Bucks County to donate land back to Quakertown Borough

Riley Boike (center) is honored by the Quakertown Borough Council for her participation in the borough’s Junior Council Program.

Bucks County has decided to donate about 1.7 acres of land that it owns along Mill Street in Quakertown to the borough.

The property is located behind the James A. Michener branch of the Bucks County Free Library at 401 W. Mill Street. The land being granted to Quakertown is a portion of the 5-acre tract that the borough had granted to the county in 2000 for the building of the library.

During their Wednesday night meeting, the Quakertown Borough Council passed a resolution to accept the property donation from the county.

Borough Manager Scott McElree stated that the county granted the land back to Quakertown because they felt they did not need that much property any longer.

The advantage to the borough, according to McElree, would be the possibility of improving the property in the future by adding parking for the borough's park on Fourth and Mill streets.

Quakertown had already been permitted to use that land for parking during the borough's summer concert series.

The resolution was a late addition to the council's meeting and needed to be voted on that evening, according to borough solicitor Peter Nelson, who said the county commissioners wanted to act on the 20-page agreement during their meeting scheduled for next Wednesday, Aug. 14, at the Middletown Grange Fair in Newtown.

"When (the county) first sent this to us, they insisted that we turn it around immediately," Nelson said. "This is language that both my predecessor and I prepared and are comfortable with."

Council Vice President Jim Roberts said the arrangement was simply a no-cost agreement between the borough and the county.

"It's pages long but it's just an agreement to donate the land back to the borough," Roberts said.

The resolution was approved 6-1, with Council President Donald Rosenberger voting no based on the limited amount of time the council was given by the county to review and discuss the agreement before voting.

Junior Council

The borough council also took the opportunity to honor a member of Quakertown's Junior Council.

Rosenberger read a resolution to recognize Riley Boike for her participation in the junior council, her dedication to learning about municipal government and developing her leadership skills.

Boike is a recent graduate from Quakertown Community High School. She has served on the junior council since November 2018 and plans to study government and political affairs at Millersville University.

The Junior Council Person Program of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) provides youths with an opportunity to get engaged in borough government and develop leadership skills. It also allows borough officials to serve as mentors to students who will be future leaders in their communities, according to the PSAB's website.