Harrisburg, Pa (April 13, 2021)  The Borough of Modena was honored this week with a 2022 Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence.

The awards are presented annually to municipalities, local government officials, and organizations for their dedication and commitment to strengthening their communities and better serving their residents.

Modena Borough Council President Jennifer Daywalt accepted the award in the “Responding to Adversity” category on Wednesday at a special ceremony at the State Museum in Harrisburg. She was joined by Mayor Mike Harvey, Council Vice President Beau Tilghman, Secretary Victoria Cloud, and several borough council members, including Nicole Ewing and Felicia Handley.

“I am humbled and honored by this recognition from the governor’s office. Modena is a great community filled with caring and compassionate residents,” Daywalt said. “Although we have faced many challenges recently, we move forward and continue to make Modena a community to be proud of. I am thankful to have such great council, mayor and staff to work with. Without them, this wouldn’t be possible.”

State Senator Carolyn Comitta was on hand to personally congratulate Daywalt and the borough on receiving the recognition.

“As a former mayor and council member, I understand and appreciate just how important the work of our local government officials and staff is in ensuring strong, reliable public services and improving the overall quality of life in our communities,” she said. “Congratulations to Modena on receiving this recognition and I look forward to continuing to work to support the borough and all of the municipalities across Chester County.”

Modena was selected for the statewide award in part for its ongoing efforts to acquire and restore the historic Mode House and property located on 2.5 acres at 120 North Brandywine Ave in the borough.

Also known as the “McCain Property,” the home is thought to have been originally built in the late 18th century by William Mode, a well-respected Quaker and descendent of some of the earliest settlers in the area. At one point, the home sat near a Brandywine-powered mill—which processed grist, wood, and wool—established and run by the Mode family, from which the borough’s name is derived. Sadly, over time, it was abandoned and has fallen into considerable disrepair.

Through leadership of Daywalt and other community members, leaders, and groups, Modena is working to acquire and cleanup the property with the aim of preserving the historic structure as the borough’s administrative office and community center and developing the existing site into a public park with open space, trails, a playground, and native gardens.

A community cleanup of the site is currently scheduled for Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Administrated by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Governor’s Center for Local Government Services, the Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence are presented annually in nine categories:

  • Building Community Partnerships.
  • Innovative Planning and Sound Land Use Practices.
  • Responding to Adversity.
  • Intergovernmental Cooperation.
  • Promoting Community/Economic Revitalization.
  • Information Technology.
  • Innovative Community/Governmental Initiatives.
  • Health & Wellness Initiatives.
  • Fiscal Accountability and Best Management Practices.

Each year, they are presented during “Local Government Week,” a time to honor the dedication of Pennsylvania’s local officials and encouraging citizens to learn how local government functions and affects each resident and business in the community.

With a population of under 600 residents, Modena is Chester County’s smallest municipality, and last year celebrated its Centennial Anniversary.