announced the ratification of the 3rd Street Bridge/Dam and announced a decision deadline for the 1 W. State Street property at its meeting Thursday night.
Borough Council unanimously approved the execution of a stipulation agreement regarding the 3rd Street Bridge/Dam.
It was determined, after years of debate, that Media Borough does not own the dam, it owns the road above the dam. and Broomall's Lakes Country Club are responsible for the dam.
All three parties, the borough, the county and Broomall's Lakes came to this conclusion and agreed to the stipulation in order to make the needed repairs and maintenance to the bridge and dam.
The borough solicitor said the borough will take responsibility and repair the bridge but the county and Broomalls Lakes will take responsibility of the dam, not the road, but the dam underneath. In the future, the borough will not be responsible for repairs.
"The borough's not the owner of the dam," the solicitor said. "The other two parties are."
The county and Broomall's Lakes will then maintain the dam going forward.
Council President Peter Alyanakian said the borough will be paying for the 20 percent of the cost of repairs, the other 80 percent had been covered by a state grant.
The borough always understood it needed to pay the other 20 percent, Alyanakian said, but the disagreement was over who was then going to own the dam.
"We do not own this dam. We own the roadway over top of it," he said. "This agreement stipulates that, that we are the owners of the roadway but because we signed the grant (years ago) we are responsible for the 20 percent or remaining balance of the dam repairs."
Alyanakian said this process has taken more than 13 years and the borough believes it will be able to come up with the money in late 2012 or 2013 and make the repairs.
Councilman James Cunningham said this decision has been a "long time coming" and congratulated and thanked the council for coming to this conclusion.
He said hopefully the borough can go out for bid next year and 3rd Street can reopen.
"It shouldn’t have taken a decade to do this," Cunningham said. "The root cause of this matter was a conflict between the borough and the county and never should have happened. The lawsuits that this borough initiated, all that did, back in early 2000s, all that did, was throw gasoline on a campfire that burned across this borough for years."
He said there will now be a good working relationship with the county and Broomall's Lakes with the dam and bridge maintenance and repairs.
Councilman Eric Stein recognized Councilman Peter Williamson, who was not present at the meeting, for his dedication, time spent and knowledge of the project.
Councilwoman Monica Simpson also recognized previous borough councils that also dealt with this issue and worked hard to resolve it.
She said previous council intentionally entered into a lawsuit, which was to prevent ownership of the dam by the residents of Media Borough and subsequently pay for that ownership with maintenance and repairs.
"That was an intentional movement to keep the residents best interest at heart despite the challenges of having the road closed," she said. "(Let’s look) at not just the immediate past but all the efforts that went into making this great decision."
Cunningham said the lawsuit was a "foolish move" and construction costs have doubled since this issue began, which "cost this borough dearly."
1 W. State Street Decision to Come
In separate council news, the borough announced that they are considering a second offer for the 1 W. State Street property along with the first offer.
The second offer is for $670,000 from Claudio Sandola and will follow the same conditions such as façade restoration and preservation as the , which is the firm leading the architecture design for Blue Stone Developers.
Simpson said both parties and any other interested parties must make a formal offer or agreement of sale to the borough by May 27. No other offers will be accepted after that date.
A final decision on the sale of the property will be made at the June council meeting.