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Township Sells PennDOT Some Asphalt, Makes $20K

The corner of Armand Hammer Boulevard and High Street in Pottstown

SANATOGA PA – “That’s the way you do it,” rock singer Mark Knopfler and the band Dire Straits crooned in 1986. “Get your money for nuthin’ and your chicks for free.”

Their pop song, “Money For Nothing,” was a big hit during the MTV and VH1 video music era. Now, 25 years later, it may be a golden oldie of sorts in the Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township municipal building too.

Don’t misunderstand: there are no – repeat NO – chicks or other forms of animal life involved in a deal to which the Board of Commissioners agreed earlier this month (July 7, 2011). But board members think the township may have gotten a more than $20,000 gift, its own money for nothing, by simply saying “yes” to an offer from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

PennDOT is preparing for work to begin in 2012 on the reconstruction of bridges near, and a reconfiguration of roads at, the Armand Hammer Boulevard exit of U.S. Route 422 on Lower Pottsgrove’s southwest side. The agency needed ground the township owns – literally, a portion of the Armand Hammer roadway and right-of-way, Manager Rodney Hawthorne said – to rebuild one of the 422 ramps there. It offered to pay $20,900 for the parcel.

“Is that a fair price?,” Commissioner Michael McGroarty asked. “Don’t know,” Hawthorne replied. PennDOT surely has paperwork to document the value, he added.

“Are we using the property for anything?,” Commissioner James Kaiser chipped in. It’s a road now, Hawthorne said of the boulevard piece, and it’ll be a road later as well. “Then let’s take their money,” Kaiser said with a grin.

The board approved, unanimously.

You could almost hear a guitar faintly wailing in the background.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ July 7 meeting):

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