KSQ Council defends library plans

By Eliza Mohler, Staff Writer, The Times

A rendering of the proposed new Kennett Library. Image courtesy, Kennett Library.

KENNETT SQUARE – The debate about plans for the new Kennett Library and community center building raged on at Monday night’s meeting of the Kennett Square Borough Council. Council President Danilo Maffei responded to comments that local residents have not been adequately involved in the planning process.

The comments, which were expressed by attendees at the meeting and on social media, came in the wake of the unveiling of the preliminary rendering of the new building at a public meeting on April 25. It is slated to be constructed on the corner of State and South Willow Streets in 2018.

“This has been a public process from the get go,” Maffei said. “We announced this partnership here in council chambers in June of last year. The council and the library was awarded a grant to do the architectural study and to engage in community discussion as to what would be appropriate for that building.”

He added that the library publicized the six meetings to garner citizens’ opinions about the process, and all of them were well attended.

Mayor Matthew Fetick agreed with Maffei, but noted that perhaps not enough advance notice of the meetings had been given. Council members agreed that there is more work to be done regarding the design, and that they will continue to actively encourage resident participation in the process.

Maffei opened the meeting, and the entire council was present except for Jamie Mallon. Immediately prior to the meeting, the council had held a private executive session regarding personnel matters relative to the borough manager.

The council approved resolutions supporting the use of radar by municipal police, which is currently not allowed in Pennsylvania, and opposing the possible elimination of community development block grants by the federal government during the upcoming budget cycle. Regarding the grants resolution discussion, council member Ethan Cramer said, “it’s a no-brainer that we want (the grants) to keep going, and things in the future hinge on our being able to access this kind of money.”

A new mural proposed by the Garage Community and Youth Center was given approval on the condition that Rusty Drumheller from the borough’s codes department submits a letter of support for the record. The new mural will be of a nightscape scene and will feature words including community, knowledge, service, trust, dream, and influence.

The developers of the Sinclair Springs building project at 500 and 502 Ridge Avenue received approval for their land development plan, and waivers were approved for the project regarding easements. The plan and waiver requests had been reviewed and endorsed by borough engineer Edward Rasiul prior to the council’s vote.

The special event application for Kennett Brewing Company’s second anniversary party was approved, and the event will take place on Wednesday, June 21, from 3 to 11 p.m. Maffei gave a reminder about a presentation for adults entitled “How to Talk with Your Children about Race,” which will be held on Wednesday, May 3 at 7 p.m. at the Kennett Friends Meeting at 125 West Sickle Street. More information on this event and topic is available at www.mlkadvocates.org on their social justice calendar page.

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