Sinking Spring revitalization continues as borough marks 100 years
Downtown revitalization has been slower than expected but that isn't stopping Sinking Spring's centennial celebrations planned for this year.
"We have some fun events planned within the coming year to commemorate the borough's 100th anniversary," said Brian Hoffa, chairman of the Sinking Spring centennial committee.
"We hope to have an official agenda by our next meeting. So far plans include a community-wide breakfast on March 10, a carnival with the possibility of fireworks, a car cruise, and bands playing in the park."
If and when these events will take place is uncertain; however, one thing is certain- the need for volunteers for the committee.
"We need to knuckle down... we need extra volunteers," Hoffa said during Thursday night's council meeting.
The year-long celebration will highlight Sinking Spring's history and its changing future.
Major changes along Penn Ave in the borough were first proposed in 2008. A group of residents formed a non-profit revitalization group called BOSS 2020 and came up numerous ways to improve the borough within the next 20 years.
Proposals include major roadway alterations and additions to alleviate traffic congestion, along with more pedestrian-friendly walkways. The overall goal is to attract more businesses to the area to revive downtown, a common theme throughout Berks County.
Council President James Pachuilo said progress has been slow due to a lack of funding saying, "We have proposals outlined but we have to secure the funding first."
One of the more noticeable changes has been the Spring Market shopping plaza, formerly the Boscov's West property, along Penn Ave. Spring Market houses numerous businesses such as Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Family Dollar, Edible Arrangements, and Little Caesars Pizza. One prominent absence, however, is the Food Lion grocery store. Food Lion was located in the shopping plaza's "anchor location" and closed just 14 months after opening.
The closing of Food Lion has many residents questioning the effectiveness of the borough's revitalization efforts.
When asked if there were any plans for a business to move into the vacant lot, Pachuilo said, "The owner of Market Square and Food Lion have a three year lease and until that ends there won't much effort from the owners to find a replacement. I can tell you that BOSS 2020 is working very hard to find a business to move into that location."
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