Pottstown Borough Council, neighbors discuss future of Ricketts Center

 

POTTSTOWN, Pa. – Pottstown Borough Council formally adopted the borough's 2020 budget, which includes a 0.486 mill tax increase, Monday night.

The budget projects revenues and expenditures of $45,618,671, a decrease of $3,349,508 from the 2019 budget of $48,968,179, which is largely driven by a reduction in assessments.

The total millage for 2020 is 13.161 mills, which breaks down to 9.449 mills for general purposes, 0.337 mills for street lighting, 1.058 mills for parks and recreation, 0.230 mills for the library, 2.031 mills for fire protection and 0.056 mills for debt service.

In a brief ceremony, the council paid tribute to two members, Carol Kulp and Rita Paez, whose terms expire at the end of the year, with official resolutions and floral bouquets.

“It’s been a great ride but it’s (also) good to get younger people involved in government,” Kulp said.

"It was a great education,” Paez commented.

Kulp had served two terms and Paez one.

Council President Dan Weand reported that as of the end of October the borough had received 101% of budgeted revenue while expenses were at 86% of budget. Taxes received were at 99%; however, assessments declined by over $2.8 million resulting in a loss of over $36,000 in tax revenue.

Ricketts Center

The council approved the agreement between Boyertown Multi-Service, Inc. and the borough for the operation of the Richard J. Ricketts, Sr., Community Center.

The initial term of the agreement is for two years beginning Jan. 1, and concluding Dec. 31, 2021. The agreement may be extended for one additional two-year term.

The agreement calls for BMS to operate the center and offer programs and events which include community recreation, education, cultural and health programs for residents of the borough for all ages. BMS will administer, operate and maintain the center with its own resources and other funds in addition to the borough contribution of $40,000 annually.

In addition. BMS shall work with borough, and Pottstown community stakeholders to establish a mutually agreed upon community advisory board. The board is to assist BMS in the operation of the center, assist with the community needs, and to locate and acquire additional funding sources.

The community advisory board will include at least one and not more than two representatives appointed by the borough. The board also should include representatives from the Pottstown residential community, local organizations and other individuals and organizations that may be recommended by the borough. The ultimate decision on the membership of the community advisory board, beyond the mandatory borough representatives, shall be that of Boyertown Multi-Service.

“We need to keep on top of Boyertown at first so that we see improvement every month,” Councilman Donald Lebedynsky said.

Other News

The council granted the request of the Carousel at Pottstown to waive the formal land development process and to waive the minor land development application fee for its proposed building addition located at 30 W. King Street. The relief is subject to the Carousel paying the escrow fee to defray review fees by borough consultants and the submission of a grading/stormwater management plan, application and required fees.

Weand said the council does not ordinarily waive fees, but because the borough owns the Carousel building they were simply waiving fees on the borough.

The council adopted an ordinance providing for a Municipal Employee Savings Plan for full-time, non-uniformed employees. The plan includes a defined contribution 401A Savings Plan for all non-uniformed employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2020.

The council accepted the proposal of Thomas Hylton for a donation of $35,000 for the maintenance and replacement of trees at no cost to the borough. The funds will be used for the maintenance of street trees in the public right of way; the removal of dead trees in the public right of way; and the treatment of ash trees in the public right of way for emerald ash borer.

The council also approved the temporary airport maintenance hangar lease assignment and assumption of existing lease between the borough and Pasquale Aviation, for a period not to exceed 12 months.