POTTSTOWN, PA – While the staff here at SavePottstown!! certainly loves tapping our collective toes to the timeless sounds of Buddy Holly and The Crickets…the one specie of cricket we will not tolerate are the crickets of silence.
And that seems to be the specie of cricket that has infested the office of the fiscally mute Pottstown economic development entity known as PAID.
So…what’s the deal folks? What’s going on with new business and the “attractions efforts” for the borough? Why are we still seeing tons of For Sale and For Lease signs all over Pottstown like a bad rash? What’s the deal with the former Giant Food Store complex along State Street and why is it still emptier than PART buses?
The last time we read anything about Bamford was 10 months ago.
In April of 2011 there was a lot of hoopla over the so-called “new” PAID. So much so that they even held a public meeting at The Hill School where the group introduced 13 of its new 15 member board. You can read more about that meeting here.
One of the things we find most peculiar about PAID is its mysterious and shadowy nature. There is no website for the entity. There is a registered domain (www.paidinc.org), but when you type it in your browser it redirects you to a flimsy writeup on the TriCounty Chamber of Commerce’s website.
On the TriCounty Chamber’s site, there is a link to PAID’s bylaws. You can check those out here.
The bylaws list six development strategies for the group. They include (but are not limited to):
(a) a marketing campaign which focuses on recruiting public and private investment to the Borough;
(b) initiatives to recruit new business investment and reinvigorate viable existing businesses;
(c) constructive reuse or removal of abandoned or significantly underused industrial and downtown property within the Borough, focused particularly on the riverfront;
(d) re-establishment of scheduled passenger rail service connecting to national rail transportation hubs;
(e) the engagement of local, regional, and national financial institutions to gain access to capital for small and medium sized businesses within the Borough;
(f) obligate resources for economic development purposes, including securing third party consultant contracts or make any program or financial commitments for economic development initiatives other than those of the Partnership.
So…where’s the marketing campaign? Does one even exist? Is it available for us taxpayers to read and review? Is it currently being implemented? If not, why?
What initiatives are underway to recruit new business investment and to reinvigorate existing businesses?
Where’s the reuse of property downtown and along the riverfront (excluding residential rental property development)?
What’s the deal with passenger rail service?
Where are the boatloads of loan money for small and medium businesses? Or the resources for economic development purposes?
Does PAID really do anything of significance? Or is it just something the wanna-be up and comers flaunt on their resumes?
It’s been over a year now since a new Executive Director has been at the helm. Where’s the development? Where’s the marketing? Where’s the new businesses? How are the current businesses being helped?
Will PAID ever do anything of economic significance in Pottstown?
We think Buddy summed it up rather nicely: That’ll Be the Day.