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Phoenixville Breaks Ground on New Borough Hall

The $5.59 million, 20,000 square foot structure is expected to be completed by next spring.

“Only time will tell whether our judgement in doing this is strong or not,” admitted president Richard Kirkner before breaking ground on the controversial new $5.59 million borough hall he and .

On Monday night at least, their judgment looked sound.

In a June 18 ceremony attended by a who’s who of local political and civic leaders, Phoenixville celebrated the groundbreaking of the 20,000 square foot complex that will hold its public meetings, police department, and jail for what officials hope will be decades to come.

“I think this project is just a further exemplification of the revitalization [of Phoenixville] continuing,” Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello told the small crowd–whose attendees included representatives from the offices of US Representative Jim Gerlach (R-PA), state representative Warren Kampf (R-157), and state senator Andy Dinniman (D-19), as well Kampf’s Democratic challenger Paul Drucker.

“My only lament is that it wasn’t held on a First Friday,” joked fellow commissioner Terrence Farrell.

Despite some rumblings that the planning of the hall was rushed, the borough council has maintained that the timing was just right. Kirkner said that the low cost of labor and even lower interest rates–the borough’s bond is priced at 2 percent for the next decade, moves to 3 percent in 2022, then graduates from 3.125 in 2030 to 4 percent by 2037–made now the time to build.

Borough council west ward representative Dana Dugan said she was honored and proud to see what was long an ambition of the council become a reality.

“It belongs to so many of us,” she said, giving special recognition to the past councils who she said laid the groundwork for the new hall. 

“We will now have a borough hall fit to represent the beauty of our magnificent borough,” Dugan added.

Middle ward representative Jennifer Mayo called the groundbreaking a major milestone for the community.

“It shows the world that we have truly risen from the ashes of a bygone era and into a wonderful and bright future,” she said.

Council vice-president Michael Speck, after recognizing members of the Phoenixville volunteer fire department who were in attendance, hinted there might be more to come.

“Hopefully fellas, in a few years we’ll be at a groundbreaking celebration for a new fire station.”

The hall was funded by an $8 million dollar municipal general obligation bond the council voted to secure in 2011. Of the $2.41 million remaining after the hall’s bill, $1.3 million was used to finance old debt and the rest will be put towards water and waste-water system improvements.

The complex is expected to be completed in the spring of 2013.

Ele June 19, 2012 at 09:45 AM
Where is the new hall being built?
Tom Sunnergren June 19, 2012 at 12:19 PM
It's on the 300 block of Bridge Street Ele, right up the street from the district court house
Richard June 19, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Congratulations Borough Council, this was a ridiculous and hasty decision.
Ed Roper June 19, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Yup, sounds just like the borough council we all know and "love"
Lynn B. June 19, 2012 at 02:04 PM
what will happen to the Firebird Festival?
Gilligan June 19, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Not the prettiest building Richard and Ed, but haven't they been pushing this for years? Why do you think it was hasty?
Tek June 19, 2012 at 02:32 PM
what will happen to the Firebird Festival?
Ed Roper June 19, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Ok, I'll bite: a. Building is in a flood plain. Emergency services i.e. police could be effected in the event of a bad storm/flood. Having lived in a hurricane zone before, this is troubling. b. Building design is about as boring as can be, and seems to be counter to the style and character of the town. c. $950k is a large chunk of money for a piece of land, and raises eyebrows when you see who the owner of that land is. Questions of possible quid pro quo need to be asked. d. Goodbye firebird festival site...
Bill N. June 19, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Maybe with this influx of $950K, Manny DeMutis (and family) can charge less rent for their buildings and finally attract businesses instead of driving them to bankruptcy. Of course this would NEVER happen, but it would do a heck of a lot to help out our smoldering downtown area.
Chris Kuok June 19, 2012 at 06:45 PM
A "quid pro quo"? Seriously? Come on man, you can't just make stuff up and throw it out there and expect to be taken seriously. There isn't even a shred of rumor to suggest any such deal. It would make for a good story but right now it's made up kinda like Big Foot........ which I know is real cause I seen him yo! In regards to DeMutis bankrupting businesses: I think business owners do a fine job of this themselves. This is the biggest complaint in all towns (not just P'ville). No one forces business owners to sign on the dotted line. I should know since I have a storefront business in a small town. Every person that owns a business and leases a building complains about the rent (even me). It's like a right of passage when you pay rent (right Ed you pay a rent). Sometimes it's true and most times leases are fair but that's why it's up to each business owner to make a serious business plan. What bankrupts a business is usually poor (if any) business planning, poor business practices and lack of support. The moral of the story is don't blame others and support your local businesses and make it happen yourself. Only you supporting small businesses will keep them alive. There isn't a building owner alive that can sink a small business. Only the person that signed that lease can sink that business. Don't Believe The Hype!
Ed Roper June 19, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Sorry David, I can't expect you to be taken seriously either if you post under an assumed alias. I guess you didn't realize that the patch emails you when somebody comments on an article, and you didn't quite delete your first comment under your real name quick enough. Anyway, back to the original point. How in the heck do you ever expect a private citizen to prove possible corruption. That's the realm of a district attorney and a team of investigators. And considering how much money has flowed through Phoenixville in the last few years that still is a little gray on it's accounting, I'm not the first one who's thought there might be some corrupt dealings going on. As it is in small town politics, a lot of people think it, few actually have the courage to say it. But hey, at least I'm saying it under my real name.
Chris Kuok June 20, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Sorry Ed, but I've always used this name since we don't want everything moshed up with business. My friends know who I am on here. Anyway, I didn't say anything that's not true and you know it. You can't just make stuff up and throw it out there. You won't be taken seriously. I'll stick to the facts. In regards to the businesses and rents I am right on and you know it. There isn't a landlord in any town that can sink a business. Business owners sink businesses.
Ed Roper June 20, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Uh, ok sure whatever works for you dude. Anyway, the facts are this town is full of people with questionable motives. That's the facts. Since you are such an ardent supporter of the party line, I definitely question what your motives are as well. But whatever.
Chris Kuok June 20, 2012 at 03:30 AM
My motives? LOL. I have no stake in the town other than being a tax paying resident and again if you knew me you'd know that by now. You're funny man.
David Dawson June 21, 2012 at 08:39 AM
Maybe now somebody will cut the grass,weeds and clean up the house at 272 Bridge St.Same "####" every year.Also clean up the Sec.8 dope house at the corner of Bridge & Church Street.What a EYE SORE!!!
Ike June 23, 2012 at 10:28 AM
Well the hard hats gots t go. ALL OF THEM ... TIME TO GET SOME NEW COUNCIL MEMBERS

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