When I headed out to last night's Pottstown Metropolitan Area Regional Planning Committee meeting, I glanced at the agenda and figured the big story would be Sanatoga Green.
Boy was I wrong.
It was on the agenda, but there was not much to say. It has been tinkered with, but remains the same basic plan.
More interesting was the presentation by John Lesher, chief environmental planner for the Montgomery County Planning Commission, who talked about Pottstown's sustainability plan.
It's the only one in the state, to his knowledge anyway, that includes both a borough and a school district, so let's polish our buttons on that one.
One of the more interesting snippets to come out of Lesher's talk -- we covered the plan fairly extensively back in January when it was adopted -- was how much the environment in which we live affects our health.
|Here is the graphic.|
He showed a graphic from a study that showed how much more important environment, lifestyle and special factors determine our lifespans -- more than genetics or infectious agents.
We spend 90 percent of our health money on medical care, but it is only response for 10 to 20 percent of how long we live or how healthy we are.
Here's the sound bite, "zip codes are more important than genetic codes" in determining our lifespan and over health, he said. Meaning that effort put into things like making Pottstown a nicer place to live actually help us to live longer.
Along those lines, the regional planners took an important vote and agreed to once again be the umbrella organization for the Pottstown Area Regional Recreation Committee and, hopefully, the retaining of director Michael Lane.
Upper Pottsgrove Township Manager Carol Lewis outlined that Lane and his predecessor, Justin Keller, had collectively obtained about $300,000 for each of the six towns that participate in in paying for his services.
Each town currently pays about $5,000, this due to a $100,000 grant from the state which expires next year, and a matching grant from the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation.
Next year, without the state grant, the price may rise to about $8,000 unless New Hanover and East Coventry -- the two towns which do not participate -- decide to jump into the pool with the other towns.
"Pottstown has definitely benefited from this," said Councilman Ryan Procsal.
The planners voted unanimously to continue to be the umbrella organization. Lewis said the recreation committee will make presentations over the next few months to the boards of the participating municipalities -- and the non-participating ones if they want to consider it -- to get their approval for the funding.
And now, here are the Tweets from the meeting: