Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Win-Win For Pottstown

A Win-Win For Pottstown

If you had an investment of mega-millions in a property would you be satisfied in it just sitting there hardly generating any income beyond the cost to keep it mowed. If the property were on the tax rolls it would carry a negative balance sheet, taxes being more than income generated.

This property I describe is our own Pottstown Airport. With something like 70 Acres of open land much of it surrounded by industrial properties, the under performance of this commercial land is a drag on Pottstown's lagging economy. 

One way of addressing this situation would be by selling the property but, federal grants which would need to be repaid, scuttle this tact. About two years, or so ago, I wrote a letter to council and to the administration suggesting a method to create at the airport an income generating operation.

Create a solar farm on the roofs of the buildings and on the open space grass areas in a magnitude maximizing all available space. The very nature of an airport requiring that there be no vertical obstructions is perfect for a solar energy generation. I would suggest a minimum of 20 acres could be used for such a venture. In fact, Pottstown could become the templet for these types of operations across the state, if not, the nation.

Well, nothing's happened. With this Year's shortfall of $600,000.00 looming and property values into the future figured to be falling even further, I doubt we can assess fees up each year to balance the budget. What we need is an income generator, a solar farm. 

The future requires futuristic thinking, out of the box thinking. I would hope some would give this thought some consideration. A solar farm could easily coexist with the airport in full operation. Income generation would go on for ever and when investments were paid off income would rise accordingly. A win-win in my eyes.

Ronald C. Downie

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