Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What Happened

A sickening feeling came across me when coming from the Doctor we drove up King Street and saw the mud infested Memorial Park premier baseball fields. So much effort, time, and tax money went into these fields but, for just a few days of grass volleyball, the fields look like a pig sty shambles. The same goes for the surrounding grass areas which must of been parked on when extremely wet and many vehicles must of become stuck.

I'm not too sure the cost/benefit equation works well for this event. Really, does Borough Council request an accounting for such events ?
These sports field were designed originally for use by the youth of our Borough and serviced them most during the summer months.

The unceremonious debauchery imposed on these fields by predominately non Pottstown residents should be looked at by an independent agent of the Borough to determine the cost to tax payers and what the long term harm to the fields are.

I've stated my views therefore I would appreciate yours.

Ronald C. Downing

Fair Grounds

Back, way back, maybe during the Golden Years of Pottstown in the early years of the 1900's before the Great Recession Pottstown was home to a Fair Grounds. In fact, many towns of that time had such grounds for their citizens to break away from their daily work and have a place to congregate for fun and reflection. Ours, I understand, had a race track within its bounds which became notable throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. Local and countywide fairs were popular attractions for predominantly an agrarian populous who utilized these Fair Grounds.

Because of the very visible debacle that happened to our baseball fields due to their excessive use during heavy rain events, I am suggesting it's time to reinstitute a Fair Grounds in Pottstown. "What comes around goes around" is also an ancient statement as is Fair Grounds. No longer a heavy industry community we have matriculated into a higher learning town and with it comes a need for new energized thinking.

Out along Jackson Street, The Hill School last year showed some economic muscle by building a super athletic complex in an area we old timers called The Far Fields. Down along the river MCCC continues to invest in bricks and mortar to expand their presence there. Also along the river the SRGA continues pressing its trails and accompaniments up and down the waterway at an ever aggressive rate.

These three entities don't produce a tangible product people can handle and both buy and sell; but, each produces a product valued far beyond a manufactured piece. Their commodity of highly valued human beings is the new paradigm. Pottstown's desire to invest in progress should, in my mind, appreciate the new dynamic and think through what could enhance the culture of people being here. Fair Grounds worked well in agrarian times, lost emphasis during the industrial revolution, and now post industrialization - in an educational era - its time may be just right again.

Please, don't let the proverbial box contain you. Get out of it and think anew. Planning is the first step.f

Ronald C. Downie

A Follow Up

I am unhappy with myself, unhappy because when I take issue with some problem in town, I usually try to offer an alternative that could remedy the problem at a future date. Monday I was extremely distraught over the conditions Memorial Park ball fields were left in after a weekend of heavy play of volleyball on rain saturated fields. Even though volleyball organizers pledged to fix the problems they caused, common sense should require specific rules be stated when fields may be used in accordance with weather and ground conditions.

That said, my remedy, long term, would be what I wrote about yesterday, a Fair Grounds. In the interim, Pottstown should, in my opinion, secure ownership of land adjacent to the Park fields just to the south across King Street between King and and High Streets. Now occupied by a gas station and a equipment rental business. Years ago in a grand plan for Memorial Park and its surrounding properties, these parcels were included in the final draft to become park land. Pottstown should pull those dusty plans out, engage Montgomery County planners to review, and initiate the process for a new plan to be developed for grant application.

Maybe this King St. site would not be adequate for a full blown Fair Grounds but it certainly would help with fully utilizing the Memorial Park we do have now. It would accommodate small circuses and carnivals, overflow Park events especially parking, and parking for the Colebrookdale Rail Line, the Carousel, and Miniature Golf.

Of course, none of this is feasible if Manatawny Creek floods the area. Silt buildup before, after, and under the King St. Bridge has created islands which impedes the free flow of creek water under the finite opening under the roadway. Eventually, without correction, this condition will grab us badly and cause flooding in the area. Please notify someone in Borough Hall to this impending problem. Everything has a cause and affect.

On the move, Pottstown, A College Town, is poised as it begins its Renaissance.

Ronald C. Downie

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