Editor’s note: A continuation of Evan Brandt’s series about crime in Pottstown. Well worth the read. The blogging community has been trying to get this problem addressed for a while now and it’s great that the mainstream media and Montco officials are getting on the bandwagon to clean up Pottstown. We feel Pottstown has great potential but it can’t be realized until crime is brought under control. When criminals learn that Pottstown isn’t open for business anymore, redevelopment can really take hold.
How many times have you heard it in the past year?
“Pottstown is turning into another Reading.”
It’s the kind of comparison not meant to reflect well on the Berks County seat, labeled in 2011 as the nation’s poorest city.
But comparisons are a way to put things in context.
Smith Family Plaza – 100 E High Street, Pottstown
Come Downtown and “Eat Like A Local!”
Join our downtown restaurants, Argento’s, Grumpy’s, Lily’s Grill & The Milkmen Lunch Co. for a taste of their fare, LIVE music by ‘Bees in a Bottle’ and your community for lunch outdoors THIS FRIDAY, June 27th, between 11:00 am – 2:00 pm (music between 11:30 am – 1:30 pm)
We promise nice weather and the perfect scenery to enjoy lunch, friends and neighbors!
p.s. The RESTAURANTS WILL ALSO BE OPEN if you want to visit them inside as well!
ADDITIONAL DATES PLANNED – July 18, August 15 & September 19th
We are looking for additional local bands – if you know someone and they can play any of the above
dates, please let Sheila Dugan know – 610-323-5400 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsored by Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority
PLEASE REMEMBER SNOW RULES IF YOU ARE PARKING ON HIGH STREET IN THE NEXT TWO DAYS.
Parking areas should be left free of cars along High Street WHEN THE STORM ENDS – we do all we can to clear those areas, quickly and efficiently.
Any questions, feel free to contact Sheila Dugan at 484-948-6061. PLEASE USE THE LOTS AVAILABLE. Thank you in advance!
PS. Don’t forget to warm up this Saturday at The Soup Bowl Fund Raiser – www.ARTFusion19464.0rg
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.
POTTSTOWN, PA – SNOW IS ON IT’S WAY – PLEASE If you plan to park along High Street between York and Evan’s, please go to the various municipal lots so that the parking areas can be cleared of snow as easily as possible. PENNDOT only plows the center lane for us. PDIDA must do the rest, it will be best for all if we can manage a few hours in the lots, clear the streets without issue and then park again on High – Please share this information if you can so things go smoothly. If 5″ or more is laid, we will begin snow removal as quickly as possible. Thanks everyone for your cooperation!
Specific municipal lots are assigned to the 100, 200, and 300 hundred blocks of High Street. Vehicles which park overnight on the 100 block of High Street are assigned to the parking lot across the tracks from the old train station. In the 200 block, cars are assigned to the lot behind American Cash Traders and cars from the 300 block should park in the Evans Street lot.
Questions? Please call Sheila at 610-323-5400 or 484-948-6061.
POTTSTOWN – Summer is time for savings in downtown Pottstown, especially this Saturday when the annual Sidewalk Sale takes to the streets from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
According to Main Street Manager Sheila Dugan, the day will include offers from more than 40 downtown merchants, as well as face painting, a visit from Rainbow the Clown and collections of Pottstown School uniforms.
Demonstrations will be provided by CrossFit at 21 N. Hanover St. at 12:45, 2:45 and again at 4 p.m.
Also providing demonstrations at 307 E. High St. will be Red Cloud Kung Fu at 12, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
Editor’s note: This sucks!
POTTSTOWN — A medical equipment supply business that has been quietly thriving in downtown Pottstown is set to move the bulk of its operation to Oaks this spring, taking as many as 75 jobs with it.
Royal Medical Supply’s 34 E. High St. location will remain open and return it to its original purpose, a showroom, said Roy Repko, who founded the company in Royersford in 1984 with his father-in-law and brother-in-law.
Even as late as the 1990s, the majority of its business was comprised of referrals from Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, Phoenixville Hospital and the Pottstown Area Visiting Nurse Association.
POTTSTOWN, PA — There’s a lot of money to be made, a lot of money to be spent and a lot of money to be won in downtown Pottstown this year as part of the “Hometown Holiday Celebration” planned by the Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority.
The money to be made and spent obviously involves shopping in local stores, but you probably want to know more about how the money can be won.
Well, there are two ways. The first is an innovative raffle idea called “Five at $25.”
Great feel good story about PHS students who are working with PDIDA as volunteers to keep downtown Pottstown looking great!
You can read the inspiring story here:
Two new members were appointed by Council tonight: one for the Planning Commission and one for PDIDA.
Joe Loftus was appointed by Council to fill a vacant term on the Pottstown Planning Commission to expire February 1, 2013.
Susan Storb was appointed by Council to fill a vacant term on the Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority expiring on January 1, 2013.
In other PDIDA news Shiela Dugan addressed Council during the Comments From Citizens Present. Shiela Dugan is the new President of PDIDA after the April meeting when the authority reorganized. Shiela told Council that the fundraising and marketing committees were reorganized, work has begun on this year’s 2011 Hometown Holiday Celebration and a merchant mentoring program has been started. Shiela thanked the PHS students in attendance for their two-year commitment to do weekly cleaning around the borough. A half-dozen youth wearing yellow tee-shirts were at tonight’s meeting. Shiela stated a check for $300 check was received by PDIDA from a local business.
Shiela urged Council to vote yes on agenda item 7 and approve the matching funds for the DCED grant for PDIDA.
Pottstown Mayor Bonnie Heath stormed out of tonight’s Pottstown Borough Council meeting after agenda item 7 did not pass (followed by her husband who made a derogatory remark about Council’s collective intelligence). A roll call vote was requested by President Toroney. The vote went as follows: Chomnuk – No, Gibson – Yes, Kirkland– Yes, Rhoads – No, Weand – No, Toroney – No. Councilor Allen was absent.
During the Mayor’s lengthy report, Bonnie spent a great deal of time asking Council to vote yes for agenda item 7 which was a resolution authorizing the filing for funds with Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in the amount of $60,000 for the Main Street, Exit Grant, New Communities program. What this means to the average taxpayer is that by voting yes the Borough of Pottstown would have been on the hook for the $60,000 matching funds if the Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (PDIDA) failed to raise the other $60,000. If PDIDA failed to raise the necessary $30,000 contribution each year, the Borough of Pottstown, by default, would have had to match the DCED grant.
The Finance Committee recommended that Council vote no because there is too much risk to the Borough to move forward, according to Finance Chairman and Fifth Ward Councilor Dan Weand. The confidence in PDIDA’s ability to match this grant is very questionable. According to Mayor Heath, PDIDA’s assessments would generate $42,000 a year leaving a positive balance for PDIDA of $12,000 each year. Mayor Heath said there is no risk to Pottstown to approve this grant match because the DCED felt PDIDA would be able to match the funding based on their assessment figures.
President Toroney said PDIDA should look more toward volunteerism instead of paying a Main Street Manager. He referenced Pottstown’s Riverfront Park as an excellent example of volunteerism. President Toroney also said that Council does support PDIDA and downtown Pottstown, however, in this instance the majority of Council feels the financial risk is too great. Councilor Kirkland said he was confident that PDIDA would be able to raise the needed funds. Councilor Gibson said he supported PDIDA and voted yes for the resolution but did so “hoping” he made the right decision.
The majority of this money goes to pay the Main Street Manager’s salary. Frankly, my experience with Mr. Wildrick is that he does not return emails. Other than purple lights on the trees downtown and the Hometown Holiday events in December, did we get our bang for the buck in a year and a half????? Evidently there are four members of Council who have the same question. The other project Mr. Wildrick was working on was a skyline project to outline the downtown buildings like Boat House Row. While this is a cool idea, it might make more sense to have a full downtown before we worry about ambient lighting.
Councilor Rhoads wondered how many businesses downtown are doing well. If a number of businesses close that would hamper PDIDA’s ability to generate the sufficient funds to pay the DCED grant match.
President Toroney also stated that PDIDA needs to come up with a vision and a long-range plan. We agree.
Councilor Gibson made the suggestion that PDIDA expand their territory to include more businesses in Pottstown. The example he gave was the High Street Redner’s. Redner’s makes money and as a company they give money to community projects and events in the form of corporate sponsorships. Councilor Gibson said there are businesses that would love to be allowed to join PDIDA but are outside of their limited territory.
This vote means that unless PDIDA finds private sector funding (which is available) they will not have the funds to pay the Main Street Manager’s salary.
My suggestion to PDIDA is that you contact places like Lancaster and York, who have strong downtown organizations, and see what information you can glean from them. I am sure they would gladly be of assistance and would be a wealth of information.
My other suggestion is that Mayor Heath should receive a formal reprimand from Council for leaving the meeting before adjournment. As Councilor Gibson stated, every vote does not go his way but he respects the opinions and decisions of his fellow Councilors and does not get mad about it. Councilors Rhoads and Weand echoed Councilor Gibson’s sentiments and were thanked by President Toroney.
Mayor Heath is an elected official who has an obligation to attend these meetings. Because there were only six Councilors in attendance this evening, had there been a tie vote, the mayor casts the tie-breaking vote. By leaving after agenda item 7, the mayor missed the voting for the remaining six agenda items!
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!