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.

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