It was a large night of thank yous in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene at the Collegeville Council meeting Wednesday night. Though flooding got the best of some, the community stood together as a whole, and council members are already back to business as usual and looking to the future.
Unfortunately, business as usual also includes some significant rainfall for the time being. Just Wednesday morning, the Collegeville Fire Co. spent two hours pumping water off the roads above the bridge.
Council member Arnold Mann reported the inlets at the bridge are not draining properly, and PennDOT has been contacted, but the area is a point of concern until the road crews can get out to do something in the way of maintenance and repair.
Though the inlets may be experiencing problems, “our sewers are in great shape,” Councilman Rowan Keenan said.
The project of videotaping sewers in the area and determining their well-being is going well and, because such great conditions were found, the council plans to continue monitoring the sewers until the budget for the project expires.
Andrea Baptiste reported the Collegeville Revitalization Plan is still going smoothly and is being received well by the Collegeville community. Just recently, many developers came together to discuss the plans and to hear several speakers. Baptiste reported the attendees were pleased with the speakers and seemed eager to begin with the proposed plans.
The Collegeville Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) has also been in the business of promoting Collegeville, most recently in placing the decorative hanging baskets along Main Street. The baskets were donated and arranged by several Collegeville community members. At the meeting, the CEDC representative joked the committee was worried about having to water the plants. Obviously, the issue has not been a pressing one as of late.
All the great minds behind the parking lot for the Perkiomen Valley trail have succeeded in obtaining all necessary documentation to break ground on the project, which is scheduled to start within the next few weeks.
Though the development is fantastic for the aesthetics of our community, another key component is Collegeville’s garbage and recycling removal. Refuse&Recycling Collection has been doing a great job in the community, as stated by council members, but the company’s contract will expire at the the end of this year.
"We would like to continue with the same company, but we have to bid it," said Mann.
Council members expressed wishes the same company maintain its work in the area.
“They have been very good to us,” council member Louise Tulio said.
In other news, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has recently ruled it is unconstitutional to have ordinances mandating sexual offenders not live within any certain distance of a list of places such as playgrounds and schools. Because Collegeville has one such ordinance, it was moved to pass another ordinance to nullify this existing one at the recommendation of the council solicitor.
Though this routine business was carried out through the meeting, the impact of Irene left did not go unnoticed. Mann noted the farmers market banner was ruined in the storm and requested it be removed for the integrity of the wires below it. Police Chief Barton Bucher thanked his officers and all other service personnel for their work during the storm.
“They did an outstanding job,” he said, commending their efforts.
The fire company reported 47 incidents in the 24-hour period during which Irene hit hardest. The fire company rarely receives this many calls in one month, let alone in one day.
Trappe Ambulance’s representative said, “It was a very long weekend for everyone.”
Though Trappe was able to respond to all ambulance calls—the quantity of which has increased—the representative did note that Ursinus College students coming back a day early did make things a little more complicated.
Mayor Al Stagliano commended everyone who did anything to combat the rising waters brought upon the borough by Irene.
“I would like to thank all emergency personnel for a job well done,” he said.
Editor's note: The article has been changed to note the borough's contract with Refuse&Recycling Collection has not yet expired.