According to minutes published on a recent New Hope PA Borough Council discussion of the dried-out Delaware Canal issue, Chairperson Sharon Keiser began by saying: "I would like to ask Council to consider authorizing the payment of up to $7,500 to water the canal from the Logan Inn north from July through October.
"The canal is quickly reverting to nature. Several large trees have fallen across it. Weeds are 3 feet tall in some places. It looks less and less like a canal and more and more like an abandoned ditch.
"If it is not watered this year we will not have water until at least Spring 2011 since the Rabbit Run bridge will be closed next year with a coffer dam restricting any water to New Hope. Who knows what the condition will be by then.
"The impact on New Hope may be severe, recreationally [sic], aesthetically and commercially. Apart from the river, nothing physically defines us more then the beauty and serenity of the canal.”
Sharyn Keiser went on to ask if any Council members would offer a motion, and said one challenge is that the water would cover 2.5 miles of Solebury and only .50 miles of New Hope. Eighty (80%) of the canal is dry at this point, she asseted [sic]. If the canal were to be watered, it would only extend to The Logan Inn due to the leak in the canal south of The Logan.
"Randall Flager stated that the canal is an eyesore at this time." (Nothing gets past Randy)
Claire Shaw stated that "she feels that it would be fiscally irresponsible to spend the taxpayers’ money in that manner especially since the expense serves Solebury more than New Hope."
Sharyn Keiser stated that "there is nothing in the budget for this" and asked the Manager to provide a cost estimate.
John Burke estimated that the cost would be in the range of $7,000 to $8,000 for the shortened season, from the middle of July through the end of October.
Randall Flager ejaculated "what was spent on watering the canal in 2008?!"
Sharyn Keiser stated that the cost was split 50-50 in 2008 with PADEP. The Borough’s share was about $6,000, which covered the period from April to the end of November.
Randall Flager asked "if the Chamber [of Commerce] has requested that the Borough pay to water the canal in 2009."
Sharyn Keiser stated that "there have been no requests from the Chamber or any residents of New Hope and there is one resident who is opposed to it because she is concerned with the fish that will be left behind once it dries up. In the past this resident has physically relocated the fish in the canal to the river."
Randall Flager stated that if the canal can’t be watered down to the Locktender’s House, then he is not prepared to pursue this matter. (Heart of gold, that Randy) Glen Stephan stated that he would like to see water along the entire length of the canal in New Hope and that he would consider contributing to this. (His money or Chamber members' money?)
Sharyn Keiser "stated that the projected time to restore water to the canal is about one year from now."
Annette Rosenberg, 137 S. Main St., keenly observed that "the canal is an eyesore without the water. Something should be done to clean up the canal."
Loretta Johnson, 16 West Bridge, "suggested taking water from the Primrose watershed."
Ed Duffy stated "that someone should organize a fund raising effort to pump water into the canal this year."
Perhaps Mr. Duffy, who is running for re-election to Burro membership next month, should consider taking the $7,500 from the burgeoning budget he helps administer -- one which is spending millions to buy a church for he and his fellow politicos, a path through the woods to a faraway parking lot, and a neighborhood park where kids and pets and trees aren't welcome.
Mayor Keller wished Doro Kerr a happy birthday.