POTTSTOWN — The dream of establishing luxury rail service between the nation’s capital and the storied Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia — and of building that train in Pottstown — died on the auction block Thursday.
Ross Rowland, president and CEO of the Greenbrier Express, said the auction of the nine passenger cars, equipment, tools and railroad ephemera marked “the end of the Greenbrier project.”
The project was bankrolled by Appalachian coal billionaire Jim Justice, the owner of the resort, as a way to attract more high-profile visitors to the resort and restore some glamour to rail travel.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Murrysville is home to an aging population along with younger families who can’t afford to buy the empty-nesters’ larger lots, according to an architect who is developing the municipality’s comprehensive plan.
The plan provides a glimpse into Murrysville’s future, including some trends that are beginning to emerge, Andrew Schwartz, of Pittsburgh-based Environmental Planning and Design, told officials this week.
“You need to start thinking about that (55- to 65-year-old demographic) now,” Schwartz said. “Are there some places that maybe there should be higher densities encouraged?”
HARRISBURG – The main Pennsylvania state budget bill became law with Gov. Tom Corbett’s signature on Sunday night, as he acknowledged that the wider agenda he had sought with it of overhauling public employee pension systems, privatizing wine and liquor sales and increasing transportation funding has stalled until the fall.
Still, Corbett did not express disappointment, and instead sought to highlight the progress that occurred in the Legislature.
“I have to thank the people for what they’ve done and I certainly encourage them when they return in the fall,” Corbett told reporters shortly after the signing the bill at 10:15 p.m. “Let’s get it done.”
The House today is expected to begin debate on a $28.3 billion state spending plan for next year.
It is the House Republicans’ 2013-14 budget proposal, one of three that has been put on the table along with ones from Gov. Tom Corbett and Senate Democrats.
None of the three plans call for any increases in in broad-based taxes, such as the sales tax or personal income taxes.
Much of today’s debate is likely to focus on amendments that reflect the House Democrats’ priorities that would raise the proposed total spending level to $28.7 billion. The additional money they want to spend would be directed to K-12 and higher education and social services.