Pipeline project in Bustleton discussed at meeting

The Greater Bustleton Civic meeting included information on a water pipeline replacement project set to start Jan. 8 and a building expansion on the American Heritage Credit Union.

The Philadelphia Water Department will be replacing water pipes in Bustleton with an anticipated start date of Jan. 8.

Representatives canceled their presentation for the Dec. 20 Greater Bustleton Civic League meeting. A handout on the subject says the pipes are approaching the end of their useful life cycle.

The handout says minor disruptions of water service are anticipated during construction, which could result in loss of water for one or two hours while house connections to new pipes are made, and four to eight hours while water main connections are completed. It says residents will be notified when water service outages are anticipated.

The streets to be impacted by construction are Bloomfield Avenue from Jennifer Terrace to Verree Road; Verree Road from Bloomfield Avenue to Alburger Avenue; Millwood Road from Bloomfield Avenue to Alicia Street; Alicia Street from Millwood Road to Dunmore Road; Bridle Road from Millwood Road to Marchman Road; Marchman Road from Alicia Street to Verree Road; Ferndale Road from Millwood Road to Dunmore Road; and Stelwood Drive from Alicia Street to Ferndale Street.

The project is anticipated to continue through July 31, 2019.

Questions should be directed to the customer information unit at 215–685–6300.

Also discussed at the meeting was a presentation for plans to add a new two-story building on the American Heritage Federal Credit Union property, in which the GBCL meetings take place.

After much discussion, the expansion was approved with three provisos in a vote of 36–3.

During the presentation, Richard Hasson of AHFCU and Kate Missimer of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP said the expansion would not add any new services and is intended to give more space to continue existing services.

Nothing else was included in the proposal. They specifically shot down the notion of a daycare opening in the expansion, which had previously been rumored.

Neighbors expressed concerns the expansion could lead to further changes of the property. The property is divided between being a commercial lot and a residential lot, with houses on the property. Some speculated the expansion could lead to disturbances of nearby homes on Haldeman Avenue.

After much discussion, neighbors decided to agree to the expansion with three provisos: keeping the houses on property as residential and not commercial, not installing a throughway cutting through the property, and installing a fence on the property. Residents requested the provisos be submitted in writing.

After the agreement was reached, Bruce Foulke, CEO of AHFCU, addressed the neighbors.

“We’re concerned with this neighborhood and we’re one of the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia,” he said, expressing sorrow that the community doubted the credit union and stating it helped make the community what it is in an emotional statement.

In other news:

Joe Staszak, community relations officer for the 7th Police District, encouraged community residents to be neighborly and collect neighbor’s packages for them so they are not left on the street for someone to grab. Package theft rises around the holiday season. Jack O’Hara, GBCL president, mentioned there were other services to get packages delivered safely, such as Amazon Locker, Amazon Key and FishBox.

The long-awaited Bustleton Bengals gym may finally see the light of day. The gym has a tentative anticipated opening day of March 15. The buy-a-brick fundraising initiative is ongoing. Visit bustletonbengals.org for more information.

State Rep. Martina White reminded neighbors the property tax rebate deadline is Dec. 30, and to contact her office if neighbors have not yet applied and are qualified. She also talked about the need for a Real ID for people who plan to travel between states via air travel. White encouraged those who will be affected to start thinking about obtaining a Real ID if they have not already. Pennsylvania travelers will not face issues traveling between states by air until Oct. 10.

O’Hara talked about the broken windows theory, which is a theory that states cleaning up small things in the neighborhood (such as litter and graffiti) helps prevent large problems from entering the community.

Holistic Pharma has still not committed to opening in the 8900 Krewstown Road location.

Members are encouraged to renew their membership and get their neighbors to join the GBCL. In addition, volunteers are needed for various tasks, like newsletter construction and mailing, maintaining membership lists and helping organize meetings.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 24, at the AHFCU building at 2060 Red Lion Road. ••