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East Greenville Council Ready to Go 'Big’ for Community Day
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            East Greenville Council is ready to bring back Community Day later this year. One member suggested an expanded platform during Monday night's public meeting.

            "We need to do it big," Melissa Leinbach said during the meeting.

            Leinbach suggested doubling the municipality's budgeted amount for the festival since last's year's event was canceled due to concerns over the novel coronavirus pandemic. None of the members objected to the suggestion, so long as current gathering restrictions are relaxed.

            "I am all for moving forward," Council President Angie Fegely said.

            Leinbach expressed a desire to include new businesses in the festival, which is scheduled for Sept. 11. She volunteered to meet with a handful of shop owners on Main Street. Joe Rock suggested that municipal officials meet soon to discuss the possibilities before including community members.

            No council member, or Mayor Stephen Wescott, mentioned if anyone had discussed the event with officials in Pennsburg. Officials in the neighboring community are currently envisioning scaled back festivities.

            "We will not be going big," Pennsburg council President Diane Stevens wrote in an email message received Tuesday morning. "Too much uncertainty with COVID and variants."

            Pennsburg council will discuss the issue during next week's public meeting, according to Stevens. She indicated that her borough will not support entertainment as in previous years.

            "We would have to commit to entertainment now and lose deposits if it's canceled," the council president wrote. According to Stevens, the municipality will not be offering an auction or food.

            In other news, East Greenville officials voted to disband its Civil Service Commission, which would be utilized to hire a full-time officer. Leinbach cast the lone motion in opposition.  "I'm hesitant to scrap it," she said prior to the vote.

            According to Fegley, the commission – which would have required three appointments to continue – is unnecessary because municipal officials have no plans to hire a full-time officer for the Borough of East Greenville Police Department. She said the current budget permits only the hiring of part-time officers.

            Council could reconstitute the commission relatively quickly if necessary, according to Rock. Joshua Halteman is the department's only full-time officer.

            The members agreed to move forward with a plan to restrict parking on a portion of Jefferson Street. They directed Solicitor Michael Peters to draft an ordinance amendment that would designate a drop-off location near the 4th and 5th Grade Center between 7 and 9 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. where five-minute parking limits currently exist.

            Council is expected to consider the issue during a May 3 meeting. If approved, the change would be implemented July 1 and could be utilized by the Upper Perkiomen School District for the 2021-22 school year, according to Peters.

            The members also voted to spend up to $1,000 to deal with fox in the borough. Two Washington Street residents told council that a family of the animals, living under a shed on another person's property, was getting into people's trash.

            According to Manager Jim Fry, wild foxes have also been reported near the intersection of 6th and State streets. He said food left out for outdoor cats is attracting the other animals.

            Council also voted to ratify an easement agreement, involving a small strip of property owned by the municipality, at the intersection of West 4th Street and Long Alley. Last month, Peters explained that the easement would allow the property owner of a residence at that location to continue maintaining and utilizing the parcel, which includes part of a garage, a paved area and a handicapped ramp.

            Conditions of the agreement include a clause indemnifying the borough. At the request of a member, the solicitor said he would add language that permitted municipal officials to maintain access to any items that might be located underground.

            Borough officials recently learned that the municipality owned the small strip, according to Peters. He said during the March 1 meeting that he didn't know how, when or why a private resident was allowed to control it. Peters suggested that the issue dates back nearly 100 years.

            The board also voted unanimously to spend up to $800 to purchase a bench, with a plaque, to honor Larry D. Seip, who died in October. Municipal officials had expressed a desire to install the bench in Bieler Park at the intersection of 3rd and State streets, where we worked for several years as a crossing guard.

            Seip, 77, of Pennsburg, worked for Knoll in East Greenville for 45 years, first as a truck driver and then in the metal fabrication department, before retiring in 2004. He had served as the captain of the Pennsburg Fire Police since 1969. 






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