Pottstown Poised To Fill Vacant Authority, Commission Posts

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — Although borough council wasted little time in filling the tax collector vacancy Wednesday night, there are still a few vacant positions up for grabs.

As part of the annual process of filling posts on boards and commissions, council will vote Monday on filling nine open spots, with a 10th vacancy being filled in February.

One seat on the Pottstown Borough Authority is open and two people have applied to fill it. It is currently filled by plumber Aram Ecker, who is seeking a second five-year term. However, newly elected Borough Councilwoman Sheryl Miller has also asked to be appointed.

With Miller’s defeat of Jeff Chomnuk for the third ward seat on council, the authority board currently has no member of borough council, a role Chomnuk had filled.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140110/pottstown-poised-to-fill-vacant-authority-commission-posts

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Pottstown Council OKs $39M Budget, Tax Hike Below 1%, Sewer Rates Up 4%

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — The $38.9 million 2014 borough budget was adopted by council with a 5-1-1 vote Monday night after it was announced the tax hike had ducked under the 1 percent mark.

With a 6-1 vote, Council also approved a sewer rate increase of $5 per quarter for the base rate, and an additional 20 cents per 1,000 cubic feet of water used — an increase of about 4 percent.

Borough Manager Mark Flanders announced prior to the budget vote that the 1.01 percent tax hike initially proposed by the administration in November had been cut to 0.95 percent.

For a resident with a home assessed at $85,000, that works out to an increase of $8.39 for the year, he said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131210/council-oks-39m-budget-tax-hike-below-1-sewer-rates-up-4

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

Pottstown Takes Aim At $27M In Medical Costs For Retired Police

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — Facing a potential liability of as much as $27 million for medical costs for current and future retired police personnel, the borough is finally beginning to set aside money to cover the costs, as a financial review and several audits have recommended.

At its Sept. 4 meeting, council was briefed on the proposal to set aside $250,000 per year for what the council agenda labeled opaquely as “OPEB,” which, according to Borough Manager Mark Flanders, stands for “other post employment benefits.”

The official vote will occur at Monday night’s council meeting, which begins at 7 and is the meeting at which the public is allowed to comment.

These potential costs are not retirement payments, but rather represent medical benefits for retirees, both current and future.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130908/NEWS01/130909553/pottstown-takes-aim-at-27m-in-medical-costs-for-retired-police#full_story

Pottstown Poised To Loosen Tree Rules

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note: What’s that I hear?  Is it the sound of wailing coming from the 200 block of Chestnut Street?  To say the tree ordinance was “a little bit extreme” is the understatement of the decade.

POTTSTOWN — Borough council is expected to vote Monday on a proposal to lessen the requirements for plantingtrees when a property is developed or re-developed.

Specifically, the vote would authorize Borough Solicitor Charles D. Garner Jr. to advertise an amendment to the borough’s sub-division and land development ordinance, known as a SLDO, and would apply to “open space trees” and to “parking lot trees.”

“This is the result of an ongoing theme at the planning commission,” Garner told council during the Wednesday work session.

“We were calculating a large number of trees and then granting waivers and it was becoming problematic,” he said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130906/NEWS01/130909576/pottstown-poised-to-loosen-tree-rules

The Suburbs: Pottstown Is Worried Over Tax Credit Housing Developer Who Answers Few Questions

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note:  It appears others are closely watching what Pottstown Borough Council decides regarding this low-income tax credit project and we are pleased!

Up in Pottstown (that’s in MontCo for you folks who don’t know what lies beyond the City’s limits) is a blightfighter who runs Golden Cockroach, an activist fighting against substandard rental living conditions in rental apartments, vacancy and urban (yes, urban!) blight up in Pottstown.

A boro of only 22,000 people, Pottstown occupies a small 5 square mile area of the western corner of Montgomery County, bested by Norristown and Conshohocken in urban density.  Most of the town is middle income at the high end and lower end working class.  As an older PA boro with an industrial past, it has its share of rusty buildings and older housing stock.  Ranchers on large plots are few.  Twin porchfront rowhomes with postage stamp front yards, many.

Since the housing bubble burst 5 years ago Pottstown has seen an increase in cash buyer investors seeking to grab deeds and insert renters into properties as has happened in other PA towns like Bensalem where subprime mortgages existed.  Many of those investors are absentee, maintenance is less than spectacular, and residents are worried that if left unchecked, and combined with urban-industrial decay within the town, that could put Pottstown’s viability as a desirable place to live under fire if quality of life worsens.  No one wants to see Pottstown decay into Chester or see its tax base erode or flee.

Read more:  http://www.philadelinquency.com/?p=2866

Votes Push Development Along Pottstown’s Keystone Boulevard

Editor’s note:  We find ourselves in agreement with the majority on council who voted for this undertaking.  We also feel the tax breaks for Heritage Coach Co. were necessary.  Having that property sit idle accomplishes nothing and provides no income for the borough or the school district.  It also provides no employment which means there is less money to be spent on existing Pottstown businesses.  Until the word gets out to the investment community that Pottstown is open for business and that establishing a business in Pottstown is a good idea, incentives will need to be used to attract development.  

Cleaning up Pottstown would go along way towards fostering development.  Nobody wants to open a business in a crime-ridden community.  Unfortunately, that is the perception you are dealing with, whether it’s entirely true or not.  Perception IS reality.  Cracking down on crime, Section 8 housing and the pervasive drug problem need to be priority one in order to attract business, industry and homeowners.   The number of rental units is too high, partly due to reputation of the Pottstown School District, the reputation of Pottstown Borough and the high taxes.  Any real estate professional will tell you the same thing.  Selling a home in Pottstown is difficult.

POTTSTOWN — Prospects for development along Keystone Boulevard have been bolstered by two votes of borough council Monday evening.

With a unanimous vote, the council approved a “memorandum of understanding” with West Pottsgrove that pledges both municipalities to pursue efforts to extend Keystone Boulevard, which runs parallel to West High Street and the Schuylkill River, into West Pottsgrove to connect with Grosstown Road.

“It’s a conceptual agreement for defining a path to move forward,” Borough Solicitor Charles D. Garner Jr. explained to council.

The extension of Keystone Boulevard through the former Flagg Brass property in West Pottsgrove and over to the Stowe interchange has long been envisioned and was the subject of an $81,000 study by the Rettew Associates engineering firm.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130613/NEWS01/130619600/votes-push-development-along-pottstown-s-keystone-blvd-#full_story

$3M Bike Lane/Sidewalk Project Would Create Safe Routes To Schools In Pottstown

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — An ambitious $3 million plan to repair sidewalks and install bike lanes throughout the town as part of an effort to establish “Safe Routes to Schools” was unveiled Monday before borough council.

The idea is to combine state transportation funding and seek funding from the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation as a match to undertake the upgrades, which would include repairing numerous damaged borough sidewalks at no cost to property owners.

At the same time, said Pottstown School District Superintendent Jeff Sparagana, the district would seek to incorporate the idea of physical fitness into its curriculum and encourage students to walk or ride a bicycle to school and home again.

Sparagana offered up two towns, Naperville, Ill. and Titusville, Pa., where similar efforts were undertaken and have proven successful.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130613/NEWS01/130619676/-3m-bike-lane-sidewalk-project-would-create-safe-routes-to-schools#full_story

A Petition To Stop Housing Visions Of Syracuse, NY From Building More Low-Income Housing In Pottstown

We implore the State Government, the PA Finance Housing Agency to deny tax-credits to the recent low-income developer, Housing Visions of Syracuse, NY, who would like to contribute 43 more rental housing units for low-income people.

Please sign our petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/deny-…

Homeowner occupants in the Borough of Pottstown struggle to pay their taxes, maintain their homes, safeguard what is left of their quality of life, and watch their home values sink.

We are a borough of 5 square miles, population 22,000 in Montgomery County, PA one of the Wealthiest Counties in the U.S.  By the counties own figures, Pottstown has a rate over 7 times higher than the county average of Voucher Housing residents.  The poor, disabled, drug addicted and mentally ill are warehoused here as sex offenders and other criminal elements find respite within our slums.

The streets and sidewalks of our town are land mines of trash and discarded households, raw sewage runs freely, crossing public walkways into the gutters and storm water drains while greedy rental income investors milk the taxpayers, collect their government checks and blatantly neglect their properties, their tenants, their taxes and this community.

Rental homes fill with moisture and mold, faulty furnaces go unchecked while dangerous electrical wiring lies hidden beneath false ceilings.  Drug dealers rule the streets and young women, who give them shelter in their Section 8 dwellings, have more babies that we cannot afford.

Pottstown and Norristown Boroughs carry an untenable weight of segregation of the poor and non-whites so that the wealthy white communities of Montgomery County, PA will never have to know the reality of impoverishment.

STOP THEM NOW.

43 Apartments Planned For Pottstown Furniture Warehouse

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note:  While we 100 percent support any adaptive reuse projects in Pottstown, we are greatly concerned about the involvement of a low-income housing tax credit.  This project, if done correctly, could be a HUGE shot in the arm to this neighborhood and solidify the borough’s claim to be moving towards becoming an arts designation (which we 110 percent support). 

That being said, private sector investment is needed, not more glorified Section 8 housing.  In our humble opinion, this is the “easy way out”.  It might be harder to find private sector dollars but the payoff is greater.  Other communities are successfully finding investors who are converting old building into MARKET RATE apartments and condominiums.  I am all for affordable housing but any involvement of Section 8/low-income funding taints the project.

Pottstown needs to have a better opinion of itself and not settle for the first offer that falls from the sky.  Section 8 and low-income housing do not raise property values nor do they change people’s minds about Pottstown.  Somebody needs to be courageous and just say no.  Find another way.

POTTSTOWN — The moribund plan to transform the former Fecera’s furniture warehouse on Beech Street into artist loft apartments returned to borough council Wednesday night with new backers and a new twist.

Genesis Housing Inc., the non-profit agency which engineered the development of the former Jefferson School into senior rental housing and has rehabilitated dozens or blighted properties in the first ward into owner-occupied homes, is partnering with a Syracuse non-profit housing agency on a $12 million plan to develop the property into 43 apartments targeted toward artists.

The difference is in addition to securing an historic architecture tax credit for the project, the developers,   HousingVisions, are also seeking a low-income housing tax credit, the same kind sought in 2010 for the controversial Pearl senior housing proposal along Industrial Highway — and that raised a few eyebrows on borough council.

“I’m still not sold,” Borough Council President Stephen Toroney said. “This is the same tax credit that was sought by the Pearl Group and that was for a 55-and-older community and people still came out and protested.”

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130607/NEWS01/130609465/43-apartments-planned-for-pottstown-furniture-warehouse#full_story

Pottstown Primary Candidates – Out With The Old And In With The New. Part I

It’s time for Pottstown voters to purge local politics of the ostriches on council and replace them with outside the box, critical thinkers who actually have a plan for Pottstown (other than status quo).  In case you haven’t noticed, Pottstown is teetering on a precipice.  Depending on which way the wind blows will determine if Pottstown rises from the ashes like Phoenixville or becomes the next Chester or Camden.

Frankly, I would hope residents would choose the revitalization option.

My BFF, the one and only Missy Mayor Bonnie Heath thinks Pottstown is all sunshine and puppies.  Anybody who dares to pull back the curtain and expose the truth is labeled a trouble maker, malcontent etc… and accused of casting Pottstown in a negative light.  I think that impression has already been seared on the minds of most people and they have their opinion about Pottstown.  Rampant crime, drugs, a Section 8 housing/social services overload, slumlords and a shrinking tax base speak for themselves.  You can’t put lipstick on this pig and make it look good.  Even with glitter and puppies.  People say things like, “If you have to drive through Pottstown, roll up the windows, lock the doors and pray you don’t break down”.

The current crop of bobbleheads on council and their fearless leader Steve Toroney seem to think all is peachy is Pottstown.  Look at the decisions this body has made in the last year.  Look at the crime rate, look at the “for sale signs” all over town, look at your tax bill, look at the state of the downtown (it would be worse if it weren’t for a few brave souls like ArtFusion, Steel River Playhouse, the Brick House and Sheila Dugan) and the list goes on and on.

What vision has this auspicious group proposed for the betterment of Pottstown?  Insert cricket sounds here.  Although, if you read Evan Brandt’s interview with Councilor Kirkland you would think Pottstown is a “boom town” with new businesses springing up like mushrooms and borough council is just one big love fest of unity.  For these reasons and other equally laughable ones, he thinks the incumbents should all be reelected.  Councilor Kirkland can’t seem to wrap his mind around why anybody would run against him on the Democratic ticket???  Talk about a WTF moment.

If you think your vote doesn’t make a difference, you are very wrong.  Sharon Valentine-Thomas lost to Teflon Bonnie by a few dozen votes.  Indifference and apathy are what keep these people in office.  If you would like to live in a revitalized community, a safe community and a community with an excellent quality of life, you should see what the challengers in these races are all about and what they are proposing for Pottstown.  Look at the track record of the people on council.  Are you better off today than you were four years ago?  Are you proud to say you are from Pottstown?  Can you afford to pay your property taxes?  Do you feel safe walking the streets?

These are all things you should ponder before pulling any levers on Tuesday.  Your well-being depends on it.

Letter May Signal Movement On Keim Street Bridge Project

Editor’s note:  Replacing this bridge won’t happen soon enough!

POTTSTOWN — After being closed to traffic for nearly three years, the Keim Street Bridge project is seeing signs of life.

A letter sent to the borough council invites it to choose a volunteer to participate on a committee that will look at the historical significance of the area surrounding the Keim Street Bridge.

The letter was sent Lansdale based CHRS Inc., a company that specializes in making sure building projects comply with state and federal laws on behalf of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

For residents and businesses on both sides of the bridge looking for an end to the waiting period, some movement on the project could finally begin.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130511/NEWS01/130519888/letter-may-signal-movement-on-keim-street-bridge-project#full_story

New Pottstown Chief Aims For Crime Rate Reduction

Editor’s note: While we applaud any momentum to reduce the crime rate in Pottstown…at the rate of 1 to 2 percent per year it will take decades before the crime rate in Pottstown is below the national average.  Maybe some “sweeping changes” are desperately needed!  Pottstown needs a new mayor and a new borough council.  Check out the Reform Party candidates as alternatives to the same old, same old, good old boy network candidates.  You see how that’s working out.

POTTSTOWN — With a unanimous vote and no public discussion, borough council chose Police Captain F. Richard Drumheller as Pottstown’s new chief of police Monday night.

“At first I was nervous, now I’m excited,” Drumheller told his new boss, Mayor Bonnie Heath, after the council meeting.

Drumheller told The Mercury he does not plan any immediate “sweeping changes” to department operations, but that he does have plans to improve the borough’s policing over time and he would like to set a goal of driving down the borough’s crime rate by 1 to 2 percent in a year.

Most significant of the changes he plans, he said, is a greater use of crime data to drive policing efforts.

Pottstown Welcomes 2 New Businesses, 50 Jobs

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note:  Thumbs up to Steve Bamford!

POTTSTOWN — Following on the heels of the news that downtown Pottstown will lose as many as 75 jobs in the coming months, comes the news that the borough may be gaining as many as 58 jobs at two new businesses soon to be break ground.

The news came Wednesday night when borough council heard about two proposals for two new businesses that want to put up new buildings in the borough.

One, known as Patient First, is part of a chain of 43 urgent care medical centers that has been in business for 43 years and promises to bring 50 jobs into the borough.

“We’re looking to hire locally,” said Carl Wright, founder and president of  The Wright Group, which will construct the building at the site of the former Chinese food restaurant across the parking lot from Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Just Cabinets.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130404/NEWS01/130409614/pottstown-welcomes-2-new-businesses-50-jobs#full_story

Pottstown Homicide – When Is Enough Violent Crime Enough?

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

If you read today’s Mercury, you undoubtedly noticed there was a fatal shooting at Brian’s Cafe on the corner of North Charlotte Street and Jefferson Avenue around 2:00 am this morning.  A 27-year-old male died at PMMC after being transported there from the crime scene.

It appears the leadership of Pottstown doesn’t care about crime.  They are more concerned about saving paper and buying 23 iPads instead of spending money on surveillance cameras, police overtime, more police, crime tracking software, cops walking a beat and/or any other assorted method(s) to combat crime.

Pottstown will never revitalize until it gets cleaned up.  Cleaning up Pottstown won’t happen until somebody takes crime seriously and (a).  allocates some resources to solve the problem or (b). asks for help from the state or (c).  all the above.   Keeping a “lid on the powder keg” isn’t a strategy, sorry!

Criminals are not afraid of the police.  Drug deals take place is broad daylight.  Vagrants wander the downtown chasing away potential customers who are trying to patronize one of the few businesses on High Street.  The laws already on the books are not enforced.   Yet borough council meetings have plain clothes police officers in the audience to keep the unruly taxpayers quiet. Maybe those police officers should be patrolling the streets instead of being used to intimidate the very people who pay their salaries.

The Codes Department is a shambles and has contributed to the problem by allowing absentee landlords to carve up homes into substandard rental units.  You have all been following this debacle in the Mercury, I’m sure.  Absentee landlords fail to conduct background checks and will rent to anybody willing to pay in cash.  Pottstown is overrun with social service agencies, Section 8 housing, vagrants, drugs and criminals.

Pottstown keeps promoting from within which is perpetuating the leadership vacuum.  How many borough employees live in Pottstown?  Do any police officers live in Pottstown?  Does Pottstown have any minority or female police officers?  Does Chief BM live in Pottstown?  Did Jason Bobst live in Pottstown?

Has anybody noticed all the for sale signs dotting the borough?  What about all the Sheriff’s sales? People just walk away from their homes.

Before Pottstown becomes the next Camden or Chester, somebody needs to do something.  As voters, you can do something by cleaning house this fall and getting new blood on Pottstown Borough Council and electing a new mayor.  If things don’t change soon, there will be no going back.  The day of reckoning is almost at hand.

We urge voters to check out the Reform Party candidates for Pottstown Borough Council and Ross Belovich for mayor as alternatives to the current bumper crop of ostriches on council and the illustrious Missy Mayor.  You can make a difference.

The taxpayers of Pottstown need to take control of their own destiny.  You’re footing the bill so you should be calling the shots.  Get people on council who will truly represent your interests instead of electing those who foster their own private agendas and could give a rip about your needs.

Power to the Pottstown People!

Pottstown Purchase Of iPads Questionable

Editor’s note:  We SO agree!  Chief BM has a spending addiction.

Going paperless, going green, embracing technology are goals of government these days, and Pottstown borough is getting on board.

A positive path to be sure, but it comes with a cost.

At Pottstown’s council meeting last week, it was announced that the borough has purchased 23 iPads for members of borough council, the mayor, and members of the borough authority.

Each iPad cost $389 for a total of $9,960 with the cost of the covers, Borough Manager Mark Flanders reported.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130317/OPINION01/130319487/pottstown-purchase-of-ipads-questionable-

Pottstown, West Pottsgrove Push Extension Of Keystone Boulevard

POTTSTOWN — Just two days after borough council approved a property tax break for a new business proposed along Keystone Boulevard, officials from the borough and West Pottsgrove Township met to brainstorm about extending the road to the Grosstown Road exit off Route 422.

The extension of Keystone Boulevard through the former Flagg Brass property in West Pottsgrove and over to the Stowe interchange has long been envisioned and was the subject of an $81,000 study by the Rettew Assoc. engineering firm.

Paid for through a grant from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the grant brought both municipalities together to plan jointly for the project, which could cost as much as $10 million.

Although PennDOT does have plans for a $30 million improvement to the Stowe interchange as part of its long-range plans for upgrading Route 422, Brian Regli, Montgomery County’s Director of Commerce, told the assembled officials not to expect the state to come up with the money for that project any time soon.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130315/NEWS01/130319529/pottstown-w-pottsgrove-push-extension-of-keystone-blvd-#full_story

Pottstown Council OKs Business Tax Break With 4-3 Vote

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — With a 4-3 vote, borough council Monday night approved a tax-abatement incentive for a hearse and limousine business seeking to take over the vacant former 84 Lumber building at 451 Keystone Blvd.

Councilmen Dan Weand, Travis Gery and Joe Kirkland voted against extending the Keystone Opportunity Zone property tax break, while it was supported by Council President Stephen Toroney, vice president Jeff Chomnuk and council members Mark Gibson and Carol Kulp.

The matter now moves to the school board, which oversees a much larger slice of the borough’s tax burden and stands to sacrifice substantially more money under the proposed agreement.  It is expected to vote on the matter at its March 25 meeting.

The Montgomery County Commissioners, who must also approve the deal, have indicated they will approve it as long as the borough and the school district do, according to Steve Bamford, Pottstown’s chief economic development officer and an advocate for the deal council approved.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130311/NEWS01/130319844/pottstown-council-oks-business-tax-break-with-4-3-vote#full_story

Pottstown Meeting Set To Boost Borough-School District Cooperation

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note:  Considering the same 5 square miles comprises the school district and the borough, this is well overdue.  However, on a positive note, we will hope this leads to substantive change for the beleaguered Pottstown taxpayer.

POTTSTOWN — It won’t just be the location of the joint school board/borough council meeting Tuesday that is unusual.

The agenda is short, unusual in itself, and further, it is focused almost exclusively on breaking down barriers to cooperation.

“We want to set the stage for collaborating, for open communication,” said schools Superintendent Jeff Sparagana who, along with Borough Manager Mark Flanders, met with The Mercury Thursday to outline their efforts.

“That’s one of the reasons we wanted to have the meeting off-site,” said Flanders. “To put everyone in a setting that encourages participation and interaction.”

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130225/NEWS01/130229649/pottstown-meeting-set-to-boost-borough-school-district-cooperation#full_story

New Pottstown Law Charges Fee To Owners Of Vacant Property

Editor’s note:  The only way this is worth the paper it’s printed on is IF it’s enforced.  The track record for enforcing ordinances in Pottstown is poor.  There are loitering ordinances on file but look at High Street.  “ZZ Top” and company lingering aimlessly around the clock tower, panhandlers, drop in center people hanging around etc…  Why not enforce the laws already on the books!  That would offer immediate improvement.

POTTSTOWN — With a 4-1 vote Monday, borough council adopted a new ordinance which requires the owners of vacant property to register those properties with the borough and to pay an escalating registration fee for each year the property remains vacant.

According to the ordinance, the owners of vacant property must not only register it, but secure it against illegal entry and even post a sign on the property, indicating the name, address and telephone number of the owner.

Starting Sept. 1, when the ordinance goes into effect, owners of vacant residential property must pay a $75 registration fee. If the property is vacant a year later, the registration fee is $125, and $175 the year after that. For every other subsequent year the property is vacant, the registration fee is $275.

Vacant multi-family dwellings will see their registration fee rise from $200 to $400 and industrial or commercial buildings smaller than 10,000 square feet have a first-time fee of $250 that rises to $450 by the fourth year.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130217/NEWS01/130219607/new-pottstown-law-charges-fee-to-owners-of-vacant-property#full_story