Facing 4.3% Tax Hike, Pottstown Working To Close $330K Budget Deficit

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — The public got its first look at the proposed $38.3 million borough budget for 2014 on Wednesday night and saw a projected deficit of more than $330,000 — the rough equivalent of a 4.3 percent property tax increase.

Finance Director Janice Lee made the budget presentation, but did not identify how the administration will propose to close the deficit, which her presentation spreadsheet pegged more specifically at $332,308.

Other than a property tax increase, options for closing that budget gap could include additional revenue from other sources or decreased expenses.

Asked after the meeting how much of a tax hike would be needed to close that gap, Lee declined to speculate and noted that the administration has not yet made a recommendation to borough council, whose members listened to the budget presentation Wednesday night but asked no questions.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131107/facing-43-tax-hike-pottstown-working-to-close-330k-budget-deficit

Pottstown Planners Approve Family Dollar Project

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — With a 4-0 vote, the borough planning commission Thursday night gave unanimous approval to a plan to redevelop the former Rosenberry’s Grocery store at the corner of Eighth Street and Farmington Avenue into a Family Dollar Store.

Planning commission member Deb Penrod was absent and did not vote.

The approved plan calls for demolishing the 23,299-square-foot building that stands at the 1.7-acre site now, and was most recently occupied by McCabe’s Auto Supply. The building is now empty.

In its place, the company has proposed an 8,240-square-foot Family Dollar store which would be “much smaller and much closer to being in conformity with the zoning,” said lawyer John Ryan, who spoke on behalf of the developer.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130927/pottstown-planners-approve-family-dollar-project

Blighted Pottstown House Owned By State Rep.’s Chief Of Staff

Editor’s note:  There are a couple of take away items here.  a.  The Pottstown Codes Department evidently can’t process an address change.  Does that require a $5,000.00 “donation”?  b.  The house is in poor condition and needs repairs.  c.  This illustrates the pitfalls of being an “investor” in Pottstown.  Most likely that amount of damage didn’t happen overnight, from the sounds of the report.  How often are problem properties being checked on by an owner or property manager?  It sounds like the house should be demolished except the owner owes money to the bank.  It will be a LONG wait until conditions improve enough in that neighborhood to make fixing up this property economically viable.  So just add another vacant property to Pottstown’s housing stock.

POTTSTOWN — The district chief of staff for state Rep. Mark Painter, D-146th Dist., is the owner of a Walnut Street home that the borough has recently identified as “blighted.”

The designation was advertised in the legal notices of Wednesday’s edition of The Mercury.

Michael A. Lavanga, who heads up Painter’s district office in Sanatoga and has appeared on his behalf at local government meetings, expressed surprise Wednesday when contacted by a reporter about the advertisement.

According to the legal notice, Lavanga has 30 days to make repairs to the property including repairing or replacing rain gutters, loose paint, windows and the front steps to 409 Walnut St.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130412/NEWS04/130419776/blighted-pottstown-house-owned-by-state-rep-s-chief-of-staff#full_story

Pottstown Poised To Adopt Montgomery County As Delinquent Tax Collector, Despite Cost

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — Borough council is poised to vote Tuesday to stop getting its delinquent tax collections done by a private company and instead hire the Montgomery County Tax Claims Bureau to do it instead.

Although this method will not cost the borough any money out of pocket, neither does the current system.

However, should borough council decide instead to stay with its current collector, it would be obligated to pay the county roughly $39,000 for doing nothing.

Councilman Dan Weand, who heads council’s finance committee which recommended the change, said the taxpayers might as well get something for their money.

 

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121110/NEWS01/121119975/pottstown-poised-to-adopt-county-as-delinquent-tax-collector-despite-cost

Pottstown Works Toward Tightening ‘Charge-Backs’ For Police Costs

POTTSTOWN — The borough’s efforts to make property owners bear more of the burden of repeated police calls to properties with misbehaving occupants will take another step forward Monday when council is set to vote to advertising a toughening of the “charge-back” ordinance.

Already on the books, the ordinance levies a charge for police services when officers are called too often to the same location for disturbances.

The problem with the existing ordinance, Police Chief Mark Flanders has said, is that it exempts too many categories of criminal activity from the burden.

In April, Borough Solicitor Charles D. Garner Jr. was tasked by council’s safety committee with finding ways to close those loopholes.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120810/NEWS01/120819959/pottstown-works-toward-tightening-charge-backs-for-police-costs