At its July 27 meeting of the whole, council discussed details of the proposed agreement with Mark Platts, president of the organization.
Councillor Jim Smith said cost-sharing with other members of the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail, of which Columbia is a part, "should be part of this dialogue and part of this contract." He said those municipalities, which include Marietta, Bainbridge, Falmouth, and Middletown, should be contacted to see if they would be willing to share the cost of the proposed Susquehanna Gateway project. "I heard the argument where that's going to bring commerce to Columbia, but its going to bring commerce to other towns, also" Smith said. "I think it's a gift that keeps on taking."
Platts said his organization's approach to the process of creating a professional services agreement includes getting additional funding from other partners including the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Lancaster County, and Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority. "Those are the appropriate and key partners, because those are the partners that are encouraging developing and helping to facilitate and fund the whole Northwest Trail," Platts said. "This building [Columbia Crossing] obviously would be the signature gateway to that trail. We're going to work hard to develop the details of the agreement and come to the table with all the funding to provide the level of service we proposed in our overview."
Smith said he does not want management of the Columbia Crossing building to be detached from the rest of the park, to eliminate conflict in the planning and utilization of the park. Platts said that although SGHA did not plan to manage the entire park, in the future it could reassess where it stands and then decide if there would be a bigger role for it to play - at an additional cost.
More information on the agreement can be found HERE at Columbia News, Views & Reviews.
Information on the trail can be found HERE and HERE.
Budget and funding summary - from a Power Point presentation at the May 26 meeting of the whole.