Pottstown Nets $110,000 In Unpaid Water Bills Through ‘Landlord Shutoffs’

POTTSTOWN, PA — When the third financial quarter started in July 1, nearly $200,000 in unpaid water and sewer bills loomed over the borough system’s finances.

By July 29, that number had been cut by more than half as the result of the borough’s fourth round of “landlord shutoffs.”

“It was very rewarding,” Bob Plenderleith, the borough’s utilities administrator, told the Pottstown Borough Authority last week.

“That level of return is outstanding,” said Finance Director Janice Lee.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140826/pottstown-nets-110000-in-unpaid-water-bills-through-landlord-shutoffs

Kefer Named New Pottstown School Board VP

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — The school board elected Andrew Kefer as its new vice president Monday night, filling the post left vacant by the Aug. 19 death of Dennis Wausnock .

But Kefer’s election did not happen without some objections.

Hylton argued Monday, “Since we knew we would need a vice president, it would have been appropriate to bring this up for discussion Thursday since (Ron) Williams had already indicated he would not be at tonight’s meeting.”

Hylton proposed tabling the motion, noting that solicitor Stephen Kalis had confirmed there is no legal requirement that a vice president be appointed immediately.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140826/kefer-named-new-pottstown-school-board-vp

Here To Help Job Fair In Pottstown

Tuesday, September 9th
10am-2pm

Sunnybrook Ballroom

50 Sunnybrook Road, Pottstown

Connect with businesses and organizations within the region who are seeking qualified employees.

Admission is free!
Information regarding Human Services agencies and

Veteran’s Services will also be available.

Explore training and educational programs available through local colleges and universities.

Bring multiple copies of your resume.

Job seekers should come prepared to complete applications.

Click here for more information.

Click here for a listing of registered organizations.
Click here if you wish to be an exhibitor.

 

**Pottstown Area Rapid Transit (PART) will make special stops at Sunnybrook Ballroom for the Job Fair.**

Click here for more information.

 

Presented by Senator Rafferty’s Office in partnership with Pennsylvania CareerLink and the TCN Workforce Development Committee.

Delays In Rupert Elementary School Construction Frustrate Pottstown School Board

POTTSTOWN — As recently as Aug. 14, Pottstown School Board members were assured by district administrators and construction consultants that renovation and expansion of Rupert Elementary School was on schedule for the opening of school on Sept. 2.

But just four days later, the administration announced that the school would not be ready on timeand students and staff would begin school in the former Edgewood Elementary School at 920 Morris St.

Three days after that announcement, frustrated school board members levied criticism at both the planning and execution of the project.

“To say I am disappointed in the efforts of the contractor is an understatement,” board member Ron Williams said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140822/delays-in-rupert-elementary-school-construction-frustrate-pottstown-school-board

Pottstown School Board Vice President Dennis Wausnock Dies At 77

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — The word most spoken by those reflecting on Tuesday’s death of longtime public official Dennis Wausnock, who served in public offices in the borough for more than 20 years, was “dedicated.”

Wausnock, 77, died Tuesday at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center after a long battle with congestive heart failure.

A U.S. Air Force veteran of the Korean War, Wausnock’s public service included 16 years on the Pottstown Borough Council, where he served as both vice president and president.

He was three years into his second four-year term on the Pottstown School Board, also serving as vice president, when he passed away.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140820/pottstown-school-board-vice-president-dennis-wausnock-dies-at-77

MCCC Holds Open Houses For High-Demand JobTrakPA Career Programs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will hold open houses in Blue Bell and Pottstown for individuals interested in learning more about its high-demand JobTrakPA career programs. Fall programs include Wastewater Technician; Health Information Technology; Medical Billing and Coding; and Warehouse and Logistics.

The open houses will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 9 from 6-7:30 p.m. at MCCC’s Central Campus, Parkhouse Hall room 112, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, and on Wednesday, Sept. 10 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the College’s West Campus, South Hall room 221, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.

JobTrakPA programs are funded in whole or in part by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor—Employment and Training Administration. The programs are designed to educate and train displaced workers in high-demand occupations. Deferred payment plans are available.

According to the U.S Department of Labor, 57 percent of workers in trade-related fields hold only a high school diploma or its equivalent, and close to 60 percent of Pennsylvania’s trade workers are between 40 and 60 years of age. Employers cite a critical shortage of qualified workers to fill jobs in the growing industries of advanced manufacturing, energy and health care technology.

For more information about JobTrakPA programs at Montgomery County Community College, visit http://www.mc3.edu/workforcedevelopment/jobtrak, call the JobTrakPA hotline at 215-461-1468 or email jobtrakpa@mc3.edu.

Rupert Won’t Be Ready In Time For First Day Of School

Editor’s note:  Many thanks to Tom Hylton for another boondoggle.

POTTSTOWN — When the newly renovated elementary schools open for the first day of school Sept. 2, Rupert Elementary School will not be one of them.

In a letter sent home to parents Monday afternoon, Superintendent Jeff Sparagana said the Rupert school year will begin in the same place it was held last school year, the former Edgewood Elementary School at 920 Morris St.

“We will keep you apprised of the progress as the Rupert School renovation comes to conclusion and notify you in advance of the plan for the return to 1230 South St.,” Sparagana wrote to parents.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this communication causes as we look forward to a great school year with the anticipation of moving back to the newly renovated Rupert School,” Sparagana wrote.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140818/rupert-elementary-wont-be-ready-in-time-for-first-day-of-school-in-pottstown

VIDEO: Pottstown Man Arrested In Taped Beating At Philly’s Love Park

http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140818/video-pottstown-man-oe-of-2-arrested-in-taped-beating-at-phillys-love-park

Skater Has No Love For Ranger At LOVE Park

LOVE Park

LOVE Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  The person of interest is apparently from Pottstown.  If any Pottstown peeps can identify this person, please call 215-686-TIPS (-8477).  Click on the read more link to see a video of the altercation.

REGULAR skaters at LOVE Park say they have a subtle truce with the rangers, a cat-and-mouse game of grinding along concrete steps when they’re gone and leaving peacefully with wheels up when they show up.

The skaters were OK with that, too, but now they fear that some “suburban kid who always acts hard” has ruined it for all of them by punching, kicking and spitting on a ranger who tried to get him and some other skaters to leave Friday afternoon.

“He’s an idiot,” skater Ki Realer, 34, said of the unidentified suspect, who is wanted by police on assault charges. “Not only are the police looking for him, but he’ll also never be welcome here again. Now we all know what’s coming for the rest of us.”

The incident happened about 5:30 p.m. Friday, police said – a day after a big antiviolence vigil in LOVE Park – and was witnessed by a large crowd that included Michael “Philly Jesus” Grant, who was profiled in a Daily News cover story on Aug. 8.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140818_Skater_has_no_love_for_ranger_at_LOVE_Park.html#QquJ4Q4Z5Lxcr2TE.99

GIS Certificate Of Completion: Cross-Industry Appeal In Competitive Job Market

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, has applications far beyond maps and geography.

Law enforcement, health care, urban planning, economics, environmental science, history, business, real estate and information technology—these are just some of the growing number of industries that incorporate GIS into their daily work.

In fact, according to Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) Assistant Professor of Geography Samuel Wallace, virtually every field of study today uses some form of GIS, making knowledge of its use critical for students and employees across all disciplines.

“GIS requires people who have basic understanding of spatial relationships, along with the system software,” said Wallace.

MCCC offers a nine-credit Certificate of Completion program in GIS that provides students with valuable skills that can lead to immediate employment in a GIS-related field. The program is ideal for current students, as well as for working individuals who want to add a GIS credential to their resume.

The College’s GIS program prepares students to operate industry leader ESRI’s ArcGIS 10.2 software. The Certificate of Completion is comprised of three courses: Introduction to Geographic Information, Map Design in GIS and GIS Applications. Courses are offered evenings to accommodate working adults, and the entire certificate can be completed in under a year.

The intro course, GEO 210, is being offered Thursday evenings this fall at MCCC’s West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. The next course, GEO 220, is tentatively scheduled to run at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, in spring 2015.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, GIS-related occupations are expected to grow by 20 percent overall through 2022—nine percent higher than the average occupation growth rate.

To learn more about GIS at MCCC, email Assistant Professor Samuel Wallace at swallace@mc3.edu.

Fall semester classes at Montgomery County Community College begin on Aug. 27. Visit http://www.mc3.edu/fall2014 for registration information.

Pottstown’s North Hanover Street Opens To Traffic

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA – After four months of detours, North Hanover Street is open to traffic.

Workers removed barricades, and the road was opened Friday afternoon after the completion of a complicated sewer project.

Public Works Director Doug Yerger said the project, which was supposed to be completed in late June, went over-budget and beyond its schedule because of weather and “unforeseen conditions” underground.

Specifically, the project replaced a sewer main which had to be buried beneath an underground stream which runs beneath that section of Hanover Street between Jefferson Avenue and Fourth Street.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140811/pottstowns-north-hanover-street-opens-to-traffic

Pottstown To Begin Street Sweeping Tuesday

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — Get ready to start moving your cars — the street sweeper is coming.

The borough announced late Friday afternoon that it will begin sweeping Pottstown’s streets starting on Tuesday, Aug. 12, and vehicles left on the roadway on sweeping day will be “ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.”

Pottstown has been divided up into 10 zones and the sweeping of each zone will take two days, according to information posted on the borough’s website.

On the first day of sweeping, the north and west sides of streets in that zone will be swept.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140808/pottstown-to-begin-street-sweeping-tuesday

MCCC Joins ‘Yellow Ribbon Program’ To Benefit Student Veterans

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) was recently selected to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the 2014-15 academic year. The program enables MCCC to assist up to 10 student veterans with fees associated with out-of-state residency.

“Many students return or relocate to Pennsylvania after their military service only to be charged as ‘out-of-state’ residents, which the VA does not cover under normal Post 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits,” explains former U.S. Marine Justin Machain, coordinator of veterans services at MCCC. “The College applied to, and was accepted by, the Yellow Ribbon Program to assist these students with out-of-state costs starting this fall.”

To qualify for funding, veterans must be eligible for the maximum benefit rate under the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill and cannot be on active duty. Visit benefits.va.gov/gibill/yellow_ribbon.asp for full eligibility requirements.

Montgomery County Community College’s participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program builds on its commitment to a student veteran population that has grown by close to 130 percent since 2007. Fiscal year 2013-14 saw 705 student veterans enrolled at the College, which is nationally designated as a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media for five years running.

The College’s support services for student veterans include a dedicated resource center, lounge, new student orientation, study groups, career counseling and yoga, among others, facilitated by a dedicated Veterans Support Team. MCCC also has an active Student Veterans Organization, which is an official chapter of the Student Veterans of America (SVA).

Veteran services are a part of MCCC’s overarching Student Success Initiative—expanding access to higher education and increasing student success through process improvements and support strategies that reduce the barriers for students to complete their education.

To learn more about Veterans Affairs at Montgomery County Community College, visit mc3.edu/student-resources/vrc or contact Justin Machain at 215-619-7307 or veterans@mc3.edu. For information about the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, visit http://www.gibill.va.gov.

Pottstown Council Mulls New Ricketts Center Lease

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — Borough council may approve a new lease with the Olivet Boys and Girls Club to use the Ricketts Center that would include borough-funded replacement of the roof and upgrading the heating/air-conditioning system.

Currently, council is considering a five-year lease agreement that would begin in September and extend to Dec. 31, 2019.

“During that time, the borough obligation would be to continue to fund the Ricketts Center at its present level of funding, which is $40,000 a year,” Borough Solicitor Charles D. Garner Jr. said at Wednesday night’s committee of the whole meeting of council. “That’s obviously a whole lot less than what the borough was spending on the Ricketts Center 10 years ago.”

Garner said the “success of the Olivets has helped significantly in running the programs and relieve the borough of some of that financial obligation” in parks and recreation. Programs have also grown over the five years the Olivet Boys and Girls Club has run the center, according to Garner.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140807/pottstown-council-mulls-new-ricketts-center-lease

(Updated) Potential Pottstown Airport Operator Works From Limerick

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — Two proposals for becoming the next fixed base operator of the Pottstown Municipal Airport came in last week and borough council will likely approve the one from the company that already operates out of a nearby airport in Limerick.

Both Fare Share Ltd. of Limerick and Weston Inc. of Barto submitted proposals to succeed TNT Air Inc. as the Pottstown airport’s operator, council learned Wednesday at its committee-of-the-whole meeting.

Fare Share, which runs a pilot school and a charter company at Heritage Field in Limerick, received the borough staff’s recommendation to take over duties at the Pottstown Municipal Airport.

“They put together a pretty strong proposal,” Assistant Borough Manager Erica Weekley told council. “We ranked them first.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140806/limerick-airport-operator-likely-to-add-duties-at-pottstown-municipal

National BMX Race Coming To Pottstown This Weekend

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — This will be a town of national champions this weekend.

That’s because the BMX Quaker State Nationals are coming to Pottstown’s Trilogy Park.

Winning the bid to host the race is no easy task, and although its not Pottstown’s first time, its never a sure thing.

“We were competing with about 400 other tracks to get the race, and we have to put out a proposal, which the Valley Forge Convention and visitors Bureau puts together for us,” said Cathy Knapper, president of the Trilogy Park organization, which is located in Memorial Park.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140804/national-bmx-race-coming-to-pottstown-this-weekend