The Borough of Conshohocken Council has been trying for quite some time to find the resources to construct a dog park, and cater to what they view is a canine-loving town.
It appears that they may get their wish, as part of an unusual proposal from high-profile company Kynetic, which has recently taken up office space along the river.
According to Borough officials, the company is offering to build a dog park in the "100-foot strip" along the Schuylkill River, as long as they can build a helicopter pad right next to it.
"Kynetic has been desiring to have a helipad for quite some time," said council president Paul McConnell, adding that the company works with high-level clients in professional sports. "When they have people like the baseball commissioner or NFL commissioner coming into town, they want the ability to bring them right to the office."
Kynetic is a company owned by 38-year-old entrepreneur Michael Rubin, named one of the "15 Most Powerful CEOS under 40" by Forbes in 2010. McConnell says that Conshohocken recently recruited Kynetic over other suitors such as West Conshohocken and Lower Merion.
"The natural question is if we let them [build the pad], what do we get in exchange for it?" McConnell asked.
According to the council president, he and councilman Raj Gupta met with representatives from Kynetic to go over early details. McConnell said that the dog park would act as a sort of buffer between the helipad site and the to-be-constructed boathouse.
McConnell also said that the helipad would likely be low-use, and that Kynetic offered to train an individual to clear the park 25 minutes before a helicopter would land, and then reopen the park shortly after.
In addition, McConnell said that the Borough would own the helipad, and lease it to Kynetic, in order to prevent other businesses in town from requesting the right to build a helipad. He said emergency services were on board.
"The EMS, police, and fire chiefs said they were very much in favor," McConnell said. "From a emergency management situation, we have the full right to use it."
Councilmembers also stated that they believed the helicopter pad would have minimum impact to the community. A helicopter's flight path would take it over West Conshohocken and Lower Merion, any lights would be in the ground, and it would not be used as a refueling station, council said. In addition, early designs called for the integration of the currently existing walking trail.
McConnell believes it could be a win-win situation.
"The idea that you have this big deal company bringing in this kind of clientele to Conshohocken-- you can't buy that kind of PR," he said. "The other side is we get benefits like the dog park from it."
At the meeting, council voted to authorize solicitor Mike Savona to begin formal discussions with Kynetic about the proposal. Council said that a potential pad would also have to receive FAA approval.