By Garret Roberts
The Crafton Borough Council began introducing ideas for Independence Day celebrations at their May 12 meeting after they announced the Memorial Day parade would be canceled.
Instead of the traditional celebration, hosted annually by The American Legion, this year’s Memorial Day events will only include a ceremony at the borough building’s memorial. While the Memorial Day festivities will be limited, councilman Frank Amendola wanted to begin plans for a larger Independence Day celebration in July. As the borough moves to reopen certain facilities, he argued having a parade and some festivities would be appropriate.
“We have the stage open for a private concern that is coming in and doing plays and stuff, the borough building is open, it’s time to move on,” said Amendola.
The council took the recent guidance from the CDC into account with their discussions, as small groups are now permitted to gather and mask mandates are being removed across the country. With a return to some normalcy, the council members suggested they should expand their plans for the Independence Day celebration.
“For a lot of families like mine, who have kids who have been inside for the better part of a year with minimal social activities, they’ve been through a lot,” said Brad Crouse, president pro-tem of the council. “We do need to get outside this summer and have a prescription for fun.”
Mayor Jim Bloom suggested there was not enough time to organize a large-scale celebration in time for Independence Day.
“There is no way you are going to organize a parade and get it put together in a month’s time,” said Bloom. “In my opinion, it’s just not going to work.”
The council decided to look into the possibilities of a parade, as well as other events in public spaces, as the holiday approaches.
Construction is underway on the Crafton Boulevard Sewer Separation Project, which will take place at the corner of Noble Avenue and Crafton Boulevard across from the Crafton Elementary School.
The project aims to separate storm drain runoff from approximately 25 acres of the main sewer system. Instead, the drainage will be rerouted to an underground tank across from the elementary school.
After the tank's installation, the project will shift gears to improving the parking lot at the school. The borough will add 28 new parking spaces for the school, as well as new lighting and sidewalks, in the construction area. Streetscape improvement will then also be added to Baldwick Road and Dinsmore Avenue.
Once all of the storm drain improvements are installed, the roadways will be repaved and sidewalks will be updated as needed.
“This is a momentous occasion for the borough, as we have discussed over the past several years now,” said Phillip Levasseur, council president. “Again, I am very excited for this.”
Overall, the project will cost $3.274 million to complete. Grants from ALCOSAN and the state’s H20 program will cover 70% of the costs for these improvements. This leaves the township to cover the rest of the project, which would be $982,170.
In other news:
The Borough Administrative Office has opened to the public, with staff available during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) to address borough related business. Only guests with masks are permitted, and residents are asked to enter from the rear of the building.
The Crafton Pool is set to open on June 12, with their hours available on the pool’s website. The pool has received enough employee applicants to handle the operations throughout the summer and council has approved the funding for these seasonal employees. The pool is scheduled to be open daily until Aug. 22, then move to weekends as the fall season approaches.