In what could be called a pave-a-thon of biblical proportions, all streets in the City of Lancaster will be paved on October 16th, and it’s all because of a little detour Pope Francis took during his visit in September.
After dining at the Park City Olive Garden last month, Pope Francis’ driver decided to take route 23 through Amish country, all the way to Valley Forge. But the Pope couldn’t help but notice how bumpy Chestnut St. was so he stopped by City Hall to discuss his experiences with Mayor Gray. “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, but the road to church is paved with good asphalt,” said Pope Francis during his meeting in the palatial N. Duke St. office of Mayor Rick Gray.
“Frankly, there’s just no money for paving, what with the many public art projects…and the rest of the money we need to finally end poverty,” proclaimed a stolid Mayor Gray.
It was then that Pope Francis made the mayor an offer he couldn’t refuse…$895,000,000 in lieu of taxes not paid by Catholic Church-owned properties in the city over the last 282 years. The funds came with two conditions: 1. The money must be used to pave every street in the city and 2. The money must be spent before the end of the Church’s fiscal year, October 31st. These conditions, along with the PennDOT rules stating that all asphalt must be laid before October 20th of each year, are necessitating the upcoming pave-a-thon.
Beginning at 6AM on Friday, October 16th, all vehicles must be moved to one of the city’s 7 parking garages or to the extra parking available at the Lancaster Amtrak station. Vehicles left after 7AM will be seized, per an obscure paragraph in the Articles of Confederation. Paving contractors from across the Susquehanna Valley will descend on the city and will work at
break-neck pace union pace to get all 700 miles of city streets paved in one day; the rain date is Monday, October 19th.