October 2017Community ImprovementsInvestments by the Trust Corporation in Trust owned property create an enduring value and quality of life in New Castle, while becoming “proud” assets for the use of the community. Many of these properties are on the National Historic Register. The maintenance and improvement of these Trust holdings are central to the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees.Over a million dollars was invested and 26 projects have been completed since May 2014 and there are more improvements in the works. These advancements, in addition to routine maintenance, were made with a methodical and deliberate strategy with the help of engineers, and site and building professionals. Additionally, the Trust recently financed over a million dollars in City Government-led storm water infrastructure and street curb improvements.The 112-acre Historic Penn Farm, the last of the 11 original Farm properties of the Trust, advanced with the installation of restrooms and amenities in the Bank Barn. This venue is now a safe, inviting, fun and educational place to learn about and experience agriculture. The Farm fields are restored, soils improved and storm water management corrected and nearly 80 acres of corn, and soy beans and other vegetables are harvested annually. Numerous meetings and gatherings have taken place as a result of these improvements.Significant land improvements in the property used by the New Castle Little League has improved user safety with the installation of new lighting, and storm water management corrections. The creation of a new beautifully landscaped, regional parking lot, complete with period style lighting, safely serves a multitude of users of the Bellanca Air Museum, Little League fields, and Penn Farm and provides for overflow parking for nearby events. Battery Park has been transformed into one of the cleanest and safest Parks in the New Castle area with upgrades that include a “hands-free” ADA compliant restroom facility, improvements to the popular Riverwalk Trail, Tennis Court and fencing repairs, security camera installation, numerous tree plantings and a strategic investment in the engineering and installation of an improved storm water infrastructure. This storm water system improves the regional drainage, now under the Park, for the neighboring residential and commercial streets as well as for users of the Park. Eliminating standing water results in a reduction of mosquito population.Open space stewardship has been increased with the development of ecologically sound, environmentally friendly meadows. The developments on smaller sized Trust properties make for great places to park your bike or to just stop and read or rest. The meadows located in the Dobbinsville area, Bull Hill area and along the River at the Ferry Lots at 2nd & Chestnut, when in bloom, make for some of the best views of open space around and are important advancements in the green infrastructure improving drainage quality. Trust properties that serve as gateway entrances into the City are now landscaped with beautiful and soon to be stately sized trees. The restoration of the Historic Hermitage property has led to creation of the Hermitage Wildlife Area with a unique way to experience the marshlands and wildlife indigenous to this area. The economic engine of the Trust Corporation is fueled by the productive rental of commercial properties. The former Tremont Motel has been demolished, and land cleared, making way for new tenants and their developments. The Professional Center property has seen the removal of an outdated medical building and together with storm water corrections on the land, this property will be a more productive income-producing asset for the Trust in the near future. Both of these properties are offered for lease and will soon be contributing factors to the economic success of the Trust Corporation.