Thursday, August 15, 2013

Borough Briefs

A number of small items were approved Monday by borough council, all of them unanimously, although members Mark Gibson and Carol Kulp were both absent.

-- Council authorized the staff to submit an application to the Regional Recreation Mini-Grant program for $25,000 -- the maximum allowed -- for the replacement of the walking bridge in Riverfront Park.

The bridge, over a small stream near the Hanover Street bridge, was knocked out by a falling tree that fell during "Hurricane Irene."

Mark Flanders
(On a similar subject, Borough Manager Mark Flanders informed council that the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency had awarded the borough $64,000 reimbursement for costs associated with dealing with and cleaning up after the storm.)

The mini-grant program has been set up through the Pottstown Metropolitan Area Regional Planning Committee and is open only to those among the eight municipalities -- Pottstown, West Pottsgrove, Upper Pottsgrove, Lower Possgrove, Douglass (Mont.), New Hanover, East Coventry and North Coventry -- that comprise the committee that have elected to participate.

Funding comes from the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

-- Council also approved a motion to send a letter of support for the Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area's application to the William Penn Foundation for funding to implement the "River-Walk" concept in Riverfront Park.

During last week's work session, Assistant Borough Manager Erica Weekley told council that $100,000 is being sought to transform 30 acres of woodland in the park into an interpretive nature trail.

That, combined with the new 600 square-foot interpretive center in the Heritage Area's headquarters, which is in Riverfront Park, "is a draw for those using the trail, giving them something else to do."

-- Council also adopted an ordinance which will make a section of Spruce Street one-way south from Airy Street to Jefferson Avenue, as well as prohibiting U-turns on High Street and on Rosedale Drive, from Mulberry Street to Wilson Street, a change to prohibit U-turns now being made by parents picking up and dropping off students at the Wyndcroft School.

Plans for the extension of Keystone Boulevard
-- Council unanimously re-appointed Brian George to the Environmental Advisory Council for a three-year term; re-appointed Gail Palladino to the Codes Board of Appeals for a three-year term and approved Toroney's appoiintment of Kulp and Council Vice President Jeff Chomnuk (as an alternate) to the committee which will oversee the joint efforts with West Pottsgrove to extend Keystone Boulevard to Glasgow Street and further develop properties there.

Also appointed to that committee was Weekley.

-- Not appointed, however, is a new director of the codes department, which Flanders has said will be re-named the licensing and inspection department.

Last month, he informed council interviews were being conducted and subsequently, a candidate was identified. "But we could not come to terms," Flanders said. 

And so, the search will continue.

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