Jul 29, 2014
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Rofo Council Considers Revitalization Project

The Borough Council plans to pursue a grant to complete work at 1st Avenue.

Rofo Council Considers Revitalization Project

Royersford Borough Council spent a large portion of Tuesday's meeting discussing work to be done at 1st Avenue and Main Street.

Plans include finishing the intersection and widening the road that leads to Lewis Environmental Group's corporate headquarters.

In attendance at the meeting were Rep. Tom Quigley (R-Montgomery) and Rick Lewis, president of Lewis Environmental Group.

Lewis Environmental Group's office is just off 1st Avenue, and Rick Lewis told council that he has 124 full-time employees who have trouble coming in and leaving work due to traffic and lack of traffic control.

"We're stuck," Lewis said. "I have no way of getting people in and out of there. It's a safety issue; trying to pull out by the old Pretzel Depot there is tough. We have tractor-trailers trying to pull out of there."

Lewis discussed the issue with Quigley, who then asked Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro to come and take a look at the issues with the intersection.

Shapiro expressed concerns, Quigley said, that the revitalization wasn't done sooner.

Quigley told Shapiro that the owner of the property had not been able to do the improvements due to economic hardships.

Council recently sent a letter to Shapiro and the other commissioners asking for assistance with getting the work completed. Borough manager Michael Leonard said he had a meeting with the commissioners on August 13, and the commissioners would support Royersford's plans.

Borough manager Michael Leonard said that the borough has applied for a $250,000 grant from the state. Those funds come from the red-light camera program in Philadelphia and elsewhere in the region and are available for municipalities who need funding for safety improvements.

"There's about $4.8 million available," Leonard said. "There are about 268 applications in."

Council also discussed using some money that was already earmarked for revitalization elsewhere in the borough, at 4th and 5th Avenues. 

Lewis also offered $50,000 of his own funds to help with the project.

"Rick [Lewis] is willing to commit his money, that's a good thing," Quigley said.

"We've accomplished quite a bit with the Main Street revitalization," Councilman John Kring said.

Kring said that part of the problem with funding the intersection project is that "PennDOT failed to collect escrow" when the property directly on Main Street and 1st Avenue was originally developed.

Council decided to wait out the grant application period to see if they get any or all of the $250,000 grant, and then decide how to fund the project. 

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