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Pottsgrove Asks Township For A $660,000 ‘Courtesy’

Pottsgrove Asks Township For A $660,000 'Courtesy'SANATOGA PA – A letter from Pottsgrove School District Business Administrator David Nester arrived last week at the Lower Pottsgrove municipal building, in which he asked the township for what amounts to a professional courtesy. The district wants it to waive collection of all fees associated with the coming renovation and expansion of Pottsgrove High School.

The Board of Commissioners promised to give the request “some thought,” as board President Bruce Foltz put it Monday (April 7, 2014) during its meeting, but the general mood of an accompanying discussion was probably less courteous than Nester might have hoped.

The reason: there’s big money involved. Township Manager Ed Wagner estimates the fees for plans, permits, applications, studies and other usual and necessary paperwork required for a project as large and expensive as Pottsgrove’s – an estimated $33 million – amounts to about 2 percent of its total, or $660,000.

“That’s an awful lot of money to give up,” Foltz said. And from an audience member at the back of the board room came this follow-on comment: “And if they get it, the school board will just spend it on something else and still raise our taxes.” At least two board members nodded their heads in what seemed to be agreement.

There is a precedent for the wavier. Lower Pottsgrove agreed to a similar request three years ago when the district renovated and expanded Ringing Rocks Elementary School.

Things have changed since: the board’s elected member- and leadership is one; its more conservative mindset, in the eyes of some observers, is another. Just how much, if at all, those factors would affect a board decision is unknown. A response to Nester’s letter isn’t expected to be offered for at least two weeks.

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

Related (to Pottsgrove High reconstruction):

Photo from Google Images

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