SANATOGA PA – When the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners considers approval tonight (Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013) of the township’s 2014 annual budget, resident and former commissioner Tom Troutman may cling to the hope its $1,750 donation to the Pottstown Area Senior Center, unchanged for several years, could be increased.
It’s a slight hope, even Troutman admits.
- The board’s second monthly meeting – and its last session of 2013 – will begin at 7 p.m. in the municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd. The budget and its accompanying tax rates are on the commissioners’ agenda. The meeting is open to the public.
The budget next year, as in the past, contains subsidies for operations of the center, the Lower Pottsgrove Historical Society ($2,000), the Visiting Nurse Association of Pottsgrove and Vicinity ($2,500), the recreation board jointly operated by the Pottsgrove School District and Lower, Upper and West Pottsgrove ($9,558), and the Pottstown Regional Public Library ($65,000).
The library is scheduled to receive $5,000 more during 2014 than the $60,000 contributed by the township this year. Troutman contended the senior center deserved more money too.
He recently reminded board members that the number of people age 62 and older living within Lower Pottsgrove has been rising, due in part to housing located here – the Sanatoga Ridge and Buchert Ridge communities are examples – which target that demographic. Their residents benefit from center activities, he added, but claimed the board contribution hasn’t kept pace with the population.
As of the 2010 federal census 2,060 people, or 17.1 percent of the township’s total population of 12,059, were age 62 or older. That compares to 1,334 elderly or 11.9 percent under the 2000 census.
“Why treat them any differently” than library users?, Troutman asked commissioners during their Dec. 2 meeting.
Seniors use and benefit from the library too, Budget Committee Chairman James Kaiser countered. He noted the library also had made a case to commissioners that Lower Pottsgrove “wasn’t pulling its weight” in comparison to per-resident financial support offered in surrounding municipalities its serves.
Ironically, the Berean Bible Church on East High Street in Sanatoga will play host to senior center activities while its new facility on Moser Road in Pottstown awaits renovation.
History proves that budget passage isn’t the final say on township contributions. Only a few years ago, the board passed a budget that included a reduction in library support. The public outcry against the move was so strong that commissioners promised to restore the cut funds in a separate, unplanned donation as soon as the new budget took effect. They were good for their word.
Proving, possibly, that hope springs eternal.
Related to the Lower Pottsgrove 2014 budget:
Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Dec. 2 meeting):