Articles on this Page
- 12/23/18--21:00: _Pottsgrove Students...
- 12/24/18--21:00: _Pottstown High Scho...
- 12/25/18--21:00: _Early Education Slo...
- 12/26/18--21:00: _'Noon Year's Eve' E...
- 12/27/18--21:00: _Arboretum to Host F...
- 12/28/18--21:00: _Celebrate Twelfth N...
- 12/30/18--08:15: _Limerick Generating...
- 01/01/19--11:53: _Polar Plunge Makes ...
- 01/02/19--21:00: _West Pottsgrove Poo...
- 01/04/19--21:00: _YWCA Foster Grandpa...
- 01/05/19--21:00: _Hear About Hiking t...
- 01/06/19--21:00: _Cap Off Holidays Wi...
- 01/07/19--21:00: _New Cop in Lower, M...
- 01/08/19--21:00: _Pottsgrove OKs Earl...
- 01/09/19--21:00: _2018 Starts With Sw...
- 01/10/19--21:00: _New Year Finalizes ...
- 01/12/19--21:00: _Nominate Exceptiona...
- 01/13/19--21:00: _Article 0
- 01/14/19--21:00: _Council May Allow C...
- 01/15/19--21:00: _Limerick Vote on Tr...
- 12/23/18--21:00: Pottsgrove Students Plowing Ahead With Their Art
- 12/24/18--21:00: Pottstown High School DECA Wins Big at Districts
- 12/25/18--21:00: Early Education Slots Still Open in Royersford
- 12/26/18--21:00: 'Noon Year's Eve' Event Set at Carousel for Dec. 29
- 12/27/18--21:00: Arboretum to Host Free Christmas Tree Recycling
- 12/28/18--21:00: Celebrate Twelfth Night Jan. 6 in Morlattan Village
- 01/01/19--11:53: Polar Plunge Makes the Start of 2019 'Official'
- 01/02/19--21:00: West Pottsgrove Pool's Fate Looms Large in 2019
- 01/04/19--21:00: YWCA Foster Grandparent Program Starts Monday
- 01/05/19--21:00: Hear About Hiking the Entire Appalachian Trail
- 01/06/19--21:00: Cap Off Holidays With Pottsgrove Manor Workshop
- 01/07/19--21:00: New Cop in Lower, More Route 422 Work Coming
- 01/08/19--21:00: Pottsgrove OKs Early Bird 3-Year Pact With Teachers
- 01/09/19--21:00: 2018 Starts With Swath of Re-Development Plans
- 01/10/19--21:00: New Year Finalizes Fire Company Consolidation
- President, Tom Walters;
- 1st Vice President, Rich Flynn;
- 2nd Vice President, Scott Miles;
- Treasurer, Don Andes;
- Ass't Treasurer, Billy Rumler;
- Financial Secretary, Steph Rumler;
- Ass't Financial Secretary, Sandy Fota;
- Recording Secretary, Mike Lynch;
- Ass't Recording Secretary, Monica Lanigan.
- President, Tom Walters;
- 1st Vice President, Rich Flynn;
- 2nd Vice President, Scott Miles;
- Treasurer, Don Andes;
- Fire Chief, Ken Shuler;
- Member, Denny Rumler;
- Member, Joel Saylor;
- Member, Ben Andes;
- Member, Steve Waldman.
- Fire Chief, Ken Shuler;
- Deputy Fire Chief, Glen Russell;
- Assistant Fire Chief, Billy Rumler,
- Battalion Chief, Chris Miller;
- Captain, Mike Latshaw;
- Captain, Bob Brock;
- Lieutenant, Scott Miles;
- Lieutenant, Rich Flynn;
- Lieutenant Sean McCarraher;
- Lieutenant, Cameron Beebe;
- Lieutenant, Rickey Shuler,
- Chief Engineer, Steve Waldman;
- Fire Police Captain, Mike Machion.
- 01/12/19--21:00: Nominate Exceptional Women for YWCA tribute
- 01/13/19--21:00: Article 0
- 01/14/19--21:00: Council May Allow Carousel to Run Mini-Golf Course
- 01/15/19--21:00: Limerick Vote on Truck Plan Angers Opponents
Members of the Pottsgrove Middle School Art Club with their work on a township snow plow.
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by the Pottsgrove School District.
Pottsgrove Middle School students in the Art Club recently participated in the "Paint the Plow" program.
Art Club Members are:
Kim Kalinoski -- Advisor
Pottstown High School's DECA team included many champions at the District 8 Annual Competition Dec. 17.
|Pottstown DECA's medal winners.|
Of the 31 who participated, 12 earned a spot to compete at the State competition to be held in Hershey, Pennsylvania in February.
Pottstown High School teachers Lyndsay Hashem and Kevin Pascal are the DECA team sponsors.
The top six contestants in individual categories and the top four teams in team events moved on to the state competition.
Destyn Snyder, a senior at PHS, not only earned the highest role play score in the Sports and Entertainment category, he earned First place in the category.
London Aquino, a senior earned the highest test score in the Human Resource Management category and placed Fourth in her category.
Pottstown Award Winners
Principles of Business Management & Administration
Principles of Business Management & Administration
Principles of Hospitality and Tourism
Principles of Marketing
Accounting Applications Series
Accounting Applications Series
Entrepreneurship Individual Series
Hotel and Lodging Management Series
Human Resource Management
Marketing Communications Series
Restaurant & Food Service Management
Sports & Entertainment Marketing Series
DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. DECA enhances the preparation for college and careers by providing co-curricular programs that integrate into classroom instruction, apply learning, connect to business and promote competition.
Blogger's Note: The following was provided by YWCA Tri-County Area.
The Royersford Early Education Center, operated by YWCA Tri-County Area, still has openings for infants and toddlers, and in its Pre-K Counts classrooms.
The Royersford Early Education Center is at the Royersford United Methodist Church, 380 Church St.
Pre-K Counts is a state-sponsored preschool program for children 3-5 years old. Eligible families earn up to 300% of the federal poverty level. Class hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Students receive lunch daily.
YWCA Tri-County Area operated Pre-K Counts in Pottstown since 2010.
The Royersford center also has slots open for infants and toddlers. YWCA Tri-County Area accepts ELRC tuition subsidy for qualified families.
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by the Pottstown Children's Discovery Museum.
The Pottstown Children’s Discovery Center will be hosting a 'Noon Year’s Eve' Party for the whole family on Saturday, Dec. 29th at the Pottstown Carousel, 30 W. King St..
Festivities kick-off at 10 a.m. with crafts and games for kids. Every half hour a new activity will mark the countdown to Noon Years, culminating with a balloon drop.
This event is geared toward young children ages 2-10 and will feature piñatas, cookie decorating, and story time.
For the past year, museum Founders, Beth Desch, Jennifer Brown, and Karen Hudson, have been endeavoring to make a hands-on learning experience a reality here in Pottstown.
PCDC will partner with local schools to help bring their curriculum to life through exhibits and activities that emphasize learning through play.
At this time, two potential building sites have been identified and the Co-Founders are fundraising $1.8 million dollars to secure a location with the intent to open in 2021.
The museum aims to fuel an economic Renaissance by establishing Pottstown as family-friendly tourism destination.
In the near future, families could make a day-trip to the museum, ride the Carousel, have dinner at a local restaurant, and then finish their evening with a performance at Steel River Playhouse.
The possibilities are endless with new businesses opening in Pottstown every year and the nearby convenience of Manatawny Green Miniature Golf and Colebrookdale Railroad, and Memorial Park festivals.
Noon Year’s Eve tickets can be purchased at www.tcnetwork.org/pottstown-discovery-center. Tickets for adults are $10, children $7, and families $25.
For more information, follow the museum’s Facebook page at www.fb.com/PottstownKids
Blogger's Note: The following was provided by Green Allies.
The students of the non-profit GreenAllies organization will hold the annual Community Christmas Tree Recycling Program on BOTH Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, at the student-run Althouse Arboretum at 1794 Gilbertsville Road in Upper Pottsgrove.
The recycling day is open to everyone in the region and is free of charge (donations accepted).
Members of the public are encouraged to give their trees a second purpose and drive them to the Arboretum where community and student volunteers will assist each vehicle in removing the trees.
This community event is sponsored by GreenAllies with its mission to “Empower students to lead environmental sustainability efforts.”
If you have any questions, please call 267-371-2288 or email email@example.com
|The White Horse Tavern is decorated for the season.|
The Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County will present its first annual Twelfth Night Revelries event on Sat., Jan. 6 from 1 to 6 p.m.
Thought to originate in early Anglo-Saxon traditions, Twelfth Night evolved to mark the coming of the Epiphany, and the conclusion of the 12 days of Christmas.
Event admission is $5 per person.
The HPTBC is a non-profit organization that acquires, preserves, and maintains historically and architecturally significant properties in Berks County, Pennsylvania and educates Berks County and its’ visitors about the role these sites played in Pennsylvania and American history.
Limerick Generating Station donated $7,000 to the Pottstown Area Meals on Wheels.
“Giving back and helping our community is very important, especially during the holiday season,” said Libra. “We are proud to help Meals on Wheels provide essential nourishment to needy families this time of year
Each year, Limerick’s charitable donations and community sponsorships support organizations that focus on education, the environment, health and human services, the arts and community development.
Pottstown School Board
member Raymond Rose.
Fueled by coffee, hot dogs and sauerkraut -- and dressed in everything from matching pajamas, to tutus to full scuba body suits -- they took leave of the shoreline, and some might say their sanity, for a quick dip in the fast-moving current.
Swimmers waded into a small roped-off area of the river, due to the high water levels and rapid current, under the watchful eye of the dive rescue team there to safeguard the swimmers.
Among those in full rescue gear was West Pottsgrove Township Manager Craig Lloyd who, it turns out, is a fully certified scuba instructor and has been running with the dive team as a volunteer for a full seven years.
In fact, he volunteers with two dive teams, Lloyd said.
So yes, he knows his New Year's Day will be "cold and wet" every year, "so I take it easy on New Year's Eve," he joked.
|West Pottsgrove Township Manager|
Craig Lloyd, right, in full dive regalia.
Also among those making the plunge more "official," was Pottstown School Board member Raymond Rose; Pottstown Mayor Stephanie Henrick and fellow borough council members Joe Kirkland and Don Lebedynsky.
Council Vice president Carol Kulp was there too, but stayed dry on the shoreline.
Rose took the plunge with about as many inches of skin covered as is humanly possible, while his fellow board member, John Armato, again the declined the ritual of an actual dunking.
No doubt, should Armato ever decide to take the plunge, he would insist on swimming to the North Coventry shore on the other side.
|Pottstown School Board member John Armato, right, |
admires Mayor Stephanie Henrick's swimwear.
In the true appreciation of the absurd nature of Pottstown's river ritual, Henrick and Lebedynsky donned ballet tutus.
Hey I'm not kidding. I'm a professional journalist. I wouldn't just make something up .....
Look, I've posted pictures OK? Geez.
Others wore hats, crying baby face masks or even swim trunks that left little to the imagination (yeah, we're talking about you Mosaic Community Garden Manager Dan Price.)
|Hey, if you're going to jump into a river in the middle of winter,|
you might as well do it in style.
For reasons that escape explanation, the Pottstown Parks and Recreation Personnel -- who deserve our thanks for staging and turning out for this event every year without fail -- settled upon an AC/DC sound track through the loudspeakers prior to the 10:30 dunking, giving the lead up to the affair a distinctive feel that I will decline to describe, other than to say it may not have been welcomes by those of us who were a little hungover.
After a well-delivered rendition of the national anthem, which was accompanied by an unsought partnership with several howling dogs in the crowd, the few, the brave and the unbalanced, left dry land for the Schuylkill's 45-degree embrace.
Parks and Recreation Director Michael Lenhart estimated about 75 went into the water.
Far more kept a good grip on their common sense and watched them do it.
It looked like this:
Afterward, the moistened revelers scuttled to the other side of the park where a bonfire warmed and dried them much more quickly and thoroughly than one might have thought possible.
As always, the Phillies Fire Company was on hand, firehoses in hand, to tame the blaze and to ensure it did not get out of hand.
And so we lumber into another year, the turn of the century fading in the rear-view mirror.
Let's hope it's a good one for all of us.
It's the middle of winter, so obviously, it's time to talk about the township's swimming pool.
As the township commissioners met for the first time in 2019, Commissioners Chairman Steve Miller announced it's time for some kind of resolution regarding the township's pool.
It's been three years since the pool was open for a full season. Previous attempts to hire an outside agency or company to run the pool, located on Anthony Wayne Drive, have resulted either in the pool being closed halfway through the season, or the pool not opening at all.
"We can't have it just sitting there, or we're going to have mechanical problems eventually," Miller said.
He appointed Commissioners Pete LaRosa and Mark Green to head up a committee to make a final determination on the facility, formerly the private Colonial Pool, which the township purchased in 2010 after the club could not pay its property tax bill.
"I agree 100 percent," said LaRosa, who has championed the pool's cause since the township bought it and brought in at least one vendor who operated it for half a season.
"We've got to find someone to open it, or do something else with it," LaRosa said.
Miller said an invitation for the public to offer suggestions should be posted on the township's website.
Commissioner Charles Valentine said perhaps the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation should be approached about playing a role as well.
Operated since 1968 as a private, nonprofit community pool, the Colonial fell behind on its tax payments and finally fell victim to a combination of age, a slow economy and more homes with their own pools in their backyards.
The township paid $71,000 in back taxes and unpaid bills to take over the pool in 2010.
The township also put as least $250,000 into refurbishing the pool facility by the time it re-opened in August, 2011.
New Solicitor, Same Manager
In other township business, the commissioners made a number of appointments, including Jamie Ottaviano of Yergey,m Daylor, Allebach, Scheffey and Picardi as its new solicitor, replacing Charles Bresnan, who had served in the post since 2016.
No reason was given for the change.
One thing that remained the same is the township manager, Craig Lloyd, who was given a new two-year contract by a unanimous vote last night.
There is no pay increase in the contract's terms. Lloyd, who said he is a township resident and wants to keep costs down, will continue to be paid $97,000 a year.
And with that, here are the Tweets from last night's 25-minute meeting.
West Pottsgrove Pool's Fate Looms in 2019
|Interested in becoming a Foster Grandparent? Orientation for the county'wide program starts Monday at YWCA Tri-County Area in Pottstown.|
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by YWCA Tri-County Area.
Older adults seeking volunteer opportunities in their Montgomery County communities can once again join the Foster Grandparents Program, now sponsored by YWCA Tri-County Area.
Foster Grandparents Program, a program of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service, engages adult volunteers age 55 and older to stay active by serving children and youth in their communities.
Current Foster Grandparent sites include elementary and child care centers throughout Montgomery County, including the Pottstown School District, Head Start, Hancock Elementary School, Cole Manor Elementary School, Creative Care Red Hill, and Play & Learn Lansdale.
Volunteers in the Foster Grandparents Program receive a stipend if income-eligible. Foster grandparents also receive continuous support, training, meals, and transportation if needed.
YWCA Tri-County Area currently is in the process of placing volunteers throughout Montgomery County.
For information about volunteer sites or orientation, contact Ashley Faison at 610-323-1888, ext. 210, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by Friends of Hopewell Furnace.
On Sunday, Jan. 13, the Friends of Hopewell Furnace invite the public to witness “Adventures on the Appalachian Trail” with Thru-Hiker Neil Koch.
According to the Appalachian Trail Conference, completing the entire 2,190 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in one trip is considered to be a mammoth undertaking. Each year, thousands of hikers attempt a thru-hike; only about one in four makes it all the way. A typical thru-hiker takes five to seven months to hike the entire A.T.
Neil Koch serves as the chief of interpretation at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. Before joining the Hopewell staff in 2018, Koch worked as a Park Guide, Park Ranger, and Supervisory Park Ranger at National Mall and Memorial Parks in the heart of Washington, D.C.
Established in 1994, the Friends of Hopewell Furnace is the official non-profit fundraising arm of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. A 501(c)3 citizen organization, its mission is to support the preservation, maintenance and programs of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. Donations to the Friends may be tax deductible according to the rules set by the Internal Revenue Service.
While at the park, visitors are encouraged to explore the landscape, go into the village, tour the buildings, and learn about iron making and why Hopewell Furnace is important to our nation’s history.
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by Pottsgrove Manor.
Make your cap the star of your period wardrobe while perfecting your hand sewing skills at Pottsgrove Manor’s Women’s Cap Workshop.
Caps were worn by women of all social classes during the 18th century.
Space is limited and the materials fee is $45 per person. Ages 10+ and, as caps can be tricky, some sewing experience is recommended but all levels are welcome to register for this workshop.
Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422 near the Carousel at Pottstown and Manatawny Green Miniature Golf Course, in Pottstown. Pottsgrove Manor is operated by the Montgomery County Division of Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites.
For more information, call 610-326-4014, or visit the website at ww.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor. Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pottsgrovemanor.
Talk about burying the lead.
It wasn't until the very end of last night's Lower Pottsgrove Commissioners meeting that Township Manager Ed Wagner broke the big news.
For the past six years, residents and drivers on Route 422 have been dealing with the $307 million project to replace two bridges over the Schuylkill River, at Armand Hammer Boulevard, over the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks, as well as pavement and access ramp re-construction.
Well, far from being over, another phase is about to begin.
Wagner said he received notice from PennDOT that the roughly five miles from the Royersford to Sanatoga interchanges is the next area to be under construction.
The work is slated to begin this spring and will last into 2021, Wagner said.
Pavement will be repaired and replaced, as will bridge decking along with drainage repairs and the installation of rumble strips.
"Lane closures will occur on the non-peak hours," said Wagner in what could certainly be called cold comfort to those whose patience has already been frayed daily by six years of delays and construction.
But that's not all folks.
The construction of one of two new Route 422 bridges
over the Schuylkill photographed in 2014.
According to the web site set up by PennDOT to track Route 422 work, more is coming.
Design work is currently underway for work on 1.7 miles of expressway from the bridge over the railroad to the bridge over Park Road.
More Route 422 Work Coming Our Way
With a 7-1 vote Tuesday night, the Pottsgrove School Board approved an early bird contract with the teachers association that will add nearly $2 million to the district's payroll over the next three years.
Patricia Grimm was absent and board member Bill Parker cast the only vote against the contract.
Megan DeLena, president of the Pottsgrove Education Association, said her membership approved the pact Monday night by "an overwhelming" majority.
DeLena said the contract re-structures the salary scale with a goal of raising the salary of starting teachers.
"That will make our district more competitive in keeping younger teachers here with other, larger school districts paying much higher salaries," said School Board Vice President Al Leach.
The salary re-structuring means different teachers in different steps in the salary scales will receive different raises, so the most accurate way to describe the financial impact is the additional money is how much it will add to the payroll.
Although he did not have the exact numbers at hand, Superintendent William Shirk said the higher salaries with add 3.3 percent to the payroll, or "more than $600,000," each year, meaning by 2022, the payroll will have risen by at least $1.8 million.
JUST ADDING THIS PHOTO: Because of how incredibly cute and
charming Lilly is. (She giggled through her whole presentation.)
Teachers who have been in the state retirement system for at least 15 years and at Pottsgrove for at least 10 of those years, concurrently, are eligible to receive a $20,000 pre-tax contribution to a 403B retirement account.
However, at least 12 teachers have to accept the offer before it's valid, said Assistant Superintendent Robert Harney.
With 12 teachers taking it, despite the various savings depending on their seniority and resulting salary, the district will "come out ahead" financially, with each additional retiree above 12 adding to that financial benefit for the district, Harney said.
That retirement incentive expires June 31.
Another change in the new contract is that after six years of no change, money will be added to the stipend paid to coaches and staff club advisers.
In the Pottsgrove system, different positions are worth different stipends, calculated using a point system with each point worth $119. A common stipend is worth five points, said DeLena, which adds up to $595.
What the new contract will do is add $3 to the value of a point each year for the first two years, meaning two years after the contract goes into affect on July 1, that same five-point stipend will be worth $625.
Before voting against the contract, Parker said while he believes Pottsgrove's teachers are "the best" and that "no amount of money could properly compensate them for what they deserve," that he could nevertheless not support a contract in which some teachers would get raises of "$6,000, $7,000 or $8,000 a year."
School Board President Robert Lindgren reminded the board that in 2011, teachers accepted a one-year contract that froze salaries and again in 2012, when the economy was teetering, the teachers union "agreed to pay freezes to help out our community, and we have long memories."
He said early bird contracts such as this occur only if "there is enough trust on one or both sides."
The board, administration and teachers union representatives "have developed good relationships" making the exploration of an early bird contract possible, Lindgren said.
Negotiations began in September, DeLena said, adding that the tentative agreement was explained to the teachers at a Thursday meeting in advance of the Monday vote.
"I think the mood, the character of a school district flows from the top down," DeLena said when asked about the relationship between the two sides at the negotiating table.
"It was a collaborative effort," said Shirk. "We've laid a really good foundation in the last three years and to have seven years of labor peace means so much."
"We have some friction points and some disagreements, but we've moving in the right direction and we're trying to build on that," said Lindgren.
"You never get everything you want, but we've taken care of some inequities in the steps and we do things incrementally," said Lindgren. "I'm very happy to be able to for this."
Tax Cap Pledge
In other news of interest to taxpayers, the board unanimously to keep any tax increase in the 2019-2020 budget at the state-imposed cap of 3 percent or less.
The vote allows the district to avoid the process of putting together and adopting a preliminary budget in February that invariably changes as the figures become clearer closer to the end of the fiscal year.
Last month, the Pottstown School Board voted to do the same.
And with that, here are the Tweets from the meeting:
Pottsgrove OKs 3-Year Teacher Pact
Three redevelopment projects received a favorable reaction from borough council Wednesday night with all three seemingly on track for final approval Monday.
The first and the one in the biggest rush were the representatives of Catalyst Commercial Development in Conshohocken.
Dollar General at Former Subway
They were before council with a plan to re-develop the property at 1432 E. High St., which many may know as the site of the former Subway restaurant.
Photos by Evan Brandt|
Aaron Repucci, left, of Catalyst Commercial Development,
shows council a rendering of the upgraded High Street site.
Catalyst representative Aaron Repucci told council the plan is to demolish the portion of the building that once held the Subway to create more parking and create space for a Dollar General store.
The re-development will also allow for expansion of both King Pizza and the popular Three Brothers Grill Mexican restaurant there.
The developers were asking for council to waive the land development process, arguing that they are actually creating more parking and open space, as well as repairing and extending the facade to hide the utilities visible on the roof of the building.
Also, said Repucci, Dollar General is anxious to move in soon. "they want this lease signed yesterday, and they want to be in by August," he said, adding that any delay may cause them to lose the tenant, whose tenancy makes the project financially feasible.
Despite the fact that the borough engineer's review letter had only been received that evening, council seemed inclined to try to accommodate the project, particularly given that some of the elements sought by the planning commission, such as some brick and faux iron fencing similar to that along the Wawa and McDonald's, was added to the plan.
Another re-development project calls for the addition of a play area and better driv-thru circulation at the Burger King at 1515 E. High St., which will result in the loss of 15 parking places.
Borough Manager Justin Keller told council the restaurant's business is changing and more of its customers want to get their food at the drive-thru so the proposed changes will allow the addition of a second drive-thru kiosk.
Council raised no objects to this plan and will vote on it at Monday night's meeting.
Over on the other side of town, Creative Health returned with its final plans for a "long-term structured residence" at 71 Robinson St.
|Creative Health CEO Andrew Trentacoste, right, outlines|
plans for the new structured residence facility.
The rooms will be used to prepare patients to be transitioned back into the community and is similar to the facility that Creative Health already operates at 11 Robinson Street, said Andrew Trentacoste, Creative Health CEO.
Borough Solicitor Charles D. Garner Jr. said although not required to, Creative Health has made a sizable contribution to a fund to pay for a new traffic signal in that part of town when it becomes necessary.
The planning commission has recommended preliminary/final site plan approval on which council will vote Monday night.
Expanding Business and More Plans
Peggy Lee-Clark, executive director of Pottstown Area Industrial Development, better known as PAID, also announced that the Robinson Street/Shoemaker Road area of town is about to become the home of a borough business that is expanding.
A business called Turn 5 is doubling its work force and, from 3 to 8 p.m. today is accepting applications for new part-time and full-time positions.
|One potential development for the Keystone Boulevard area|
near the intersection with Route 100 in the borough.
Lee-Clark is also shepherding the plan for the re-development of Keystone Boulevard, the strip of land between West High Street and the Schuylkill River, toiward approval by both the borough and West Pottsgrove township
First outlined in May, the Keystone Employment and Economic Plan for the area is now ready for adoption and calls for industrial, research and development, office and residential elements.
Monday night, council will vote on the plan which calls for specific pre-approved development.
The Mayor Looks Back at 2018
Before we move on to the Tweets of the meeting, take a few minutes to hear and watch Mayor Stephanie Henrick give a retrospective of the past year during her Mayor's Report last night.
And here are the Tweets:
2019 Starts with Redevelopments
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by the newly formed Limerick Fire Department.
Effective Jan. 1, the consolidation of Linfield Fire Company and Limerick Fire Company into the Limerick Fire Department, Montgomery County Station 51 was completed.
This process has brought together two organizations with over two hundred years of fire and rescue experience into one department.
The department will operate out of two stations serving the residents of Limerick Township. The Limerick Station at 390 West Ridge Pike in Limerick and the Linfield Station at 1077 Main St in Linfield.
The new Administrative Officials of the Limerick Fire Department will be:
The Fire Officers of the Limerick Fire Department are:
The fire apparatus designations for response on Montgomery County fire radio and Chester County fire radio will be as 51 units.
A new website is in the process of being designed along with social media accounts which will be announced in the coming weeks.
|Two of last year's Tribute to Exceptional Women Winners|
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by YWCA Tri-County Area.
Nominations for 2019’s Tribute to Exceptional Women, sponsored by YWCA Tri-County Area, are now open.
Community members are invited to nominate women for their achievements in leadership, service, and career in the following categories: Arts, Business, Education, Health, Racial Justice, Non-Profit, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), the Rising Star Award for women 18-30, the Coretta Scott King Award for an agent of change, and Sally Lee Lifetime Achievement Award.
Nomination forms may be found online at www.ywcatricountyarea.org
The 24rd annual Tribute to Exceptional Women will be Thursday, March 28, at the RiverCrest Golf Club and Preserve in Phoenixville. Tribute to Exceptional Women recognizes women for their ability to lead by example, embrace community responsibility, and excel in their careers. YWCA Tri-County Area has been proud to provide this opportunity for the community to recognize and celebrate the exceptional contributions made by women.
Tickets for the event will go on sale in February. The evening’s program includes cocktails and a popular silent auction and basket raffle, the Tribute dinner, and presentation of awards.
Proceeds from Tribute to Exceptional Women support YWCA Tri-County Area’s mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. YWCA Tri-County Area is a leader in advocacy for women and girls, and educates children, youth, families, and communities through programming that empowers individuals to learn and grow across the lifespan, providing the foundation for a healthy and thriving community; empowers people to learn, grow, and take a stand; and advocates for the health and safety and empowerment and economic development of women and girls, and for racial and social justice.
|The Jared Box Project results.|
|The Toy Drive|
Students used the holiday season as an outreach opportunity in their community by organizing a food
drive as well as a toy drive.
Initiated by one can of corn, the food drive gained momentum over the course of December. The West-Mont family collected five large bags of food along with many boxes of canned goods.
The contributions were donated to the Boyertown Multi-Services Food Pantry as well as Kingdom Life Church in Pottstown.
West-Mont Senior, Nic Collins organized the food drive. “We are very thankful for all of the donations,” Collins said. “Let all the glory be to Jesus!”
West-Mont Christian Academy’s National Honor Society Chapter held a toy drive for the entire school community to take part in. Small toys were collected throughout the month of December.
The National Honor Society members packed containers with toys as a part of the Jared Box Project.
|The Food Drive|
Students at West-Mont Christian Academy are eager to come together in outreach and West-Mont continues to provide opportunities for students to take initiative in service.
For more information call 610-326-7690 or visit www.west-mont.org.
After unanimously approving three re-developments and one major plan for the development of Keystone Boulevard which I'm quite sure you all read in Sunday's Mercury ..... right? .... the surprise was sprung.
They have agreed to the borough's terms for having the carousel take over the operation of the adjacent Manatawny Green Mini Golf.
Located on the High Street side of the parcel adjacent to the Carousel at Pottstown, Manatawny Green was first opened in 2014 and although it has lost money every year, "we were satisfied with the growth," said Parks and Recreation Director Michael Lenhart.
Satisfied, that is, until last year.
With one of the wettest summers on record, Manatawny Green had an operating loss of $26,000 in 2018, said Keller.
Much of that is due to the $42,000 in seasonal staffing costs. All of those hired for the season are eligible for unemployment benefits when the season ends, "and it can get quite expensive," he said.
|Manatawny Green on it's first day of operation in 2014.|
In 2018, Manatawny Green brought in $29,878," said Keller, $23,000 from golf and another $7,000 or so from concessions.
Under the three-year lease agreement council unanimously authorized Borough Solicitor Charles D. Garner Jr. to draft, the Carousel would pay the borough $3,500 each year to lease the space.
The borough would still remain responsible for cutting the grass, plowing the snow and paying utilities.
|Board members take the first ride on the Derek Scott Saylor |
Memorial Carousel in 2016.
The property was obtained through the support of Montgomery County's Open Space Program, the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, and the PECO Green Region Program.
Two years after Manatawny Green opened in 2014, it was the Carousel at Pottstown's turn.
It opened in 2016 just in time for Christmas after 16 years of effort. Since then it has covered its costs and operated in the black.
The solid wood animals on the carousel were carved by Disney
carousel carver Ed Roth and painted and finished by volunteers.
Rides on the carousel are only $2, and it makes most of its money from hosting events.
The most recent was a "Noon Years Eve" for kids on Dec. 29, which raised money for a planned Pottstown Children's Discovery Center.
Last year, members of the carousel board told council they hope to add a catering kitchen to the facility in 2019, making it more attractive for events like weddings and parties.
Control of the concession stand at the mini-golf may eliminate the need to build a separate snack bar at the carousel facility.
Located across King Street from Memorial Park and just over a block from Riverfront Park and the Schuylkill River Trail, the site is also near to Pottsgrove Manor, the ancestral site of Pottstown
Concept design for the Pottstown station
for the Colebrookdale Railroad in memorial Park.
Plans call for the construction of a Victorian period rail station in Memorial Park.
Taken together, the carousel, mini-golf, railroad, Pottsgrove Manor, Trilogy Park BMX track, River of Revolutions interpreative center in Riverfront Park and art galleries in the Montgomery County Community College comprise Pottstown's TRec district, which stands for tourism and recreation.
The concept was created with an aim toward attracting financing by demonstrating the cooperation between the government and non-profit entities and applying jointly.
Both Manatawny Green and the Schuylkill Greenway sites also provide free bicycles through the Bike Pottstown program. One is also planned for the colebrookdal Railroad station.
Most of the other matters at last night's meeting were routine.
Here are the Tweets.
Carousel May Take Over Mini-Golf
Photo from screenshot
The proposed truck manufacturing and repair facility, shown by the red marker, is opposed by residents of Bella Rosa Court, Parnell Lane, Perry Court and West Cherry Lane
Two controversial developments that drew a crowd of more than 70 to the Dec. 18 Limerick Supervisors meeting were back on the agenda Tuesday night for crucial votes.
But while those opposed to the TP Trailers and Truck Equipment plan on 10 acres of land at 181 Limerick Center Road, were out again in force, no one showed up in opposition to the Restaurant Depot proposal at the corner of Buckwalter and Township Line roads.
|The Restaurant Depot plan.|
More than a month ago, about half the crowd of 75 were there in opposition to the plan, saying it would add too much traffic to an already dangerous intersection.
But last night, no one spoke, no one objected and the board of supervisors quickly and unanimously approved the preliminary site plan for the project.
And although the end result for the TP Trailers project was the same -- a unanimous vote to approved the preliminary site plan -- the path to that vote was strewn with public objections and some spirited defense of the board by the board members themselves.
Township solicitor Joseph McGrory Jr. kicked off the deliberations by explaining as per instructions from last month, he had prepared two resolutions.
One approved the project without conditions, and another imposed the condition that the trailers (or shipping containers) be stacked no higher than two.
The problem, he said, is that the township has already determined that existing ordinances allow
|The preliminary site plan for the truck facility approved last night.|
In fact, it's the fact that the plan meets the zoning ordinance in every way -- no waivers, no variances -- that locked the supervisors into approving it.
McGrory said that despite "trying every trick in the book," he could not convince Tom Perkins, owner of TP Trailers and Truck Equipment, who owns the parcel with his sister, to agree to that condition.
To approve the plan and place those conditions, however "reasonable" they may seem, would simply result in Perkins lawyer, Mark Kaplin, seeking to overturn them in court, McGrory said.
Kaplin has said his client would accept those conditions if the township, and the opposing neighbors, were to back his client's intention to seek a zoning variance to allow him to sell vehicles at the Limerick Center Road site, which would allow the trailers to be stored at his other location on Ridge Pike, but the supervisors have not agreed to that.
As a result, they were left essentially with the option of voting to approve the preliminary plan without imposing any conditions. "If it were in my neighborhood, I would still have to vote for it," said Supervisor Elaine DeWan.
To vote against approving a plan that meets all the ordinances would not only open up the township to a legal action they would likely lose, it would also likely mean the township's liability insurance carrier would not cover legal costs, said Township Manager Dan Kerr.
It could even make the supervisors themselves personally liable, the supervisors said.
But for several of the project's opponents in the audience, that argument did not wash.
"You can never convince me your personal assets are at stake," said Bernard Enright of Bayberry Lane, who said he has worked in the insurance business for 30 years.
|Preston Lutwiler speaks to the board about options after the vote.|
"Breaking the law is not courageous," said Supervisor Kara Shuler. "I am not breaking the law for this township."
When resident Preston Lutwiler said the supervisors had taken the "path of least resistance," Supervisor Thomas Neafcy called the comment "a cheap shot."
At one point, resident Darren Thompson asked Supervisors Chairman Ken Sperring to recuse himself from voting because he has a business relationship with Perkins.
Sperring says as a business owner himself, he has purchased parts from Perkins but since, as McGrory confirmed, he has no financial interest in whether Perkins plan is approved or not, there is no conflict of interest requiring he recuse himself.
He said if the other supervisors want him to recuse himself he would -- they didn't -- and said it would not be fair to them to "escape" from having to take would looked like an unpopular vote.
ON A HAPPIER NOTE: Girl Scout Zenia A. Masani was
by the supervisors for achieving the
Gold Award, the highest honor
available to Girl Scouts.
She organized a summer soccer camp for girls.
approval, when and if that makes its way through the process, past the planning commission again and back to the supervisors for a final vote.
He and DeWan also suggested that residents show the same interest, and participate, in any hearings the zoning hearing board may hold if Perkins applies for the use variance which, McGrory said, "is very hard to get."
As the meeting wound down, Shuler said she and other supervisors were getting "brutally beat up in emails by people who don't understand our responsibilities. We have to think of everybody, not just the people who live on a particular street or development."
"Nothing about tonight made any of us happy," Shuler said. "We are the courageous ones sitting up here taking the beating. We get that you were upset about tonight's decision. We get that. Just cut us some slack. We have to take everything you throw at us and still try to protect you."
"I Am Not Breaking the Law for This Township!"