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Spring City Honored by Chester County

A recap of Spring City's June Borough Council meeting.

Spring City Borough Manager Dennis Rittenhouse announced that the borough received a citation of excellence from the Chester County Commissioners recently. The citation read as follows:

"The Board of Commissioners of Chester County of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognize the Borough of Spring City as one of 16 urban areas that successfully committed to revitalization, adopting and implementing an urban revitalization plan and matching county revitalization funds with own financial investment."

Keeping of Animals Ordinance Discussed

Otherwise, council met for a regular meeting on Monday to discuss regular matters, as well as the keeping of animals ordinance that may be passed for the borough in the near future.

"Basically what we have here gentlemen was a fairly well thought out and existing ordinance for the borough of Schwenksville," said Council President Lou DiGuiseppe. "There were a few minor things we discussed changing. One thing would be to remove potbelly pigs in the ordinance. We could end up with people who buy a small pig and wind up trying to raise a hog in the yard. So, it's best to eliminate all pigs to be raised in borough."

DiGuiseppe continued, saying council should give thought to another section of the ordinance which says all future and existing outdoor enclosures remain 10 feet away from property lines.

"This is just unfortunately trying to mandate good neighbors, because people just don’t care about putting pens right up against a neighbor's house," he said. "You have an animal mess on your hands."

Next, DiGuiseppe said he and councilman Mike Petak did not agree on animals being permanently housed outdoors. The two apparently "came to words" on the issue at the May Finance and Ordinance meeting.

"My own personal feeling in this is to not be allowed or permit animals to be permanently housed outside in any type of enclosure or pen on a full-time basis," said DiGuiseppe. "An old neighbor of mine was an old guy who bought a dog, put him on a chain outside, and that’s where he lived for the next 12 years."

DiGuiseppe said that would also eliminate rabbit pens and other structures in a resident's yard, so he opened the matter up for discussion.

Petak defended himself in the matter of his opinion against DiGuiseppe's proposal.

"In my defense, anyone who keeps a dog chained up outside and doesn’t do anything for it is not a human being," Petak said. "Do not put me in that same category with that statement. It’s common sense. The crux of this whole thing is one woman who has no respect for her neighbor puts a big garbage can of dog excrement under a window and it turns into this. This is not legislation, we just need one thing to take care of this. It borders ridiculous! Guinea pigs, snakes, hamsters? Come on dude! I’m done."

DiGuiseppe apologized to Petak for relating the analogy to his position. The discussion continued. Councilman Tom Kratz said the proposed ordinance has too much government control.

"It's difficult to make the call if an animal is permanent," he said. "Some people have a dog outside for a period of time and it's not necessarily permanently there. Who’s call is it? That’s my take. I know it’s not what this is written for, but when you start setting numbers, who's to say a person can't keep five gerbils in their yard? I know we don’t want to see five dogs for five square feet. Who’s going to enforce gerbils and hamsters?"

Councilman Mike Hays agreed and said he didn't think people should be discouraged for raising their own food, like eggs from a chicken coop.

Petak asked if action could be taken for the resident he previously mentioned, rather than making the situation a nasty one. Hays agreed, saying he'd rather do this on a case-by-case basis instead of passing an ordinance.

"The reason I bring this up is that Pottstown had this issue a year ago and it was a big mess," said Hays. "There was actually a poisonous spider involved and it got into someone's house. This all caused a heated debated."

Rittenhouse said the issue is being dealt with by code enforcement.

Councilman Jim Burns asked if the proposal would go to a public hearing. DiGuiseppe said the council has yet to decide what the next course of action is before introducing anything to the public, but it seems like a split vote at this time. Not passing the ordinance would save the borough $89 from advertising in the newspaper.

Land Development Approved on Ridge Avenue

Council also unanimously passed a resolution (2012-04) to allow subdivision/land development at 440-442 Ridge Avenue. The lot was a duplex, but the lot lines will not be moved to allow for the property to hold two single family homes.

Library Refocuses Efforts, Needs Volunteers

The  committee met on May 15 and voted to focus its efforts on the existing Broad Street property rather than the Main Street Community Center concept.

Hays reported the board is seeking new board members from either East Vincent Township or Spring City Borough and to inquire at the library.

Borough Receives Donation, Revitalization Committee Needs Volunteers

Hays reported the revitalization committee received a $300 check from the Spring-Ford Rotary Club to help with the purchase of the new and larger flags going on Main Street and Bridge Street. The check was given to the borough since it already made the purchase.

The revitalization committee is seeking help from the community to continue efforts in organizing the Music & Market Festival that normally occurs on the first Saturday in October. Business owners and others helped over the years, but there are not many other volunteers at this time, which makes the planning process difficult.

Any interested volunteers can contact Christina at The Frame Shop.

In Other News

  • Council met in executive session to discuss a personnel matter on May 14
  • Minutes of May 7 were approved unanimously
  • JP Mascaro reported first quarter recycling numbers: January - 11.43 tons, February - 8.54 tons, March - 9.42 tons, for a total of 29.12 tons
  • "Snowman" flags that are displayed on the bridge from the borough line to the bike path on the Spring City side are going to be taken down shortly due to public concern.
  • The next council meeting is on July 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Local Yocal June 05, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I just bought a pot belly pig and I feed him rabbits and hamsters and fresh eggs.... centered in my 30 ft wide property!
Kevin Haslam June 06, 2012 at 07:36 PM
NOTE on subdivision from Councilman Jim Burns: "The original duplex on the lot has been torn down. There is a deed and lot line revision as part of the plan. Two single family homes are to be constructed and will comply with all existing zoning requirements. The two existing EDU's will be used so there is no involvement with the DEP. The houses are pre-fab so construction shouldn't take long."

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