Reading Fighting Hard For Redevelopment Designation

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer said his staff knew they were in for a fight if they were going to beat out other Pennsylvania cities for two City Revitalization and Improvement Zone designations.

Today, Spencer said an application for the designation had been submitted and it was time to take the gloves off.

“It was a Herculean task from the start,” Spencer told a gathering in the former Citizens Bank building near the corner of Fifth and Penn streets.

Guidelines for the grants were issued Oct. 31, leaving only weeks to select an authority to oversee the CRIZ program; chose the 129 acres comprising 260 parcels; draw up a redevelopment strategy for the zone; and draft an application. The designation will allow the authority to take state and local taxes generated by properties in the zone and reinvest them in properties in the zone.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131203/NEWS/312029867#.Up5KB7B3uM8

Route 222 Plans Accelerating

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s the snippet of Berks County where time appears to stop, and progress means inching forward in a line of brake lights that doesn’t seem to end.

Drivers and public officials in Berks have complained for years that the northern part of Route 222 – particularly the 7-mile stretch between the so-called Road to Nowhere expressway in Ontelaunee Township and the start of the Kutztown bypass in Richmond Township – is a commuting nightmare.  It’s also a safety hazard and a roadblock to economic growth.

But that could all change if Pennsylvania’s coffers for road projects get a little fill-up, PennDOT says.

The agency has committed to making Route 222 a four-lane highway from Reading to Kutztown if legislators adopt Gov. Tom Corbett’s plan to boost transportation funds through increases in wholesale gasoline taxes and structural changes to PennDOT.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=452737