A LETTER FROM THE MAYOR
June 7, 2022 Dear Neighbors,
Thank you for your responses to our surveys and attending our recent Town Hall Meeting on May 24th. There are many positive outcomes we are seeing form our efforts to plan for Silverdale’s future, but one of the most impactful is participation from the community. Thank you for your concern and willingness to engage in the conversations.
Silverdale is a small Borough with 325 parcels and under 900 residents. Managing a Borough of this size has its challenges. Past leadership did their best to sustain the Borough by making decisions that they considered proper at the time. For example, the approval of Sterling Knoll generated permit income, real estate tax and other revenues that sustained the borough for the last few decades. The current leadership recognizes that in order to sustain the future of the Borough, additional revenues will be needed. We are exploring ways to make this happen by engaging Barth Consulting, Bucks County Planning Commission and the community in conversations about our future.
What is the best path forward? Raising taxes, encouraging more residential development, planning for more small businesses or a combination of all? Borough leadership is made up of residents who donate their time and talent to help manage the day-to-day operations, and lead the Borough into the future. We are not experts in municipal law, land development, economic development or community planning. Making important decisions about the future of the Borough that could potentially impact thousands of lives is a responsibility that requires education, conversations and input from many sources. Some have suggested that development of the Little’s property may be a singular solution, or that no development is ideal, but exploring all possibilities and hearing input from many sources can help us identify the best path forward for the Borough. Barth Consulting incorporates a “Development By Design” strategy, where we, the people of Silverdale, are being proactive in planning for our future. We decide on the type and extent of development, if any at all. You have seen this process in action through our surveys and Town Hall Meetings.
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Our timing for this initiative is good. We are not rushed and will not make hasty decisions. Three years ago, the Borough raised taxes 6 mills, and last year we initiated a 1.5 mill fire tax. These were decisions made by council to address increasing costs associated with operating the borough. We currently have no debt and able to meet our financial obligations. The larger planning, we are exploring addresses sustaining the borough now and through the next several decades.
Borough Council, Planning Commission and our Economic Development Committee all look forward to hearing your ideas and opinions on how to plan for Silverdale’s future.
Thank you and please contact me with any questions.
Steven R. Cordell, Mayor Silverdale