brandywine — or at least a well-crafted reenactment — if neighbors agree and sponsorships can be found for the event.
The township’s Recreation Parks and Open Space committee informed the board of supervisors last week that Paul Loane of the Pennsylvania 2nd Regiment of Foot Revolutionary War re-enactors is hoping to perform a re-enactment of the Battle of the Brandywine at Sandy Hollow Park next spring. The committee provided a detailed presentation of anticipated costs, revenues and support needed to accommodate this request.
Up to 300 re-enactors would be part of the production, along with horses and cannons. The re-enactment would run an entire weekend, with the actors setting up camp Friday night and performing demonstrations Saturday and Sunday.
The primary issue would be parking for the anticipated 3,000 spectators. Sandy Hollow parking could not accommodate this amount of vehicles, and neighboring roads would be off-limits. Shuttle buses would need to be used to transport attendees from remote lots, resulting in the largest amount in the cost analysis at $5,320.
The township would provide the necessary supplies to the regiment, including water, hay, ice, and firewood. The actors do not get paid for their performance, but the hosting township is expected to manage the event and provide support, explained Michael Langer of the RPOS committee. This regiment, which has performed previously at Valley Forge and the Brandywine Creek State Park, would make Sandy Hollow their major event in Spring, 2014.
Safety considerations were also discussed, including discharging Revolutionary War weapons and traffic management.
The preliminary budget for the event was just under $20,000, which the committee believes can be at least partially covered by revenues from sponsorships and parking fees.
The supervisors expressed positive reaction to the proposal, but are concerned about a few items, primarily the neighboring residents’ reactions to the event and the necessary volunteer force required to pull off such a large event in just over a year’s time. They requested the RPOS contact the homeowners associations of the surrounding neighborhoods to gauge their support of the event before proceeding further.
In other Birmingham news, a resolution was passed which will raise sewer rates by 8% this year to begin to recapture the expense to the township for meeting the new EPA and DEP standards for nitrogen levels in discharged water. Supervisor William Kirkpatrick expressed frustration that the township is basically being forced to make these changes, which will cost between $250,000 and $400,000, and the resulting impact on waste water feeding into the Chesapeake will be negligible.