December 5: All eyes on Land Bank, City Council | DRPA hikes budget, not tolls | Bridesburg Trail nearing construction | Passyunk Square Civic Association celebrates 10th year

Hello Streeters! Today’s temperature could hit an alarming 63 degrees.

With only two full City Council hearings remaining before the new year, today could be decision day for the city’s land bank legislation. Last night Council president Darrell Clarke and Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez allegedly negotiated a deal that will resolve the dispute over the contested bill. While Clarke initially supported the bill, he later took up the fight against it because he wants Council to have more of a say in which vacant properties are acquired or sold. The bill will go before City Council at 10am today, Dec. 5.

Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) released its new budget, which increased to $278 million from $258 million last years. That increase is largely due to $17 million in debt service for the $500 million DRPA borrowed this month for bridge repairs and PATCO vehicle upgrades. DRPA does not plan to increase PATCO fares or tolls – at current levels DRPA expects to collect $290 million in tolls next year. 

Construction on Port Richmond’s next section of trail, the Bridesburg Trail, could begin in early spring. The trail will begin at Lewis Street and follow Delaware Avenue to Orthodox Street. Ultimately it will connect other Delaware River waterfront trails. Construction is expected to take about two years. 

Passyunk Square Civic Association is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. In the past ten years the organization has planted 1,000 trees, conducted 119 clean up days, recycled 19,000 tons of e-waste, distributed 150 recycling bins and mulched several thousand Christmas trees. They’ve also worked with local schools and hosted events like art shows and plant sales. 

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