NEW HOPE − August 21, 2023 − Senator Steve Santarsiero released the following statement on New Hope Parking Garage:
For years surveys by New Hope Borough and individual businesses reveal that nearly everyone – residents, visitors and businessowners – agrees that insufficient parking is an inconvenience for residents and stifles growth opportunities for restaurants, retail and the arts in New Hope. A parking garage is a logical way to address the situation and would be a proper use of local and state resources.
When I saw the presentation from the 2nd Ad Hoc Committee for the Parking Garage that cited a $28 million cost estimate for the parking garage I was alarmed. When I did a thorough analysis of their presentation, I found that cost to be a gross exaggeration and not supported by the facts, thus inappropriately jeopardizing the feasibility of this project.
As the state Senator representing New Hope Borough and the sponsor of a $1.75 million state grant to help with the construction of the garage, I felt compelled to correct the record so that residents and all of borough council could make a more informed decision on whether to support this worthy public improvement project.
As my presentation showed, the borough could in fact build a 250-stall garage for closer to $7 million. Further I noted that I am committed to continuing to pursue additional state funding to further lower the borrowing cost for the project.
Unfortunately, members of council offered a motion that was not on the agenda and certainly a violation of the spirit and intent of the state’s Sunshine Law, consequently leaving the public ill-informed on essential facts regarding the project. In a 4-3 vote Council ended its contract with the garage construction consultant and rejected the $1.75 million state grant for the project.
At the end of the day, New Hope Borough Council will decide for itself whether or not to go forward with this public improvement project that done properly would bring in revenue for the borough. But they should make that decision after the public has been able to review the facts. The vote on Tuesday night, as opposed to voting at a future Council meeting after the public and council has had the opportunity to review the facts, is a disservice to the community.