New Cumberland Meeting Outlines Plans for the Future

Dozens of interested citizens turned out for the public meeting on Wednesday night at the renovated West Shore Theatre to learn about future plans for the borough of New Cumberland.

Addressing the crowd was Valerie Copenhaver, Director, Community & Economic Development, New Cumberland Borough, along with Tom McGilloway and Tripp Muldrow from Mahan Rykiel, a Baltimore-based landscape architecture firm.

During the meeting, McGilloway and Muldrow shared results of a survey completed by residents, which shared their thoughts about the area. The overarching theme culled from the answers was that the town has plenty of potential that has thus far been unrealized.

The second topic discussed was the need for more retail opportunities, which, according to Muldrow and McGilloway, are needed to draw more people downtown. According to the study done by Mahan Rykiel, approximately $12 million is “leaked” to other communities which offer citizens a variety of shops. McGilloway estimates that the borough could benefit from three or four specialty clothing stores. Gift stores were also mentioned to offer customers the opportunity to browse downtown. Restaurants also ranked high on the list when regional residents were asked what is missing downtown.

Additional improvements that the firm suggested were bike and pedestrian paths in New Cumberland Borough Park, along with improved streetscapes with less sign clutter and more wayfinding signs. The firm also suggested pursuing the idea of hanging banners, planting trees, repairing sidewalks and bringing in artists to paint murals.

Before ending the meeting, a new colorful logo was unveiled, which represented the pitched roofs of New Cumberland and the Yellow Breeches with the tagline, “Old Town, New Energy.” McGilloway explained that the businesses could play off the new phrase using examples like “Old Town, New Do” for a hairdresser, or “Old Town, New Flavors” to advertise a restaurant, for instance.

At the conclusion of the meeting, officials announced that another meeting would be held in October, with a time and date yet to be announced.

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