New Borough Manager in Collegeville
After a two-month search and a review of over 100 resumes, Collegeville Borough hired Tamara Twardowski as its new borough manager. Tamara has 15 years experience in municipal government and was most recently the borough manager of Trappe Borough.
See our post Collegeville Welcomes New Borough Manager.
Planner Shares Main Street Design Principles
The guest speaker at the November Business Development Committee (BDC) meeting was Mark Evans, Director of Planning for Derck & Edson. Mark explained the importance of creating “a sense of place” when planning our Main Street and defining our design standards.
For the full story see our post Principles for Planning Collegeville’s Main Street.
BDC Explores Main Street Art
Also at the November meeting, Robert Botti presented a slideshow of artworks superimposed onto several buildings and free standing panels throughout the borough. The slides depicted what murals could look like on the side of the 358 E. Main St. “Main Street Nutrition” building, the Verizon building, three sides of Collegeville Station, the side of the Key Bank and freestanding along parking lots or the Perkiomen Trail.
Showing a slide of the Phoenix rising mural on the side of a new building in Phoenixville he said “The borough and the campus could also encourage murals on new and infill development.”
At the October meeting, local artist Michael Adams discussed a mural he has created specifically for Collegeville. The mural depicts the train station area (now the Collegeville Diner) in 1868, superimposed with a scene of runners and bikers on the Perkiomen Trail. That mural is ready to install once we can raise the money for the painting and installation costs.
Most recently this month, members of the BDC Arts Subcommittee met with the leadership of the Berman Museum. We discussed working with them to include art on our Main Street.
The broad based discussion — the first in a series to evolve and expand our ideas — included murals, in-restaurant and storefront art, museum reproductions on the street à la the Michener Art Museum, and museum participation in community events such as the Memorial Day and Halloween parade.
The Collegeville Dogleg is History
If you haven’t driven up or down Collegeville’s Main Street lately, on November 17, the construction crew working on the Collegeville Royal Farms completed and opened the newly relocated section of Rt 29. The new road eliminates the need for drivers to navigate the dogleg turns at the Perkiomen Bridge Hotel and bridge.
Community Park Gets New Trees
Collegeville Borough Councilwoman Kathy Costello reported that the Parks Committee has purchased seven trees for Community Park at Park and W. Third Avenues. “We wanted to provide shade in and around the playground for children and their caregivers” She said. “We’re also planting a few along Third Avenue to provide shade for fans at baseball games and we’re hoping they’ll help prevent balls from hitting houses across the street as well.”
The trees were purchased with money from a tree fund paid into by developers.
The trees, which will grow from 20 to 50 feet tall, were purchased from Behmerwald’s Nursery in Schwenksville. They include:
- 2 Black Gum
- 1 Red Maple
- 1 Oak
- 1 Thundercloud Plum
- 1 Dogwood
- 1 Serviceberry (single stem)
W. Third Avenue Townhomes on Planning Agenda
WB Homes will present plans for preliminary approval to the Collegeville Planning Commission for their townhome development at W. Third Avenue and Chestnut Street on Thursday, December 17th at 7:00 pm. See the Collegeville Borough website calendar for the Zoom link.
At the request of Borough Council the development is now called Freeland Square. The development will be built in the new Main Street Commercial – Residential District (MSC-RD) approved by Council at their August 5th meeting. December 17.
See our post Main Street – Residential Zoning on Collegeville Agenda for details on the project.
Outreach to Steel City Coffeehouse and Brewery
With Ursinus College’s plans for Main Street and Fifth Avenue solidifying, and the opportunity presented by the purchase of the former KeyBank building by Keenan Ciccitto & Associates, the BDC reached out once again to Steel City Coffeehouse and Brewery. Steel City had planned to open a second location in the borough in 2018 but the plans fell through in part because the property owners, Ursinus College, and the BDC were not fully prepared to support the necessary changes to the property and the zoning.
After BDC chair Cathy Kernen reached out to Laura and Ed Simpson they attended the November meeting for an update on our progress. In turn they filled us in on their current situation. Because of business conditions brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak they are struggling along with other businesses: It’s a bad time to run a business let alone develop a new one. But the BDC remains committed to getting our message out to potential businesses and assisting when possible so we will continue to reach out.
Created in January 2018, the Borough of Collegeville Business Development Committee oversees economic development and business recruitment in the borough. It is made up of volunteers from the borough and administered by a Borough Council member.