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Pottstown Promotes Weitzel, BMX Race

The borough's new police corporal and Trilogy Park's national race took center stage at Monday's council meeting.

 

Pottstown police officer Brian R. Weitzel was promoted to the rank of corporal, effective immediately, at the Jan. 9 borough council meeting. The council meeting room was filled with family and fellow officers for the ceremony, including the crying son Weitzel took in his arms during the presentation.

"You have made it through a very competitive race to the top spot of corporal," Pottstown Mayor Bonnie Heath said and presented Weitzel with his new rank and badge.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be associated with the Pottstown Police Department," Heath said.

Promotions within the department are rare due to low turnover, Heath said, but shifts in the county detective office provided an opening. The mayor said a few officers tested right behind Weitzel and she hopes to see them promoted in the future as well.

Promotion of a different sort will be required to keep Pottstown's national BMX race at Trilogy Park past 2012. Due to the National Bicycle League's bankruptcy, the American Bicycle Association is the only governing body in the U.S. for national competitions.

The ABA is looking to host 30 national races, Pottstown Manager Jason Bobst said. Pottstown will host the Quaker State National on August 3, 4 and 5, but is not guaranteed a race in the 2013 season.

"It almost feels like we are putting in an Olympic bid," Bobst said. "The competition is fierce."

Pottstown will compete to host a race with 350 other tracks, including sites in Las Vegas, Omaha and Orlando, said Bobst. The borough's permanent facility makes it an attractive site for national races and a regional, rather than only local, focus will be the key to having a race in 2013, Bobst said.

According to the Valley Forge Visitor's Bureau, the race brings "roughly $1 million into the region," Bobst said. "I believe it is an event we need to save."

In other borough news:

 • Bobst announced that the citizen code inspectors program will conduct its first meeting January 10.

"This is something we've been excited about but cautious about," Bobst said. He wants to make sure the volunteers will help the codes inspectors without becoming "vigilantes in the street."

• Council President Stephen Toroney announced committee and subcommittee appointments.

Finance will be chaired by councilor Dan Weand, infrastructure by councilor Jody Rhoads and public safety by councilor Mark Gibson. Transportation and the Keystone/Western Gateway Transportation study will be chaired by council vice president Jeff Chomnuk, who was also appointed to the Pottstown Borough Authority for a five-year term.

"Three more committees and you'll be up to me," Toroney said.

Toroney will chair the economic development and business liaison group while Weand will be on the police pension board.

Councilman Joseph Kirkland will work with the Ricketts Community Center and chair the Ad Hoc Building committee. Rhoades will serve as the council's representative for libraries and Heath will be the representative to the Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority. Chomnuk and councilwoman Carol Kulp will sit on first suburbs.

 The council approved the following motions:

-- Project submissions to the Montgomery County Revitalization Board in the following order of priority: a joint, two-phase bid for the Western Gateway and the Carousel, dependent on a matching bid from a private donor to the Carousel. The bid would be for $3,000, with $1,000 being used for phase one of the Western Gateway while the remainder -- and the matching funds -- would be used to open the Carousel. The Hanover Street Gateway received second billing, followed by the borough marketing plan update.

-- Execution of an amendment with the Pottstown Development Group to authorize improvement agreements for the development of the former site of Mrs. Smith's Pies

-- For the solicitor to advertise and prepare an ordinance to accept the May Street dedication

-- For the solicitor to draft a trash ordinance amendment

-- That a speed and grade traffic study request be made for Route 100 from State to King streets by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation

-- For approval of the Pottstown Classics Car Club's Nostalgia Night 2012 dates to include the closures of High Street from York to Washington and Hanover Street from King to Security Plaza

-- To award bids for street line painting to A-1 Traffic Control of Birdsboro; for various highway materials to Sanatoga Asphalt, Sanatoga Quarry, Douglassville Quarry and the Martin Stone Quarry and for water pipes to Rio Supply of Rockledge, Pennsylvania

 -- To reject and rebid for highway materials, including traffic signs, breakaway sign posts, ductile pipes and fittings

-- To award the unleaded gasoline, low-sulfur diesel and low-sulfur bus diesel contract to Automotive Services of Reading for three years and the off-highway diesel contract to Farm and Home of Telford for three years

 -- To appoint four individuals to the Blighted Property Review Committee

-- To appoint three individuals to the Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority

-- To appoint members and alternate members to the zoning hearing board

-- To approve a certificate of appropriateness for 234 King Street from HARB

-- To ratify a certificate of appropriateness from the building permit officer for 758 High Street

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