Call To Order – President Toroney.
Invocation – given by Mayor Heath.
Pledge of Allegiance
Roll Call – all Councilors present.
Approval of minutes was given.
Comments from Citizens Present
Bob Leaming – spoke against parking restrictions on S. Hanover St. that are being proposed as a way to combat increased traffic due to the Keim St. bridge closure. Bob did an impromptu traffic study on the proposed parking restricted area. Approximately 20 cars went through each green light. 12 went straight, 7 turned left and 1 turned right, on average. Banning or restricting parking will not solve the traffic problem. A longer green light is needed at Hanover and High so more northbound traffic can get through that light. (This plan should also include the light at King and High)
(Jason said a traffic count is being proposed by PennDot to get an accurate handle on the situation. Jason recommended the motion be tabled to give PennDot sufficient time to conduct a study.)
Nancy Leaming – is the owner of AVJ Natural Cat at 6 S. Hanover St. Nancy stated a large percentage of her customers come into the store between 4 – 6 p.m. (when the proposed restriction would be in place) and customers can not be lugging huge bags of cat food and litter across the street or around the corner. Such a parking restriction would kill her business.
Burt Meyers – spoke against the proposed parking restriction as well. Burt owns Meyers Automotive Repair at 8 S. Hanover. He stated the four businesses on that side of the street already have a huge parking problem. The light is also a problem at High and Hanover. It only stays green approximately 35 seconds. The restriction would be a great hardship on Burt’s business.
Melissa Braunsberg – is an AVJ Natural Cat customer who also echoed the sentiments of the other speakers and was not in favor of parking restrictions on S. Hanover St. Parking is already a huge problem and she does not want anything to jeopardize this store because she gets a lot of products from there. She normally comes into the store between 5 – 6 p.m. (after work) and would have no where to park. She also feels the light and High and Hanover is a problem.
Don Read – made an impassioned plea to Council to give him another term on the Borough Authority. He said he realizes many people do not like his personality and that he “speaks about issues” which some do not appreciate. He feels personality should be removed from the decision-making process and that he has done a good job on the Authority if you look at is record. Don stated he enjoys being on the Authority.
Mayor’s Report – Bonnie thanked the S. Hanover St. business owners for addressing Council. She also read part of an email sent out from Anna Johnson of Citizen’s For Pottstown’s Revitalization extolling recent successes and stating that despite our differences, we all share the same goal for a safer Pottstown and encouraged people to stay involved! (You can read that entire email right here on Roy’s Rants). Bonnie also thanked the Police Department for doing a good job last year.
Manager’s Report – Jason talked about the Community Development Block Grant and a project for Washington Street.
Jason is working with FEMA regarding data on Pottstown’s flood plain.
The Pottstown Traffic Group is discussing following items: the new signal at Industrial Hwy. and Moser Rd., the Route 100 construction (lane reductions) that will last for 12 – 18 months, the Hanover Street parking and signals, the High Street Bridge closure and rebuilding, the Keim Street bridge project will take 3 – 4 years to get through the design stage, the Armand Hammer Boulevard Interchange on 422 is slated for construction and the Industrial Hwy sewer line replacements and paving needs to be coordinated.
On 01/20/2011 there will be an overview meeting about Pottstown’s Code Enforcement software.
Jason talked about the 22 East Second Street project. Students from the Votech will be rehabbing that property for resale. The cost of the project will be recouped from the sale of the property.
Montgomery Planning Commission’s northwest transit plan will involve Pottstown Area Rapid Transit (PART) for 3 of 7 new routes they are recommending be established to service this part of the county, in places where access to mass transit does not currently exist.
The 2010 audit will be completed by May.
Jason talked about Pottstown’s drastic improvement with its finances. Our cash flow as of 12/31/10 was $1.7 million, compared to 2008 when it was -$136,000! Liabilities as of 11/31/2010 were $72,000, compared to 2008 where they were $740,000! We should give Jason, Janice and the Finance Committee a medal!
Mayor Heath presented a civilian service award to a borough resident who helped Pottstown Police apprehend a drug dealer! The gentleman got a standing ovation from all present!
Council authorized the application to the 2010 PECO Green Region Space Program for Memorial Park Phase II projects.
Council approved the submission to the Montgomery County Revitalization Board for the following projects: Skyline Lighting, Gallery on High and the Western Gateway.
Council approved an Agreement of Cooperation between the Borough of Pottstown and the Redevelopment Authority of Montgomery County for support of the Village Productions/TRIPAC application to the Department of Community and Economic Development.
Council approved a motion to grant the YWCA of Pottstown a reduced rate on 15 parking spaces in the King Street Lot and to provide 5 spaces at the regular rate.
The motion to prepare an ordinance restricting parking on S. Hanover Street was tabled. (Council is concerned about impacting our downtown businesses)
Don Read was not reappointed to the Borough Authority. Councilor Kirkland spoke on his behalf. However, when a roll call vote was taken, only Councilor Kirkland voted to reappoint Mr. Read. Someone felt the need to clap after the vote was taken. David Wren was then appointed to serve on the Borough Authority to replace Mr. Read.
Sheila Dugan and Mr. Heisey were appointed to PDIDA.
Council voted to reappoint the four existing members of the Blighted Property Review Committee.
Mark Patrizi was reappointed to the Zoning Hearing Board.
Gail Yoder was appointed to serve on the Vacancy Board.
Council endorsed the concept of the Citizen Education Program, the Pottstown Academy, and the Citizen Codes Inspector Program. Jason has been given the green light to implement these programs.
Council approved the demolition of the former Frederick Mill Building at 527 N. Hanover St. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A few contracts were awarded for Public Works, Streets Division. Some certificates of appropriates were approved from HARB and the bills were paid.
Councilor Weand commended the Finance Staff for their fantastic work on getting our financial house in order. Councilor Weand is head of the Finance Committee and should get a shout-out for all his hard work as well!
Meeting was adjourned so Council could go into Executive Session.