Wednesday, August 17, 2022


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Pennsburg Rejects Tax Abatement Request from Developer
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Pennsburg Council rejected a request from a Schwenksville developer seeking multiple tax abatements. The members took no action during Tuesday's public meeting on Lance Silver's request to pay no real estate taxes to the borough on his project at 300 Penn St.

            Granting the request would set a dangerous precedent, according to council President Diane Stevens. She said that action might start a series of requests from other developers working in the borough.

            In a July 11 letter to council, Silver requested an abatement of real estate taxes for the project "for a few years." He claims it is necessary to help offset "the higher than expected construction costs."

            Silver, the president of Silver Rhino Development, writes that the increased costs to convert the former C & D Battery factory into 13 residential units put the feasibility of the project at risk.

            In September, Silver submitted a sketch plan to the municipality to create the units in the two-story structure next to the St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery. Council granted preliminary/final approval in April.

            According to the developer, construction is expected to cost more than $2 million. He estimated those costs at 35 percent higher than initially projected.

            Silver informed the members that he planned on completing his purchase of the property from Edmund Dunn, who has owned it since 1991. He wrote that he plans to apply for construction permits "in short order thereafter," according to the letter.

            In other news, council voted to spend $10,733 to install video detection capabilities at the traffic light at 11th and Main streets. The cameras and wiring should be installed at the intersection "any day," according to Jason Kulp, Pennsburg's roads and maintenance supervisor.

            According to Stevens, the additional technology should improve the flow of traffic by recognizing cars at the intersection and reducing the wait, based on the traffic flow. She said all traffic lights in the borough will utilize the loop technology once the implementation is complete.

            The upgrade is necessary, considering PennDOT's imminent removal of the 11th Street bridge, according to the council president. She said Red Hill Council's president and vice president have been informed of the upgrade.

            Following the public portion of the meeting, council met in executive session to discuss issues of personnel and lawsuits involving the Deerfield development and East Greenville, according to Stevens.

            In June, the Upper Perk Police Department responded to 600 total calls, according to information provided by Chief Joe Adam. That includes 22 for public services, 73 vehicle investigations and 70 traffic details. The officers issued 53 traffic citations, 30 warnings and six traffic tickets or warnings.

            The officers responded to seven reportable accidents and two non-reportable accidents as well as two false alarm calls at a business. They also made five criminal arrests and issued five non-traffic citations.






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