Blighted Pottstown House Owned By State Rep.’s Chief Of Staff

Editor’s note:  There are a couple of take away items here.  a.  The Pottstown Codes Department evidently can’t process an address change.  Does that require a $5,000.00 “donation”?  b.  The house is in poor condition and needs repairs.  c.  This illustrates the pitfalls of being an “investor” in Pottstown.  Most likely that amount of damage didn’t happen overnight, from the sounds of the report.  How often are problem properties being checked on by an owner or property manager?  It sounds like the house should be demolished except the owner owes money to the bank.  It will be a LONG wait until conditions improve enough in that neighborhood to make fixing up this property economically viable.  So just add another vacant property to Pottstown’s housing stock.

POTTSTOWN — The district chief of staff for state Rep. Mark Painter, D-146th Dist., is the owner of a Walnut Street home that the borough has recently identified as “blighted.”

The designation was advertised in the legal notices of Wednesday’s edition of The Mercury.

Michael A. Lavanga, who heads up Painter’s district office in Sanatoga and has appeared on his behalf at local government meetings, expressed surprise Wednesday when contacted by a reporter about the advertisement.

According to the legal notice, Lavanga has 30 days to make repairs to the property including repairing or replacing rain gutters, loose paint, windows and the front steps to 409 Walnut St.

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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.

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