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Pennsburg Addresses Flood and Fireworks
Written by Jennifer Frieze, Correspondent

Concerns expressed over Main St. Bridge replacement plans  


            Comments and concerns regarding recent flooding and the possible illegal discharge of fireworks were presented to Pennsburg officials at Tuesday night's council meeting.

            George Harris, who resides on Lakeview Terrace, has dealt with severe flooding issues and attended council meeting in May.  This month he asked officials if someone has been out to evaluate the issue. Jason Kulp, the Roads and Maintenance Supervisor for the borough said, it's on the list. There are many roads with extensive damage."     Harris responded, "Okay, it's on the list then. Thank you."

            William Moser, of the 300 block of Washington Street, expressed concern for the flooding that occurred on Washington Street. He said, "Mayor, you live on our street. Why didn't you knock on our doors?" Mayor Lightcap replied, "I did knock on your door. I was out with Emergency Services and the Red Cross. I apologize if I missed you. I was working behind the scenes advocating for residents. I also work a full-time job."  Moser replied, "I understand that, but the people you missed, it would be nice if they heard from you."  Lightcap replied, "Again, I'm sorry I missed you."

            Rolland Bayshore a resident of the 300 block of Washington Street, also expressed considerable concern and frustration for the ongoing flooding he and his neighbors are experiencing and that they were not checked on during the last storm. "We didn't see emergency services, the mayor or Red Cross. Nobody stopped at my door," said Bayshore.

            Moser also asked officials if they had information about where children will be crossing 663 to safely walk to school. Council member Patrick Suter replied, "From a parent standpoint, we have not received information."

            John Raymond Seifreid lives on the corner of 4th and Cherry Street and complained that his neighbors were setting off M80's during the weekend of July 27 and 28. The explosion made a huge hole in the alley and it set debris in all directions. The borough ordinance states that fireworks must be detonated at least 150 feet from any structure.

            Seifreid called the State Police who were on duty for the holiday. They responded the next day and took a statement and copies of photographs that Seifreid took. Pennsburg Police Department never received the information.  Council member, Patrick Suter lives near Seifreid and confirmed the incident. Police Chief Adams told Seifreid to always feel free to follow up the next day with the Pennsburg Police department.

            Seifreid sent the photos to Chief Adams and they will look into the situation.  Council Vice President Joan Wieder thanked Seifreid for bringing the matter to Council's attention.

            A project to replace the former Main Street railroad bridge, between Tenth and Eleventh Streets, with the potential for major traffic issues for travelers on the heavily used road, was also discussed.  The railroad tracks that passed under the bridge were abandoned in the early 1970's.  The decades old bridge removal project first surfaced in the 1980's and has been revisited and revamped over the years.

            PennDOT plans on removing the bridge and dropping a new span in.  The borough asked PennDOT to take the bridge out and bring it down to ground level.  PennDOT reported that it was not feasible.  PennDot's complete plan is uncertain and Pennsburg Council is not satisfied with the information PennDOT presented to them.

            In addition, local businesses are concerned about how the construction will negatively impact their businesses. Mayor Vicki Lightcap asked solicitor Charles Garner, Jr if there was anything the borough could do.  Garner replied, "I suggest that you contact your Senator and State Representative.  Given the lack of communication coming out of the state (PennDOT), get your concerns on paper and motion to have Council President Kris Kirkwood draft a letter."

            Garner also suggested reaching out to Representatives outside of their district to assist in backing Councils concerns with the PennDOT bridge plan. Mayor Lightcap suggested reaching out to local emergency services and police departments as well.

            In other news,             Greg Ede, from Styer & Associates presented the Council with the 2018 Audit review. Ede read through the numbers in detail during the meeting and said, "The Borough has done a very good job budgeting and is on the way back up."

            The Facilities and Engineering committee presented their report. Council member Suter met with Senator Bob Mensch to discuss the damage done to the police department during recent flooding and the ways in which to get funding in order to repair the damage. The building was inundated with sewage backflow during the storm and it's in need of restoration for the health and safety of the people working in the building. Senator Mensch suggested they have a design in place in order to apply for grants through the state of Pennsylvania. The Council is in the process of attaining architectural and engineering design, grant writer and working the repairs into the budget.

            Police Chief Joe Adams gave his monthly incident and activity report for the month of July. The police department received 384 total calls and services rendered. There were 6 reportable accidents, 8 non-reportable accidents, 1 criminal arrest, 10 traffic details, 8 vehicle investigations, 6 traffic citations, 4 warnings, 6 parking tickets or warnings, 105 public service security checks and 9 alarm calls.  

            Council held executive session regarding litigation and personal issues. No decisions were made.





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