Thursday, September 10, 2020

Storm Damage Becomes Something to Laugh About

The bridge in Memorial Park was destroyed by the July 11, 2019 storm.
On Aug. 4, the downside of having a park by the creek made itself plain for the second straight year.

Tropical Storm Isaias dumped several inches of water on the Tri-County Area, and Manatawny Creek responded the way streams do, by putting water where no one wanted it.

Photos by Evan Brandt
Isaias's floodwaters in Memorial Park last month.
In basements.

Over streets.

And in Memorial Park.

Like last year's storm, which wiped out the relatively new (and higher) bridge over the creek, connecting the rest of the park to the spray park and playground on "the island," Isaias's floodwaters swept through Pottstown dog park, and across its baseball fields. 

Perhaps its a good thing the borough has not yet managed to replace the bridge, as it probably would have been washed out again, as columnist Tom Hylton wrote last week.

Manatawny Creek, swollen by Tropical Storm Isaias,
nearly overtopped the King Street bridge.
The damage was less severe, but these things add up to deficits in the Parks and Recreation Department's budget, and that's no laughing matter.

Except, that now it is.

And, it's you they want to laugh.

Wednesday night borough council unanimously granted permission for the department to hold a comedy night in Memorial Park on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. 

Normally council's permission would not be required, but the event is "adults only," and the department wanted people to be able to bring some booze along to get them laughing.

This is no random boozy laugh-fest. It's a fund-raiser to help pay for park repairs. It's being undertaken by Soul Joel's Comedy Club and Lounge. 

Damage to the bark park in Memorial Park in 2019.
And its being taken seriously by the borough, at least as far as COVID-19 is concerned. And that's why it's a BYOB event instead of the usual beer tent.

Only 200 people will be allowed to the ticketed event, and six-foot circles will be painted in the park, so people can come in, park their lawn chairs inside the circle with a cooler, and not have to keep getting up to go to the beer tent, standing in line and increasing the change of community spread of the airborne virus.

The size of the coolers will be limited to 20 quarts, so people don't too happy with their laughter.

Memorial Park ballfields have been damaged by
floodwaters for two straight years.
"A portion of each ticket sales will go directly to Pottstown Parks and Recreation. A similar event was held in a Boyertown park August2020, Comedy Under the Stars," Parks and Recreation Director Michael Lenhart wrote in his request to council.

Comedy fans must wear masks until they get to their circles, and must bring their own lawn-chair seating or picnic blankets. "When individuals leave their spots, they will be required to wear masks until they return to their seats," according to Lenhart.

"We think it can be done, and we think it can be done safely," said Keller.

Click here to read the Tweets about other stuff that happened at last night's meeting.

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