Pottstown Chooses Sparagana As New Schools Chief

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — The school district’s acting superintendent became its official superintendent Thursday night when the school board unanimously approved a three-year contract for Jeff Sparagana worth more than $173,000 a year.

The vote came almost three months to the day after Reed Lindley abruptly resigned as Pottstown Superintendent.

In a vote that appeared nowhere on the night’s school board agenda, Sparagana was provided with a contract that ends on June 30, 2016.

His term begins immediately.   Sparagana’s “aggregate annual salary” will be $173,624, according to the terms of the contract, explained after the vote by School District Solicitor Stephen Kalis.
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Erie City Council Passes $63.3 Million Budget For 2013

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Erie County

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

The cost of running the city will rise in 2013.

But Erie homeowners won’t have to pay any additional property taxes or fees to fund the operation.

Erie City Council on Wednesday unanimously passed Mayor Joe Sinnott’s proposed $63.3 million general fund budget with no substantial changes.  The budget is about $2.5 million more than the 2012 budget, which included a 1.65 mill, or 14 percent, annual property tax increase.

“Given the current state of the economy, taxpayers couldn’t bear the burden of two tax increases in a row,” Councilman Bob E. Merski said following the vote at Erie City Hall, 626 State St.

Read more:   http://www.goerie.com/erie-city-council-passes-633-million-budget-for-2013

Fountain At Point State Park To Resume June 7

The fountain in Pittsburgh’s Point State Park, which has been shut off since April 2009, will resume operation in a ceremony set for June 7.

The announcement was made today in a statement released by the Riverlife organization, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

“The transformation of Point State Park is almost complete, and with the reconstructed fountain it will once again be a jewel in our award-winning state park system,” said DCNR secretary Richard J. Allan in a statement.  “After hard work and collaboration across the region, we’re happy to celebrate this major reconstruction with a public event that will showcase the renovations and the park in a stunning waterfront gathering spot.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/fountain-at-point-state-park-to-sume-june-7-667187/#ixzz2FdM9zxY3

Judges Reject Scranton Commuter Tax

A panel of three judges Wednesday rejected Scranton‘s petition for a 1 percent wage tax on the nearly 23,000 nonresidents who work in the city but live elsewhere.

The city may make up the resulting budget shortfall next year by borrowing more next year than had been anticipated or selling an unspecified city asset, Mayor Chris Doherty said.

In their 50-page ruling, Lackawanna County Judges Terrence Nealon and Robert Mazzoni and visiting Pike County Judge Harold Thomson stated the city failed to prove its case for a 1 percent earned income tax on the 22,655 nonresidents working in the city.

The city failed to pass a required hurdle of having “substantially implemented” a revised recovery plan, by failing to fulfill two revenue generators in that plan.  Those included failing to obtain a commitment from a lender for a lease-back borrowing measure to be undertaken next year; and failing to obtain commitments from nonprofit entities for significantly increased donations, according to the ruling.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/judges-reject-scranton-commuter-tax-1.1418855

Lehigh Valley International Airport To Have International Flights

Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Ai...

Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABE, ICAO: KABE) in Hanover Township, 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the first time, Lehigh Valley International Airport passengers could soon be taking direct flights to places like Mexico, Puerto Rico and Jamaica.

The authority that runs the cash-strapped and passenger-starved airport Tuesday endorsed a $5 million plan to add a U.S. Customs station that would allow LVIA to have flights out of the country as early as 2014.

Embarking on a multimillion-dollar project will not be easy for the struggling airport.  But the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority supported a plan to accept a $1.5 million state grant and take out loans for $3.5 million to build an inspection station.

The board believes the station will keep thousands of fliers a year from using other airports to go to places like Cancun, San Juan and Montego Bay.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-abe-airport-international-20121218,0,4105822.story

Dentist Dr. Matthew Freedman To Stay Put In Lancaster City

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Editor’s note:  Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to Dr. Freedman for making an investment in the City of Lancaster and expanding his  payroll!  Small business is the key!

Dr. Matthew Freedman has sentimental reasons for keeping his dental practice at 416 N. Duke St.

He has business reasons too.

The combination is prompting him to invest $600,000 to renovate and expand the office, rather than relocate.

“At one point, I did look at other sites in the city with a Realtor.  But I didn’t find anything that hit the nail on the head,” said Freedman.

Freedman has deep roots in the North Duke Street office.  It was opened by his father, the late Dr. Edward Freedman, in 1983.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/794930_Dentist-Dr–Matthew-Freedman-to-stay-put-in-Lancaster-city.html#ixzz2FdCsVI9L

Cumru Township Stretch Of Route 724 To Reopen Friday

750 mm by 600 mm (30 in by 24 in) Pennsylvania...

750 mm by 600 mm (30 in by 24 in) Pennsylvania shield, made to the specifications of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), 2003 Edition (sign M1-5). Uses the Roadgeek 2005 fonts. (United States law does not permit the copyrighting of typeface designs, and the fonts are meant to be copies of a U.S. Government-produced work anyway.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thousands of daily commuters who were used to traveling on Route 724 in Cumru Township are getting an early Christmas present.

The 1.5-mile stretch between Route 10 and Interstate 176 is set to reopen Friday afternoon.  It has been closed since August so the Reading Area Water Authority could install a water main.

“The paving’s pretty much done and everything’s been tested,” said Alan Wong, construction manager.

Crews are adding finishing touches, like line painting, and PennDOT needs to inspect the stretch, he said.  Another layer of asphalt will be added in spring, but that won’t delay the reopening.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/Article.aspx?id=437832