Most Oakmont Business Owners Agree With HPED Proposal
Most Oakmont business owners say they would like to see brick paver edgings.
The majority of business owners interviewed by the Haverford-Havertown Patch said that they would like to see the brick paver edgings proposed by the Haverford Partnership for Economic Development (HPED).
During the Haverford Township Commissioners’ work session meeting last week the HPED proposed an $11,000-development plan to have brick paver edgings on the sidewalks along the Oakmont business section of Havertown.
At last week’s meeting, Colette Bannan, treasurer of the HPED, explained to the commissioners that since the Oakmont Parking Lot is scheduled for construction for repaving and new lighting and utility lines being installed this spring, her organization has proposed that the township matches funds with the HPED to install brick pavers along the Oakmont business section.
It was originally reported that the HPED was also proposing to have decorative lampposts installed, but Larry Gentile, the township manager, stated in an email to Patch on Monday afternoon that the township would be paying for them.
“All funds for purchase and installation of the decorative lights along Eagle Road are on the township …,” he wrote. “In addition, the $35,000 is only for the purchase of the lights and wiring. This does not include any additional repairs or improvements that may be required by PennDOT.”
The majority of business owners that Patch was able to interview said that they would like to see the brick paver edgings and the decorative streetlamps outside of their stores.
“Anything to help this area would help,” said Amy McClements, the owner of Creative Clubhouse. “Most of the business owners want this to be a hub for Havertown.”
Praweena Nelson, of Su Kho Thai, echoed McClements’ statement, saying that it would make customers come back to the Oakmont section.
Marcie Ford, who has been the owner of Needle Me for the last 20 years, and Pietro Del Pizzo, whose his tailoring shop in Oakmont since 1959, both would like to see the “beautification” of the business district.
“I hope they do it soon. I want to be alive to enjoy it,” said Del Pizzo.
Melissa Burke, whose family has owned Burke’s Inn for the last 65 years, said the brick paver edgings and decorative lampposts would be a huge improvement for Oakmont.
“I feel like this area is closed down and vacant,” she said of the closed businesses along Eagle Road in the Oakmont section. “I think (the streetlamps and edgings) will spruce the area up a bit.”
HPED president and Oakmont National Pub owner Brendan Goggin explained to Patch that by adding the decorative streetlamps and the brick paver edgings—which the township’s solicitor Jim Byrne is currently investigating the legality of having the edgings in the front of private business owners’ shops—it would make Havertown more recognizable.
The HPED hopes that the proposal to have the brick paver edgings, including the lampposts, would eventually spread throughout the rest of the township to bring a unity to the town, Goggin said.
“We want to see our property value increase and attract better businesses. We won’t attract them with blight,” Goggin said as he pointed out various poles and streetlights that are rusted.
Goggin gave high praise to not just Gentile and Assistant Township Manager Lori Hanlon-Widdop, but also the township commissioners for what he says being “progressive” towards business owners. Goggin said that the HPED and business owners would pay half of the proposed $11,000.
Patch was only able to interview 13 business owners out of the roughly 24 shops along the Oakmont business district. Some of the businesses were closed for the day or business owners were not in to speak to the news website.
However a few business owners did not like the idea of having brick paver edgings or decorative streetlamps, with one business owner saying, “it doesn’t make a difference to me.”
Another business owner, who wished to remain anonymous, said the first thing that should be done is to “have the potholes in the street fixed first.”
“We have enough lights. Nobody cares,” the business owner said.
“When you complain, you become a target,” the business owner said, explaining why he or she wanted to be unnamed for this article.