Development Initiative Considered in Spring City

The borough council discussed ideas for encouraging growth in Spring City.

The stagnation of Spring City's Main Street came up at this month's borough council meeting, following a somewhat heated discussion at January's meeting between council members and attendees. 

On Monday's agenda was the topic of  "Proposed Economic Development Initiative Ordinance". 

Council president Louis DiGuiseppe said that the discussion started in the Finance and Ordinance (F&O) Committee after last month's meeting to start discussing ideas for how the borough could help businesses that want to move into or stay in Spring City.

The F&O committee's first suggestion was to form an economic development committee comprised of residents, businessmen and councilmen to get ideas and suggestions 

Councilman Michael Hays said he thought a committee idea was a good start. 

"The revitalization committee we had no longer meets on a regular basis," Hays said. 

DiGuiseppe went on to explain that he feels the biggest concern hindering development is the lack of parking and the cost to build in the borough. 

"Perhaps we could reduce building fees and costs, someonbe comes in and says 'Well I'd build here but I have to pay $20,000 in fees,' maybe we cut those fees back some," DiGuiseppe said. 

Comparing Spring City to Royersford's Main Street, DiGuiseppe said he'd like to get a big draw restaurant like Annamarie's or a shop like Sweet Ashley's Chocolate. 

Several council members expressed the opinion that one of the biggest problems with getting new businesses into Spring City is the lack of parking. 

"What can you do to create parking?" DiGuiseppe asked. "[We'd be willing to help] especially if someone's willing to do something about the parking in the area. I know there's a tree lot off Main that's been just trees for years, would it be worth it to clear that for parking?"

Hays also suggested that council look at improving the main entrances into town, to make the "gateway" areas look nicer. 

DiGuiseppe pointed out that the borough does have an upcoming streetscape project and that there will be  anew cast-iron "Welcome to Spring City" sign on Bridge Street. 

Getting involvement is going to be a hurdle for the council, according to several comments. 

"The six businessmen I've talked to said, 'I don't want to be on a committee but anything you come up with is fine," DiGuiseppe said. 

Council is actively looking for interested people. Anyone who may want to serve on the economic development committee is encouraged to contact DiGuiseppe at diglou@comcast.net. 

Local Yocal February 06, 2013 at 10:09 PM
No one cares enough to comment. Council reacts after the fact. The businessmen have spoken like sheep. My interpretation? "Whatever!, because what ever you do will not affect us, and we own you" Am I reading it all wrong? :)
Melinda Izzo February 07, 2013 at 02:16 AM
Well, there's a big part of the problem--no one wants to be involved! Without an active committee, there will be no vision and this same article will continue to be the norm for this town. Sad. I went to 2 revitalization meetings and they were nothing more than a joke. Are there no leaders in this town? At one point there had been discussion about partnering more with Royersford. At least there might be some vision and leadership that could be share.
Gene Sweeney February 07, 2013 at 11:26 PM
My interpretation is that most people who comment here only want to say negative things about Spring City. I think council is taking a positive step in forming a new committee to address the issues that residents raised in a previous meeting. I ran for council because I think Spring City is a great little town and I hope I can help with improvements here. I am interested in the future of our town and not with reliving the past or hearing about personal grudges people have with council members or borough employees. Local Yocal, I think most members of council and certainly this member does not feel that “we own you.” I’ll be the first to admit that Spring City has issues that need to be handled. However, I think so many positive aspects of our town are ignored here in the Patch comments. People focus on the empty storefronts on Main Street and the businesses that have closed in town. Yet, while driving home today, I counted over thirty businesses between the bridge and my house on Washington Street. That’s not too bad for a town of 3000. With the help of residents and business people in this town, the new committee can advise council on what can be done to help current businesses and attract new ones. I encourage all folks who would like to share their thoughts to contact the above email or any council member. My email is sweeneyspringcity@gmail.com.
janiejej February 08, 2013 at 09:31 AM
Local Yocal February 08, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. As I have stated before, the new police department is a positive change.(Just like reliving the 70s). Here is a challenge from a owner/taxpayer. Knowing that taxes were raised again.... The most money left on the table in the borough come from this. The landlords in this bedroom community are running amuck. No one has any idea how many illegal apartments, and non-taxpaying tennants there are. As an owner I could have 3 working people living in my home and not one pays local taxes, yes, I just say they moved out and they never file a local returns. Rentals? Even more opportunity to evade taxes. Free money to help development. I hope this came across as positive.
De February 08, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Manayunk has little parking and large numbers of rentals, yet....it works. Quit peeing in the cornflakes people...
SpringCityPADemocrat February 10, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Did you miss the 2/4 meeting but would've liked to hear it for yourself? Click here http://springcitypadem.blogspot.com/2013/02/spring-city-borough-council-meeting.html
John C February 11, 2013 at 02:27 PM
While having 30 Businesses is great, the types of businesses are what we need to look at as well as how long they stay. The problem isn't the number of businesses in town, but with how long they stay and what clientel they try to serve. There is not alot of consistancy with shopping options so no one will come here to shop regularly. Alot of businesses are here one day then gone the next. If there was this consistancy and the unattractive stores would go away then there might be some hope. It is very well known that this town has a HUGE drug problem and now we have a head shop fronting as something it really isn't. We had a sexy provacative clothing store and a few tattoo stores.
John C February 11, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Here is an idea to start more downtown improvements to help build this town. Take over the run down, non-maintained, and unsafe parking area at the corner of Main Street and Yost Avenue through iminent domain. It is going to kill or injure someone one of these days with its rusted and leaning street lights. whether it is private property or not, Council should be concerned with this and the risk the community is at. We all know that for the future of this town, parking will be an issue should and when it thrives once again. Just look at Phoenixville.
Local Yocal February 12, 2013 at 10:49 AM
I truly believe that businesses in a town will only rise to the level of income or cost of maintaining a residence. Raise the property values. Make landlords keep up and improve properties, thus raising the price charged for rent. Make the landlords responsible for renters and properties leeching on the municipal services. West Chester Borough has such a plan in place. The riff-raff can be weeded out by economics. This is not a general statement, there are good people in all economic classes, just not enough in the present class to turn the corner. In regards to parking. In recent years, new homes are required off street parking, yet we do not enforce that they use it. Why?


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