MANHEIM, Pa. – The Market Square in Manheim has been a staple of the small town for many years, but a potential facelift could be in store.
“We want to keep it beautiful. Right now it’s kind of fallen into disrepair and it’s not safe,” said Jason Horst, a local and co-owner of Horst Arts located at Market Square.
Some people in Manheim are in favor of the change, but many aren’t on board.
“It’s worked well for me and my business. I’ve been here for 32 years and I’ve raised my kids here,” said Eric Phillips, a local and business owner.
Phillips started a petition that has gained more than 600 signatures from those who don’t want to see changes come to the site. They are worried about traffic adjustments, among other things.
“What they are proposing to do is taking our pull-in diagonal spots and moving them to the curbside, back-in parking,” said Phillips.
According to the plan, roughly two dozen parking spots would be eliminated in the process. However, Horst believes the proposed changes wouldn’t knock any of the historic value.
“The changes being proposed are very straight forward. They are sticking with the historic nature of the town,” said Horst. “They’re not doing anything garish or inappropriate. It’s only going to enhance the historic beauty of the town.”
This is the talk of Manheim. Many business owners were hesitant to speak on camera because of all the tensions over this plan.
Yet, both sides agree that one positive outcome would be a crosswalk in the middle of the Square, giving people the freedom to cross the street safely.
“The positives are we would get a middle square crosswalk,” said Phillips. “I would like to see handicap access onto the business curb [for the] north and south business districts.”
That’s about all the two sides seem to agree on.