During their meeting on Monday, December 7, the Borough of Bath Council unanimously approved a roads ordinance that officially ordained 23 roads as public. These roads, explained solicitor James Kratz, were opened “some time ago,” but the ordinances could not be found in the borough’s records.
Following the 2016 discovery that Sleepy Hollow Road was actually a private road, the borough spent over two years conducting a road inventory to see which borough roads are private, which are public, and which are listed on PennDOT’s liquid fuels map. For roads to be made public, they had to meet certain criteria regarding width, utilities, use, and length.
During the inventory, the borough identified 23 existing streets or parts of streets that are currently used by the public but not ordained. Over 51 percent of the property owners living on these streets agreed to hand over the roads for borough maintenance and snow removal. This majority rule was one of the required criteria outlined by the borough.
Roads included Mill Street, Oak Street, Green Street, Mulberry Street, Schaffer Street, Horner Street, Stone Post Road, Union Street, Locust Street, and Friendship Lane.
However, there are several roads in the borough, like Sleepy Hollow Road, that remain private, either because they did not meet the criteria or 51 percent of residents did not agree to hand over the road. This does not mean, however, that the process is over, according to council president Mark Saginario.
“We knew from the beginning that we needed a starting point and a road plan,” he said. “Any road that has not been adopted can petition council.”
He added that council can add, subtract, or change the criteria for eligible roads, which they intend to do in phase two of this process.
“It is a natural order…a progression,” he said. “I look forward to continuing this.”
Monday’s meeting, the last of the year, was brief, a conscious effort council made as COVID cases in the area rise. All committee reports were put on hold until the New Year.
“We will break for the holiday and hopefully have some better times ahead of us going into next year,” said Saginario.
He and members of council urged residents to have a safe holiday season.
“Council has been fantastic to work with over this pandemic period,” said borough manager Brad Flynn. “We’re going to get through this the next few months and we are going to be stronger.”
“Be safe, be well, and see you next year,” added Mayor Fiorella Mirabito.