Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Of Pipes, Rails, Meters and Stations

Photo by Evan Brandt
A slide from Nathaniel Gust's presentation to the
Pottstown Borough Authority.
So it's not too often that you go to a water and sewer authority meeting and end up talking about an historic railroad.

But in Pottstown, anything can happen.

So who was at last night's Pottstown Borough Authority Meeting but Nathaniel Guest, the unsleeping champion of the Colebrokdale Railroad.

He was there with a problem.

To make the whole project work, the railroad needs to establish ts historic train station in Memorial Park in a location visible from High Street.

The problem is the best site is right on top of a sewer line that runs through Memorial Park.

He came to the Borough Authority with a request.

Read the Tweets below to find out what happened, as well as a $3 million project to help water meters get read remotely and $6 million in pending water and sewer projects in the borough.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Douglass and Upper Pottsgrove in One Night

So the life of the lowly municipal government reporter is nothing if not complicated.

Monday night, I attended the Douglass (Mont.) Supervisors meeting only to find them behaving like perfectly reasonable people.

What fun is that?

So on my way home, I stopped in at Upper Pottsgrove's Commissioner's meeting and caught the VERY tail end of that meeting, but got some interesting tips.

Some of them appear below, others, I will keep close to the vest....

Monday, August 18, 2014

Under Construction

Mercury Photo by John Strickler

The construction project at Pottsgrove High School will prevent normal parking and pick-up and drop-off procedures during the school year, Principal William Ziegler has announced.

There's another impact looming as a result of the construction and renovation project at Pottsgrove High School.

Principal William Ziegler has announced that School Lane, the road that links North Charlotte Street to the high school, will be closed for bus drop-off and pick-up during certain times on certain days.
Photo from Pottsgrove School Disrtict Web Site
It is not possible to drive around Pottsgrove High School 
during the construction project.

In the mornings, it will be closed from 7 to 7:35 a.m. Monday through Friday.

In the afternoons, it will be closed Wednesdays from 1:25 to 2 p.m., and on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 1:55 to 2:30 p.m.

Further, for those students who drive themselves to school, the south parking will be open from Kauffman Road only.

Students are still permitted to park in this lot and parking permits will be given out the first week of school.

Access around the building will be closed as well as the access through the football stadium-side of the building.

This is the entrance where parents are being asked to
drop-off and pick-up their students.
All parent pick-up and drop off is to take place at the high school's main entrance, the round lot adjacent to the district office.

Parents are asked to drop off their students and keep moving "to allow for other parents to get in."

For parent pick-up, the line will line up along the curb all the way past the district office entrance.

Also, be aware vehicles cannot make a left out of the front of that lot due to the closure of School Lane during dismissal.

Buses will be dropping off and picking up at the North Entrance of School along the 100 and Science corridor.

For more updates on the high school construction project, check out the page dedicated to it on the district web site.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Castor has High Praise for Pottstown's Carousel

Blogger's Note: The following is a transcript of comments made by Montgomery County Commissioners Bruce Castor at the conclusion of the commissioners meeting of Aug. 7, 2014 regarding his recent visit to the Carousel at Pottstown.

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor, right,

gets information from volunteer Jim Arms.
I have something to which I would like to commend the commissioners’ attention.

I visited the Carousel at Pottstown and I have to admit, I thought it was going to be a little bit silly, but it was as far from that as possible.

I was completely stunned by the carousel.

It is very close to the western campus of the community college, and also close to Pottsgrove Manor and the new miniature golf course they have there and also close to the Colebrookdale Railway, which is being established to take people to Boyertown.

Pottstown Borough Council President Steve Toroney,

and Borough Manager Mark Flanders explain
the advantages 
of the Carousel at Pottstown
to Commissioner Castor.
That is part of a Berks County and Montgomery County partnership to drive tourism in that western part of our county and eastern Berks County.

I was incredibly impressed by the carousel, which is the second oldest carousel in the country.

And the thing I found fascinating is the center pole the carousel revolves around is a re-purposed mast from a sailing ship from the Philadelphia Shipyard.

The carousel was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1902 and a local artist from Boyertown has repainted all the murals with great scenes of Montgomery County and, as part of the fundraising, painted in pictures of people’s children n period clothing and irs really quirte expertly done.

They are very very close to bring able to open up.

And this is part of a revitalization effort with all of these things right within walking distance, the community college, the carousel, which will have arcades and concessions, and Pottsgrove manor and the gold course and the railroad.

These people are thinking out there and they’re thinking in such a way by asking themselves how is
Commissioner Castor meets some of the project's volunteers.
it we can drive people to utilize the shops and restaurants and patronize these businesses so they don’t have to drive a long distance to go to each individual thing; it’s all centrally located.

So they’re looking for money and putting the finishing touches on the building and trying get things up and running.

Obviously, I’m not in a position to make such promises, but I promised to bring back the information they gave me and to give it to (Deputy COO Lee Soltysiak).

I flat-out said we are not in the business of giving money away, and we always look very carefully at that sort of thing and the first thing out of their mouths was that ‘we already have a donor willing to match dollar for dollar whatever money we can get in.

So they are really focusing on the need to drive tourism to a central location, to those resources to make it easy for families to do a lot of things in a small geographic area and they recognize that government is not the solution to every problem.

And I think that the people in Pottstown have their act together and this is a project I’m delighted I now know about.

And I hope in the future the county will be in a position where we can give it careful consideration and support it if we consider it worthy.

Friday, August 15, 2014

What Was That Sound? 'Author! Author!'

Photo by John Armato
Pottstown High School teacher and published author Marilyn Bainbridge with her book, and a handful of interested listeners.

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by John Armato, the unsleeping community relations director for the Pottstown School District.

What do you do if you have a young child who constantly wakes up in the night worried about noises that they hear? 

 Well, if you are Pottstown High School teacher Marilyn Bainbridge, you use your writing skills and become the author of a child’s literature book entitled “What Was That Sound?”

Bainbridge, who has three children of her own, was inspired to write the book to help one of her children who was a particularly light sleeper and would constantly wake up worried about noises in the night.

“I enjoy writing to express myself and entertain others. I saw this as an opportunity to help other parents address the problem of noises in the night,” said Bainbridge. 

 “Children’s literature has always been a topic that interested me and the book gave me a chance to express myself and hope to bring joy into the lives of little ones,” stated Bainbridge.

The 24-page illustrated book follows the adventure of one curious child who is awakened during the night and sets out to find out what was that sound.

Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the story is also available in eBook form. For more details, go to:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer Break's Over Pottsgrove

So, like many school boards, Pottsgrove takes July off and has no meetings.

I know you've all missed them, but guess what?

They're back.

Here are the Tweets from Tuesday night's meeting.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Late Night for Borough Council

Ah, you can back for part 2?

How very bold of you.

So for those of you who didn't see yesterday's post, a quick recap.

Monday night's conditional use hearing for the proposed Torres Mini-Mart at King and Washington went on so long, that the all-seeing overlords at the Digital Notebook information complex decided it was just too much information for one sitting.

They decided some of you might just like to know what happened at council, without having to plow through all the Torres testimony.

And so here you are, all sparkly clean, the Tweets from the regular council meeting.

Enjoy them in all their grandeur.