QUAKERTOWN, Pa. -

Quakertown Borough Council Wednesday night passed a motion allowing for discounted electricity in an effort to spark new business development.

In a unanimous vote, Council agreed on a proposal designed to attract new industrial-sized businesses to the borough by offering price cuts to the demand charges on a business owner's electric bill.

According to Quakertown Borough Manager Scott McElree, the reduced-cost electric program offers an incentive for building developers to have their industrial clients move to Quakertown. Businesses could take advantage of discounts as high as 75% off of demand billings for up to 5 years when an employer creates 10 to 39 jobs, and up to 10 years of 75% off reductions when 40 or more jobs are realized.

McElree added the program especially will target Quakertown's currently underutilized commercial buildings and allow them to be developed into rented offices and business/manufacturing centers producing much-needed jobs.

In other business, Council agreed to move to a second phase in its downtown business district traffic plan and design study.

Late last month during its work session, council reviewed the results of an initial traffic study conducted by Traffic Planning and Design, Inc. of Upper Saucon which recommended having downtown Broad Street from Fourth through Branch Streets once again become a two-way street.

Council President L. James Roberts said the traffic study is still in its fundamental stages, and McElree noted the matter will be reviewed again by council early next year.

Reverting downtown Broad Street back to two-ways, explained McElree, will not only alleviate some traffic congestion, reduce speeding, and eliminate merging, but also will provide for increased business development with better merchant visibility thereby also attracting new businesses to the borough's downtown