The following are the key events so far since the Borough signed the contract to purchase the Barclay Grounds at the end of 2013:
- December 30, 2013 – The Borough and StanAb signed the agreement of sale. The BGPA provided the $20K downpayment on the property. Ownership of all four lots to remain with StanAb – subject to transfer in two sets of two lots at each of two scheduled future Closings (First Closing scheduled for June 30th 2014; Second Closing scheduled for December 2015).
- April 2014 – Grant requests were submitted to the County and State. BGPA supporters paid (on behalf of the Borough) for grant-writing services from the Brandywine Conservancy and Natural Lands Trust (both of whom also contributed time pro bono).
– Letters of support for these grant requests were submitted by::
Steven Barrar (State Representative)
Andrew Dinniman (State Senator)
Jim Gerlach (U.S. Congressman)
Dominic Pileggi (State Senator and Majority Leader)
Dan Truitt (State Representative)
East Bradford Township Board of Supervisors
East Goshen Township Board of Supervisors
Natural Lands Trust
West Chester Planning Commission
West Chester Recreation Commission
The Barclay Grounds Preservation Alliance
- June 12, 2014 – The Chester County Commissioners granted $125K to the Borough for the purchase of the Barclay Grounds. The Commissioners said that the Borough could potentially come back later in the year, if certain conditions were met, to request additional funding. The Commissioners also offered to write a letter of support for the State grant requests.
- June 30, 2014 – StanAb granted the Borough an extension until July 31st to complete the First Closing.
- July 31, 2014 – The BGPA signed an agreement with the Borough of West Chester promising to provide up to an additional $180K in funding to cover any potential shortfall between the grants received and the purchase price plus certain legal fees and interest costs.
- July 31, 2014 – The Borough completed the First Closing, taking ownership of the two lots on the North High Street side of the Barclay Grounds. To do so the Borough paid StanAb $590K. The money came from a capital reserve fund and is essentially a short term loan by the Borough to itself, secured against the market value of the property obtained – with the expectation that this money will be replaced by the State and County grants expected to be received at a future date. If the amounts granted plus the BGPA’s guarantee are insufficient to cover the total cost of the purchase then the Borough still retains the right to cancel the transaction, return the two lots and receive back its $590K. The $20K downpayment (provided by the BGPA supporters) will not, however, be returned.
- August 2014 – The date for the Second Closing was extended to the end of 2015 – allowing a realistic time period for the BGPA and Borough to raise any amounts required to be raised above the amount of the grants (which will be announced in November 2014).
- September 9, 2014 – State Senator Andy Dinniman and State Representative Dan Truitt sent a joint (bi-partisan) letter to the Secretary of the State Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources; and the Department of Community and Economic Development in support of the Borough’s grant requests.
- October 16, 2014 – Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) awarded West Chester Borough Council $100K for the purchase and preservation of the Barclay Grounds.
- November 19, 2014 – Council vote 5-0 in favor of accepting a $100K open space grant towards the purchase of the Barclay Grounds from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
- November 19, 2014 – Council passed a resolution (5-0) to send a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) guaranteeing the additional $381K that is needed to complete the required “match” for the $606K DCNR open space grant request for the Barclay Grounds purchase. This does not mean that the Borough is at risk for this full amount as the Barclay Grounds Preservation Alliance (BGPA) has guaranteed to cover any shortfall (up to $200K) between the purchase price and the total amount of grants received for the Barclay Grounds purchase.
- November 26, 2014 – Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) awarded $600K to the Borough of West Chester for the purchase and preservation of the Barclay Grounds. Ellen Ferretti, Secretary of DCNR stated that the “…grant award is a recognition of outstanding recreation and conservation work…”
- December 8, 2014 – The Chester County commissioners increased their grant for the purchase and preservation of the Barclay Grounds to $250K (an increase from the $125K previously granted )
- January 16, 2015 – The BGPA Treasurer presented a check for $18K to the Borough of West Chester bringing the total amount of funding provided to date to over $45K. Note – $7,250 of the amount was for financing the writing of the grant requests and does not count towards the BGPA funding commitment of $200K towards the purchase price.
- July 8, 2015 – The BGPA Treasurer presented a check for $15K to the Borough of West Chester bringing the total number provided to date to over $60K. Note – $7250 of the amount was for financing the writing of the grant requests and does not count towards the BGPA funding commitment of $200K towards the purchase price.