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FEMA and PEMA Flood Contracts Signed for Green Lane
Written by Mary Gibbs Kershner, Correspondent
2023-12-20

            Green Lane Borough Council announced Thursday night that the contracts with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the purchase of flood-ravaged properties along Lumber Street in the borough have been signed by the agencies and the borough.  It is expected payment for the properties will commence within the year, and perhaps, much sooner.

            One or two of the property owners who are affected by the flooding are uncertain if they will accept the terms of the offer.  Most, however, have agreed to the terms.  Borough Engineer Joe Carlin, of Gilmore Associates, noted he will begin to search for demolition companies to perform the removal of the buildings.

            Once the purchase of the buildings is completed, it could take the better part of two years for the buildings to be removed and the land cleared.  The borough can use the vacant land that abuts Macoby Creek for open space.  It can provide parking on the site, but it cannot pave the land.  Bathrooms for public use can be located on the site.

            The borough council agreed to pass its 2024 budget of $4,479,166.15.  The budget includes FEMA's purchase of properties along Lumber Street for $2,339,854.15, the FEMA purchase of Lumber Street #2 Apartments for $1,511,070, Lumber Street administration fees of $10,000, $203,996 from MontCo 2040 for lighting in the borough, and $239,375 from MontCo 2040 for borough sidewalks.  The borough property tax rate will remain at 2.5 mils, one of the lowest in Montgomery County.  Borough transfer tax, earned income tax, and per capita tax will remain the same.

            Council President Brian Carpenter informed the borough council that Marlborough Township is considering the use of the Upper Perk Ambulance for its citizens rather than Freedom Valley Medical Rescue service (FVMR). 

Carpenter noted the borough has money appropriated for ambulance services.  It will not consider changing its carrier immediately.  However, the borough will consider its options in the future.

            Mayor Lynn Wolfe Bergey noted the Green Lane Fire Company receives no reimbursement when it is called for assistance. 

            Bergey announced the Green Lane/Marlborough Lions Club recently celebrated its 75th year of providing services to the community.  James Murphy, a representative of the Lions Club 14A, with 25 members, noted there are 60 Lions Clubs between Philadelphia and Pottstown.  Green Lane/Marlborough Lions Club is the third largest fundraiser on White Cane Day.  White Cane Day benefits those with eyesight problems. 

            The Lions club sponsors the Easter Egg Hunt in the Green Lane Isaac Smith Park.  Additionally, it is raising funds for bathroom improvements at the borough park. 

            Mayor Bergey noted the Lions Club assists all members of the community. "They are a small, but mighty organization."

            In another matter, Bergey remarked that the borough has three blighted properties that need to be renovated or cleaned up. A representative of the owner of the former Yoder Brothers General Store, Franklin Platt, and his attorney, Scott Miller, requested direction from the borough council on what the borough would like done with the property.  The property is located at the juncture of Main Street and Route 29 and has been vacant for several years. 

            Platt noted that revitalizing the building would cost more than any kind of rental could provide.  Zoning only permits 5,000 square feet on the site. The building is structurally sound. 

            Retail businesses the owner has contacted request demographic information on the area.  It has been determined there is not enough population to support a retail establishment.

            Platt suggested a ten-year tax abatement would assist in making the property easier to develop.  However, the Upper Perkiomen School District, Green Lane Borough, and Montgomery County must agree to a tax abatement.  There is no guarantee the county, borough or school district would consent to a tax abatement. 

            Another suggestion by Platt was a friendly condemnation of the property. 

            The proposals were merely part of a discussion between the borough council and Franklin Platt.  No action of any kind was taken on the matter. 

            Additionally, the borough council gave no indication what its thoughts were on the proposals.  The borough council and Platt agreed to work toward a solution for the property.  The council noted Platt has been very responsive to borough concerns.

            Mayor Bergey wished all Green Lane residents a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


 

 

 

 

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