Pottstown School Board To Vote On $125K Electrical Outlet Upgrade

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Pottstown School Board’s facilities committee will ask the full board to spend about $125,000 to install an additional 263 outlets in classrooms at Barth Elementary School, the renovation of which was just completed in September.

The much-debated change-order will also replace seven “1950s-era” electrical panels with three modern ones, said Facilities Director Robert Kripplebauer, who made the recommendation.

The outlet changes were requested by teachers, who do not believe the older outlets in the building are adequate or in the right locations. Further, they are not comparable with the more modern outlets that will be in the renovated rooms at Lincoln, Rupert and Franklin elementary schools.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140415/pottstown-school-board-to-vote-on-125k-electrical-outlet-upgrade

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Pottstown School Board Leery Of Offer To Refurbish Light Poles

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — Members of the Pottstown School Board showed little interest Thursday in an offer to refurbish the poles that hold up the lights at Grigg Memorial Stadium.

Facilities Director Robert Kripplebauer told the board’s facilities committee meeting Thursday that he had been contacted by a company that had read in The Mercury about the board’s decision to take down the lights at the stadium for safety reasons.

The company — 18th Century Restorations on Coventryville Road — made a similar offer in 2012 and estimated the cost at that time to refurbish the poles and lights to be $60,000.

According to the 2012 quote, which Kripplebauer shared with The Mercury, the work would involve “fabricating new hardware” for the poles and attaching 42 metal straps to keep them in place, as well as epoxy and caulk for cracks in the poles, along with other work.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140411/pottstown-school-board-leery-of-offer-to-refurbish-light-poles

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Operation Backpack 5K, And 1 Mile Walk

The 5th Annual Operation Backpack 5K takes place on the Schuylkill River Trail, a flat, fast, and scenic rail-to-trail course in Pottstown, PA.

Cash Prize will be given to the top Male and Female Runner. Medals will be given by gender and age group. The course is fast, so it is not unusual to have many personal bests on race day. The event is a great race for competitive runners, and beginners, as well as walkers, both in the 5K and 1 mile. This year walkers will carry a backpack full of food across the finish line.

The event benefits Operation Backpack (or OBP for short). OBP provides food to students in the Pottstown Community whom would go without over the weekend. We work to help homeless and hungry students succeed by addressing the issue of childhood hunger.

Event schedule and times

WHEN? SATURDAY, May 10th @ 9:00am

WHERERiverfront Park, 140 College Dr. Pottstown, PA 19464

Registration:$25.00 Runner/ $20.00 Walkers

Check-infrom 8:00am – 8:55am

Register by May 2nd to get a FREE T-Shirt!!

Registration after May 2nd$30.00 Runner/ $25.00 Walkers

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Report: Absence Of School Funding Formula In PA Costs Pottstown $5 Million A Year

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — Borough property owners would be off the hook for generating more than $5 million in school funding this year if the state funding formula abandoned by Gov. Tom Corbett in 2010 were still in place, according to a report.

Further, as a result of that formula’s absence in calculating state education funding, Pottstown has lost more state aid in the past few years than almost any other district in Montgomery County, the report found.

At $2.5 million, only Norristown schools lost more in the last three years than the $1.5 million in state funding Pottstown has lost since 2010-11, the study found.

In an attempt to reverse the problems highlighted in that study, the Pottstown School Board on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution calling on Harrisburg to establish “a fair and equitable school funding formula.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140328/report-absence-of-school-funding-formula-in-pa-costs-pottstown-5-million-a-year

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Cost Overruns, New Roof Costs, Plague Pottstown Elementary Projects

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — A $1.2 million price tag seems to be a little too high for school officials to bear and the school board is being asked Monday to reject the bid to replace the roof at Rupert Elementary School along with some masonry work.

The concern about costs comes as the board is poised to approved more than $225,000 in unbudgeted expense for the construction work at Lincoln, Franklin and Rupert elementary schools.

Instead of accepting the $1.2 million roof bid, the administration is urging that other ways of getting the work done be pursued.

“It’s not that we’re not going to do it,” said Business Manager Linda Adams, “it’s just that we think that price is too high.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140321/cost-overruns-new-roof-costs-plague-pottstown-elementary-projects

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ANNUAL POTTSTOWN FAMILY FEST TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Annual Pottstown Family Fest will be held on Wednesday, March 12, from 5-7 p.m. at Pottstown Senior High School, 750 North Washington Street, Pottstown.

This free family-focused event will feature information/resources from more than 30 area organizations, activities for the entire family, roving entertainment, mini sandwiches, drinks, Rita’s water ice, and a variety of door prizes.

Informational booths will be open from 5-7 p.m. Door prizes will be awarded at 7 p.m. (must be present to win). Children must be accompanied by an adult.

“Family Fest was developed to enhance, celebrate and explore family dynamics, development, growth, and unity,” said Jenn Brown, director, Pottstown Family Center. “This year’s theme, Stay Healthy, Play More, focuses on buying local and encourages families to find volunteer opportunities they care about so they can ultimately give back to their community.”

This annual event is sponsored by Family Services/Pottstown Family Center, Pottstown Parks & Recreation, and the Pottstown School District with funding support from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation.

For more information on Family Fest, please contact Jenn Brown, director, Pottstown Family Center, at 610-326-1610 ext. 347 or jbrown@fsmontco.org.

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Mapping Poverty: Wealthiest And Poorest School Districts In Pennsylvania

Pottstown School District

24% of children in poverty

Estimated Total Population: 22,617
Estimated Population 5 to 17 years old: 3,560
Estimated number of children 5 to 17 years old in poverty: 861

If you click on this link, you can access a map of Pennsylvania at the bottom of the article and by clicking on your school district, you can see the results as demonstrated above for Pottstown School District:  http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/mapping-poverty-wealthiest-and-poorest-school-districts-in-pennsylvania/article_53d4e55a-9810-11e3-8d0a-001a4bcf6878.html

The map is able to be enlarged or shrunk as you see fit (works like Mapquest).  The names of cities and towns are behind the colors, you can see them which will help you find what you are looking for.   Again, make sure you use the map at the bottom of the article, not the one at the top.  Happy hunting!

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Vision For Future Of Pottstown Ready For Public Feedback

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — It has been nearly three decades since Pottstown had a new comprehensive plan, but there is a draft on the drawing board right now that is ready for public review.

Crafted with the help of the Montgomery County Planning Commission, the current draft plan provides an overall vision for the community and suggests for how to implement that vision.

The draft calls for taking advantage of what Pottstown has — historic architecture and resources to attract heritage tourism; expanding the airport and railroad access; transitioning apartment units back to single-family ownership and appropriate development of multi-unit apartments.

Pottstown’s first Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1960.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140208/vision-for-future-of-pottstown-ready-for-public-feedback

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DRUGS: The Epidemic Some Choose To Ignore

For some inexplicable reason, the “powers that be” in Pottstown seem to think that ignoring rampant drug use in the borough will make it go away.  As a blogger who posts news from around the state on a regular basis, I see how this problem has invaded the Commonwealth.  Drugs have crept into our smallest and remotest towns.

Drug use and drug dependence seem bring with them crime and violence.  Shootings, stabbings, burglaries etc…  I have made a point of posting articles along these lines so that anyone who reads this blog will see the alarming rise of drug use and drug related violence in our state.   Our Attorney General, Kathleen Kane has been particularly supportive in trying to ferret out drug dealers through various “sting operations” which have taken down a large numbers of dealers around the state.

One drug in particular is making an alarming comeback.  Heroin.  Pottstown is not immune to this trend.

Our story for today comes from a friend of mine who lives in Pottstown.  This person has “walked the talk” by being a public servant for a several years and is also a Mom.

Walking to school this morning, my son tells me he has seen two “thermometers” outside.  I stop, dead in my tracks, red flag warning.   I turn and retrace my steps.  Sure enough, two hypodermic needles are there on the sidewalk adjacent to the cemetery between 6th & 7th streets!  I picked them up and turned them in to the school office.  I did not want a young child walking to school to pick them up thinking they were “thermometers” also and possibly stick themselves.

So our lesson for today is that no matter how hard we wish something wasn’t a problem, it will not make it go away.

Thank goodness this Mom had the sense to retrace her steps and remove the threat, thereby protecting many other children.  Because of the neighborhood our courageous Mom lives in she unfortunately knows about such things.  Honestly, I would not have put two and two together and thought syringe.

So to the “powers that be” I say, “WAKE UP!”

To our courageous Mom I say, “Thank you!”

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Opposition Builds To Library Funding Cut By Lower Pottsgrove Township

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

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

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, PA — The township commissioners’ decision to reconsider its 2014 funding for the Pottstown Regional Public Library has resulted in a swelling of support for the library and a number of efforts to keep the funding intact.

Earlier this month when the Board of Commissioners reorganized, the new majority announced its intention to open up the 2014 budget adopted one month earlier and reduce funding to the Pottstown Regional Public Library on High Street.

Paradoxically, in December, Lower Pottsgrove had joined with both Upper Pottsgrove and Pottstown borough in increasing the allocation to the library for 2014.

In Lower Pottsgrove’s case, the commissioners had agreed in December to increase the annual allocation by $5,000 — up to $65,000.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140118/opposition-builds-to-library-funding-cut-by-l-pottstrove

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Tri-County High School Art Exhibit At MCCC West Campus In Pottstown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

High school students from Montgomery, Chester and Berks counties will showcase their artwork at Montgomery County Community College’s first Tri-County High School Art Exhibition and Competition at its Fine Arts Gallery, North Hall, 16 High Street, Pottstown.

The exhibition opens Monday, Jan. 13, and will continue through Friday, Feb. 21. The artists’ reception will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 5-7 p.m. with the awards presentation at 6 p.m. Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the community.

Students from approximately 20 public, parochial and private schools were invited to participate in the exhibition. The artwork features a variety of subjects and styles in an array of media. College art faculty members will be judging the artwork.

More details: http://calendar.mc3.edu/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=1772&information_id=2563&type=&syndicate=syndicate

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Pottstown Schools Eye Eliminating Class Rank

POTTSTOWN, PA — To rank or not to rank?

That may soon be the question.
Class rank has been a staple of high school life, and college admissions, for years beyond count.

But school board member Polly Weand raised the possibility at the Nov. 21 school board meeting that Pottstown may soon opt-out of the practice.

Weand, who chairs the school board’s curriculum and technology, said the discussion is underway at her committee, which presumably will make a recommendation to the full board, perhaps as soon as January.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131128/pottstown-schools-eye-eliminating-class-rank

Mosaic Community Garden Wins Excellence In Planning And Design Montgomery Award

teacher-lauraThe Mosaic Community Garden, located in Pottstown Borough, received a 2013 Montgomery Award for creative vision, successful collaboration, strong community involvement, and positive neighborhood impact. This popular garden offers an attractive gathering place for residents to grow a variety of produce and learn about healthy living.

To read the entire article and view the pictures, click here to open the PDF file: 2013 Montgomery Awards

Pottstown School District Looking For Donations Of Cardio Equipment

The Pottstown School District is in search of any cardio equipment you would be willing to donate to our elementary behavioral support classrooms. Pick up arrangements can be made by contacting David Genova at 610-763-1466 or dgenova@pottstownsd.org

Thank you for your support!

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

Municipal Elections In Pottstown, November 5th

Tuesday, November 5th, is Election Day.  There are many options on the ballot which will directly impact everyday life for Pottstown Borough residents.  The people running for election tomorrow will be determining things like how much tax you pay and the direction the school district and borough take over the coming years.  The four school board candidates are all running unopposed but there are choices for two council seats and the mayor.

If you aren’t satisfied with how the borough spends your money, then tomorrow is your opportunity to vote for positive change.  Do you want to live in a safer environment?  Do you want your taxes to stop going up?  Do you want to see more economic development in the borough?  Do you want the elected leadership to actually have a plan of action instead of just “keeping a lid on the power keg”?  Do you want to see the leadership work together for the betterment of the community instead of in-fighting and having personal agendas?  Are you tired of seeing For Sale signs every where you look?  Are you tired of Pottstown being Montgomery County’s dumping ground for social services and Section 8 Housing?

We are officially endorsing the following candidates for mayor and borough council:

 

301241_1150220388989_8259643_nSharon Valentine Thomas, Mayor of Pottstown

Running against incumbent Bonnie Heath

 

 

 

 

Sheryl Miller headshot

Sheryl Miller, Pottstown Borough Council, Ward 3

Running against incumbent Jeff Chomnuk

 

 

 

 

30950_232676920206349_1767238787_n

Cindy Conard, Pottstown Borough Council, Ward 7

Running against incumbent Joe Kirkland

 

 

 

 

Here is the latest map of polling locations in Pottstown Borough:

Pottstown New Polling Locations

Pancakes, All You Can Eat, Will Benefit Pottstown Music Education

POTTSTOWN, PA — So do you like pancakes?

Do you really, REALLY like pancakes.

Then you need to get yourself, family, friends and neighbors down to the Goodwill Fire Company on Saturday morning when an all-you-can-eat Pancake Breakfast will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The breakfast includes the afore-mentioned pancakes, plus bacon, sausage, coffee, tea, water and orange juice.

Tickets are $7 in advance and Friday is the last day to buy advance tickets.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131022/pancakes-all-you-can-eat-will-benefit-pottstown-music-education

Pottstown Elementary Costs Rising By $2M, $10M Borrowing Set For Monday

POTTSTOWN — As the Pottstown school board prepares to borrow the second $10 million needed for the renovation and expansion of its elementary schools, it is doing so in the face of $2 million or more in change orders and additional costs.

As The Mercury reported in May, the renovation work on Barth Elementary School was well underway when the school board was told the cost of a new roof was not included in the project — an additional cost estimated at another $665,000.

In August, The Mercury reported that wiring for new computer and data systems were not included in the bid for the renovation of Franklin, Lincoln and Rupert elementary schools — an additional cost of an estimated $375,000.

On Thursday night the full board was informed that the cost for additional electrical outlets, boxes, panel boards and the replacement of old wiring at the three schools has added another $388,601 to the price of the projects.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/social-affairs/20131020/pottstown-elementary-costs-rising-by-2m-10m-borrowing-set-for-monday

Pottstown Water Main Break Leaves Residents, Barth Elementary Without Water

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN. PA — A 20-inch water main ruptured Thursday night on Berks Street and left both residents and Barth Elementary School without water.

Water could be seen in small jets coming out from under the street on the 100 block of Berks Street near Superior Metal Products Co. after the call came through to Pottstown Fire Police around 6:30 p.m.

The fire police blocked the street at West King Street and Glasgow Street, initially.

Borough crews on scene could not determine as of press time what caused the break. Someone reportedly was searching for a valve around 8:30 p.m. and the torrent of water began slowing as the night went on.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131018/pottstown-water-main-break-leaves-residents-barth-elementary-without-water

Pottstown Municipal Airport Community Day Highlights Aviation ‘Gem’

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — With planes taking off every few minutes, excited children couldn’t stop pointing and calling to their parents as they stood on the tarmac at Pottstown Municipal Airport’s Community Day.

“They’re both plane fanatics,” said Rob Moyzan of his children, who traveled from Jim Thorpe for the annual event.

Moyzan’s son and daughter stood near the gates separating spectators from the runway where varied models of propeller planes taxied by.

Further up the runway, Chris Moyer’s grandson, Hayden, swiveled his head from his position atop his grandfather’s shoulder. He patted his grandfather’s arm every time a plane came roaring by on take-off, shouting, “Look!”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130929/pottstown-municipal-airport-community-day-highlights-aviation-gem