$500M In Transportation Projects Listed In Montgomery, Chester Counties

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

Plans to spend more than $500 million in the next 10 years on transportation projects in the Chester and Montgomery county areas around Pottstown will move forward thanks to the approval of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

The planning agency for the nine-county region around Philadelphia announced Thursday that it has added an additional $10.5 billion worth of work to its list of projects through 2040 as the result of the passage of last year’s transportation bill.

Locally, the list of projects includes the replacement of the Keim Street Bridge, major repairs and bridge replacements on Route 422 from Royersford to the Berks County line, as well as connections on the Schuylkill River Trail between Pottstown and Parker Ford.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140729/500m-in-transportation-projects-listed-in-montgomery-chester-counties

Montco Official Says Keim Street Bridge Project Moving Forward

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, PA — Not that she needed a reminder that all politics are local, but Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards still remembers one of the first calls she got on the historic night she and Commissioners Chairman Josh Shapiro made history by being the first Democrats to take the majority in 100 years.

“I’ll never forget one of the first calls I got on election night,” she said March 24 as she, Shapiro and Commissioner Bruce Castor conducted the last of their roundtable meetings around the county, this one at the Lower Pottsgrove Township Building.

“I said ‘hello’ and the voice on the other end said ‘so when is the new Keim Street Bridge going to be finished?’”

The answer, she gave Monday, is that the project is “moving forward.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140331/montco-official-says-keim-street-bridge-project-moving-forward

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Norristown Residents Ask Commissioners How To Revitalize The Area

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — Conversation at the commissioners “conversations” meeting at Norristown Municipal Hall largely focused on bringing Norristown back to its glory days.

Peggy Dellisant, a Norristown resident who used to own Main Changes Clothing, said the town needs foot traffic on Main Street to make a comeback.

“I just retired. I watched Main Street die a slow death,” she said.

Dellisant said that the abandoned prison on Airy Street is beautifully made, and turning it into something modern would help to bring the foot traffic into Norristown that the businesses need.

“The prison on Main and Airy is coming apart,” she said. “It really would be a shame to see that building just deteriorate. This town really needs a lot of help.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140227/norristown-residents-ask-commissioners-how-to-revitalize-the-area

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New Dates For Montco Commissioners’ Postponed Town Hall Meetings

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

Norristown, PA – The Montgomery County Commissioners have released the new dates for the “Conversations with your Commissioners” town hall meetings that had to be postponed because of the spate of bad weather over the past few weeks.

The wintry weather forced the postponement of three of the six town hall meetings.  Those postponed were in Lower Pottsgrove, Bryn Mawr, and Abington.  The new dates for those meetings are:

Wednesday, March 5 at 7 p.m.

Lower Pottsgrove Township Building

3199 Buchert Road

Pottstown, PA

Tuesday, March 11 at 7 p.m.

Lower Merion Township Building

75 East Lancaster Avenue

Ardmore, PA

Saturday, March 22 at 10 a.m.

Abington Township Building

1176 Old York Road

Abington, PA

“These conversations with the commissioners are another in a series of ways we are trying to keep residents informed about what we are doing,” said Josh Shapiro, chair of the commissioners.  “We also live stream our meetings online and use social media a great deal to inform everyone about what is going on in the county.”

“We urge residents to attend these conversations so they can hear what we have tried to do during our first two years in office, and we can hear what issues are most important to our residents,” Shapiro said.

For more information please call the Commissioners’ office at 610-278-3062.

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Montgomery County Commissioners Schedule 2nd Annual “Conversations” Caravan

Norristown, PA – The Montgomery County Commissioners have scheduled a series of six “Conversations with Your Commissioners” throughout Montgomery County during February.

Last year the inaugural series of “Conversations” was extremely well-attended and gave residents of the county the opportunity to discuss a wide range of subjects with the commissioners.

The 2014 series of conversations will be held in Lower Pottsgrove, Abington, Ambler, Bryn Mawr, East Greenville and Norristown.

“Last year’s “Conversations” were very successful and gave the commissioners a real sense of what issues were on people’s minds,” said Commissioner Chair Josh Shapiro.  “These sessions are just another way we use to keep residents informed about what we are doing.  We live stream our meetings on line and use social media a great deal to inform everyone about what is going on in the county, but the “Conversations” provide a true, personal level of contact the others do not.”

Shapiro said the commissioners plan to use the sessions to review what the county has done during the first two years of the administration and outline what plans are in store for the final two years.

The schedule is:

Thursday, February 6 at 7 p.m.

Lower Pottsgrove Township Building

3199 Buchert Road

Pottstown, PA

Saturday, February 8 at 10 a.m.

Abington Township Building

1176 Old York Road

Abington, PA

Monday, February 10 at 7 p.m.

Ambler Borough Hall

122 East Butler Avenue

Ambler, PA

Saturday, February 15 at 10 a.m.

Ludington Library

5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue

Bryn Mawr, PA

Monday, February 24 at 7 p.m.

The Grand Theater

252 Main Street

East Greenville, PA

Thursday, February 27 at 7 p.m.

Norristown Municipal Building

235 East Airy Street

Norristown, PA

For more information please call the Commissioners’ office at 610-278-3062.

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Protestors Gather In Norristown To Oppose Parkhouse Sale

Location of Upper Providence Township in Montg...

Location of Upper Providence Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN — Protestors rallied outside of the Montgomery County Courthouse Saturday in opposition to the sale of the Parkhouse geriatric center and its surrounding 220 acres of land in Upper Providence.

Upper Providence Supervisor Lisa Mossie, who has been at the forefront of opposition to the sale, said she was hoping the Montgomery County commissioners would notice the rally, cancel the sale and work out a new deal for the property.

“It’s my hope that it will change the commissioners’ minds that this is something nobody cares about. That it’s not a vocal minority. Everybody I have talked to is upset about this,” Mossie said. “My hope is that this sale is not done. It’s not finalized yet. They’ve cited that as their reason for not releasing the terms of the sale.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20131228/protestors-gather-in-norristown-to-oppose-parkhouse-sale

Montgomery County Holds Line On Taxes In 2014

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PAMontgomery County will balance its 2014 budget without raising taxes, according to Chief Financial Officer Uri Monson.

It will be second straight year tax rates in the county have not been raised, Monson told the county commissioners Thursday.

The county projects $371,510,842 in total revenues and $371,473,973 in expenditures for 2014, with a year-end operating surplus of $36,869 in the general fund budget, Monson said.

The county also expects to have just over $41 million in the fund balance at the end of the year, he said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/government-and-politics/20131122/montgomery-county-holds-line-on-taxes-in-2014

Potential Closing Of Arcola Road Bridge Stirs Controversy In Lower Providence

Location of Lower Providence Township in Montg...

Location of Lower Providence Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOWER PROVIDENCE — More than 600 residents crowded into the Arcola Intermediate School auditorium Monday night to learn when the Arcola Road bridge over Perkiomen Creek will close to traffic.

If the bridge passes a Friday inspection and subsequent, six-month inspections, the bridge will close at the beginning of 2015 and be closed while a new $7.7 million, three-lane bridge is built in the same location.

“We’ve had many partners on this project,” said Montgomery County Commissioners’ Chairman Josh Shapiro said. “You will see leaders who are all working together to address our infrastructure needs.  Sixty-two of our Montgomery County bridges are structurally deficient.”

Montgomery County Commissioner Vice Chairman Leslie Richards said the bridge built in 1931 was “functionally obsolete and structurally deficient.  There is a weight limit of three tons.  It was placed on a six-month inspection schedule.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/article/20130812/NEWS01/130819905/potential-closing-of-arcola-road-bridge-stirs-controversy-in-lower-providence?nstrack=sid:772346|met:300|cat:0|order:1#full_story

Montgomery County Budget Cuts Take A Toll On Community Organizations

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN — It’s halfway into the year, and some local organizations that received county funds in the past are beginning to feel the effects of the 2013 budget cuts.

County budget cuts are robbing the Montgomery County African American Coalition of its “meat and potatoes” programs, according to charter member Bob Wright.

Three weeks ago, the group met at the First Baptist Church in Cheltenham, where a consortium of representatives from different minority organizations throughout the county, including the local chapter of the NAACP, discussed the budget and how it affects the low- and moderate-income county population.

Among them, Legal Aid, which received $281,7000 from the county general fund in 2012, was initially zeroed out of the budget for fiscal year 2013.

Read more:  http://www.timesherald.com/article/20130707/NEWS01/130709776/montgomery-county-budget-cuts-take-a-toll-on-community-organizations#full_story

Montgomery County Quarterly Report Indicates Generally Favorable Outlook

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN — Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Uri Monson’s quarterly report highlighted a couple key points — the first time the county’s fund balance grew at all since 2007 and the first Annual Required Contribution (ARC) to the pension fund since the same year.

Details were laid out during Thursday morning’s bi-monthly meeting of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.

“Based on the Q1 revenue results, the county now projects to have an annual operating surplus for the year of over $2.6 million, on top of the nearly $2.6 million in reserves set aside to grow the fund balance,” said Monson.

“This would mark the first year-over-year increase in the fund balance since 2007.”

Read more:  http://www.timesherald.com/article/20130419/NEWS01/130419441/county-quarterly-report-indicates-generally-favorable-outlook#full_story

Montgomery County Issues $55M In Bonds For Infrastructure Projects

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN — The Montgomery County Commissioners issued $55 million in bonds this week to address some county infrastructure projects.

While it does not address every item on a long laundry list of infrastructure needs throughout the county, the issuance of the bond addresses a good part of those needs without increasing the county’s current debt service over the next decade, according to the county’s top money manager.

“The bond sale received strong interest from underwriting firms with 10 banks submitting aggressive bids,” said Uri Monson, the county’s chief financial officer.

The commissioners approved the bond ordinance last month. Monson said the bonds were sold through a competitive sale process via an online bid service.  The winning bidder was PNC Capital Markets, with a True Interest Cost (TIC) of 2.39 percent.  The reported difference between the lowest bid and the next lowest bid was .017 percent.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130405/NEWS01/130409500/montgomery-county-issues-55m-in-bonds-for-infrastructure-projects#full_story

Montco Commissioners ‘Listening Tour’ Comes To Pottstown Monday

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note:  Maybe they should call this the magical mystery tour!

POTTSTOWN — Issues of low-income housing concentrations and economic development are likely to command the agenda Monday when the Montgomery County Commissioners come to town as part of their ongoing “listening tour.”

The commissioners are holding the open meeting Monday at 7 p.m. at the Montgomery County Community College on College Drive.

The meetings serve as a way for residents to get answers and for the commissioners to get a sense of issues their constituents care about as a way to inform important decisions, particularly budget decisions, said Frank Custer, the county’s communications director.

It is the fourth of five such meetings set up around the county that so far have attracted moderate interest from the public, according to Custer.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130210/NEWS01/130219982/montco-commissioners-listening-tour-comes-to-pottstown-monday#full_story

Conversations With Your Montgomery County Commissioners

Join the Montgomery County Commissioners in a conversation on the administration’s first year in office.  Learn about new initiatives the commissioners will be working on in 2013, and have your questions about county government answered.  Monday, Feb. 11th, 7 pmMontgomery County Community College, West Campus, Community Room, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.  For more information please call the Commissioners’ office at 610-278-3062.

Montco Commissioners Tell Pottstown The Era Of The “Big Check” Is Over

Editor’s note:  What else is new.  The county is over involved in Pottstown‘s affairs and has helped to create a great deal of the problems Pottstown and Norristown both face by making them the dumping group for Section 8 Housing and social services.  Now we just wash our hands and say “see ya”.  Typical!

POTTSTOWN, Pa. — Say goodbye to the big, giant check.

That was one of several messages Montgomery County Commissioners Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards had for Pottstown officials last week during a rare joint meeting of borough council, school board and members of the board of Pottstown Area Industrial Development, or PAID.

Officially, the joint meeting was also the required annual meeting of PAID at which the executive director, Steve Bamford, is required to give a report on the activities of the year before.

But since Bamford was not hired until November, there was not much to tell.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120529/NEWS01/120529365/montco-commissioners-tell-pottstown-era-of-the-big-check-is-over-(video)

Meet The Montgomery County Commissioner Candidates – October 6

Meet the County Commissioner Candidates – October 6

The Greater North Penn Collaborative invites the Tri-County Community Network and your members and colleagues to join us on Thursday, October 6 at 9 a.m. at the Community Partners Building, 2506 N. Broad St., Colmar, PA  18915 in the Walton Room to meet the county commissioner candidates, hear their views, and ask questions of them. This is a wonderful opportunity for the nonprofit community in Montgomery County to weigh in with your needs and concerns. Remember, 3 of the 4 candidates in attendance will become commissioners. Decisions on the allocation of federal and state funds will be made by those elected.

This candidates forum will take place as part of our regular membership meeting that runs from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Carpooling is strongly advised.

We expect to have a full house, so only if you plan to attend, please respond to Betsy Roush, betsyroush@comcast.net, 215-234-4022, with the names, emails, and organizations of any attendees you are registering.