Southeastern PA

Pottstown Borough Council approves lease of Ricketts Center

POTTSTOWN, Pa. - In the end, the vote was unanimous. After months of discussion, Pottstown Borough Council approved a four-year lease agreement with the Olivet Boys and Girls Club of Reading and Berks County for the use of the Richard J. Ricketts Sr. Community Center on Monday.

Several council members expressed the hope that Olivet would cooperate with STRIVE (Strengthening Tomorrow Requires Initiative and Vision Everyday) to develop programs for the entire community including adults. STRIVE was the other organization bidding to lease the Ricketts Center.

"I want Olivet and STRIVE to work together," Councilwoman Trenita Lindsay said. "That's the sentiment in my district."

Councilman Joseph Kirkland said that although he would vote for the Olivet lease addendum, "Ricketts should be operated by the community it serves." Kirkland believes that eventually, "the borough should operate the center."

The lease addendum provides that for the next term beginning Jan. 1, 2020 the agreement may be extended by the parties for four additional four-year terms. The current agreement calls for five-year terms.

The addendum also calls for Olivet to provide weekday and weekend programming. At minimum, the total weekday operation of the center shall consist of 30 hours for youth programming. In addition, the center will operate a minimum of four hours per day on Saturday and Sunday.

For the next term of the lease the borough will provide $40,000 annually to the club. If either the borough or Olivet Boys and Girls Clubs undertake capital improvements, any amounts expended by the borough for capital improvements may be offset and credited against the borough's annual contribution.

Other News

The council granted a conditional use request from David Bailey to operate an automobile repair station/automobile collision repair, on property located at 610 and 619 W. High St.

The council authorized the Civil Service Commission to begin the process of developing an eligibility list for new candidates for the Pottstown Police Department.

It approved and authorized the execution of the second amendment to the license agreement among the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Berks, the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust and the Eastern Berks Gateway Railroad Company to address and establish sewer line issues located on a portion of the Colebrookdale Line in Memorial Park.

It authorized the solicitor to advertise an ordinance amending the vacant property registration ordinance and authorized the solicitor to prepare a draft ordinance to address proposed changes including elimination of zoning requirements for downtown off-street parking, master plumber requirements for owner occupied residences, grading and stormwater permit requirements and swimming pool regulations, as recommended by the ad hoc zoning committee.

The council reappointed Joseph Chrisman to the construction code board of appeals for a three-year term to expire Aug. 8, 2022.

It reappointed Lynn Dewees to the environment advisory council for a three-year term to expire Aug. 10, 2022. The council also appointed Lisa Miller to the council for a three-year term to expire Aug. 10, 2022.

The council also voted on temporary road closures for the Reading Gravity Race, Aug. 18 and Sept. 22; the Kingdom Life Church service on Aug. 25; the Victory Christian Life Center Community Event, Sept. 7; Fete en Blanc, Sept. 13; and the Pottsgrove Cross Country Race, Nov. 28.

In addition, the council granted the request of the Pottstown Area Industrial Development for the use of alcohol in Smith Family Plaza for the Fête en Blanc event on Sept. 13, 6:00 p.m. -9:00 p.m.; granted the request of the TriCounty Active Adult Center to allow a Biergarten in Memorial Park at its Oct. 5 Cheesetoberfest Grilled Cheese Competition from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m; and granted the request of Tal's Pets Company to allow a Biergarten for its Oct. 19 Barktoberfest in Memorial Park from 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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