Pottstown Nets $110,000 In Unpaid Water Bills Through ‘Landlord Shutoffs’

POTTSTOWN, PA — When the third financial quarter started in July 1, nearly $200,000 in unpaid water and sewer bills loomed over the borough system’s finances.

By July 29, that number had been cut by more than half as the result of the borough’s fourth round of “landlord shutoffs.”

“It was very rewarding,” Bob Plenderleith, the borough’s utilities administrator, told the Pottstown Borough Authority last week.

“That level of return is outstanding,” said Finance Director Janice Lee.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140826/pottstown-nets-110000-in-unpaid-water-bills-through-landlord-shutoffs

Blame For Blighted Properties In Monessen Reaches Across Globe

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland ...

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

Mayor Lou Mavrakis drove slowly through Monessen, block by block, pointing out one vacant, blighted building after another in the city of 7,700 along the Monongahela River.

“That belongs to me,” he said, pointing to a house with a collapsing roof that has become the responsibility of the city and the mayor.

Tax records show the building is one of 264 structures and lots in the city that have been abandoned by their owners. More than 26 percent of the city’s 734 blighted properties are owned by people from 24 states and five foreign countries, beyond the legal reach of Monessen officials.

“It’s almost impossible to get in touch with these owners,” Mavrakis said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/6562693-74/property-owners-monessen#ixzz3ACc2e4tx
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York City Mayor Proposes No Tax Increase

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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

York City Mayor Kim Bracey is proposing a 2014 budget that does not increase property taxes.

The proposal is now in the hands of the York City Council, which has scheduled two hearings in early December to discuss the budget. It is scheduled to be adopted at the council’s Tuesday, Dec. 17 meeting.

“This was a tough budget,” Bracey said Tuesday at a press conference.

The city’s costs continue to rise, and revenues haven’t kept pace, Bracey said. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s “antiquated” local-government system greatly limits the options for officials in third-class cities like York, she said.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_24553629/york-city-mayor-proposes-no-tax-increase

State To Undertake $500,000 Cleanup Of Pottstown Plating

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note:  This is great news!

POTTSTOWN — The state is stepping in to make sure a half-million-dollar environmental cleanup at a closed plating facility in the borough gets completed after the bankrupt owner stopped work.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced Wednesday it would take over the removal of hazardous materials left over at the former Pottstown Plating on South Washington Street at the intersection with Industrial Highway.

The company, which performed electroplating, opened in 1950 and closed in 2009 just before going bankrupt, according to the DEP.

When the DEP inspected the site in 2009, it found a number of environmental issues that needed to be addressed and the company’s owners hied a contractor to removed hazardous waste there.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130918/state-to-undertake-500000-cleanup-of-pottstown-plating

14 Houses Put On Blighted List By Reading Panel

The city’s Blighted Property Review Committee on Thursday certified 14 more houses as blighted, despite requests from some owners for more time to fix them.

It also removed six properties from its target list because owners had resolved problems. And it tabled action on three other properties.

Despite the certifications – which allow the city to take the properties, by eminent domain if necessary – the owners are in little jeopardy of the homes being wrested from them any time soon.

The Reading Redevelopment Authority, which would take ownership of the homes, has said it won’t take any property unless the city has an identified use for it – which is rare.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=386947