City Council designates a ‘revitalization district’ downtown

Beautification and business growth efforts to focus between 1st and 4th Ave.

By Kyle CarrozzaStaff Writer, The Times

CAPP member Ted Reed (left) and Chairperson Regina Horton Lewis (right) present Acting Fire Chief James Lentz with  a $5,000 check. The grant from the Stewart Huston Charitable Trust will be used to purchase new barricades.

CAPP member Ted Reed (left) and Chairperson Regina Horton Lewis (right) present Acting Fire Chief James Lentz with a $5,000 check. The grant from the Stewart Huston Charitable Trust will be used to purchase new barricades.

COATESVILLE – City council passed a motion to designate a downtown revitalization area at its meeting Monday night.

The city will focus efforts to beautify the area between First and Fourth Ave. going east and west and Fleetwood and Kersey Street going north and south. Along with the renovation of the train station, they will look to incorporate the new color palette, increase lighting, and work with businesses to make the area look better.

Council members hope that a more attractive downtown will make Coatesville more inviting to businesses.

“You want to introduce more businesses into the town, which will increase the tax base,” said City Council President David Collins.

Collins said that increased tax revenue from businesses could ease the burden on citizens.

He also explained that the designation is one step in a plan to generate commercial growth on both sides of First Ave. by improving the area between First and Fourth Ave. and developing new businesses across from the ArcelorMittal Building.

“The concept would be to create another area in the city,” said Collins. “We could call the area to the east of First Ave. ‘Old City’, and then the development that would happen to the west of First Ave. where the velodrome area is going, we’d refer to that as ‘New City’.”

Collins said that plans to fund the developments have not been made, but the city wants to open up ideas for whatever funds or resources they can come up with.

In other city news, City Council delayed the ruling on whether or not to pass new regulations for street closure requests.

The proposed regulations would charge $600 to people or organizations that want to close a street and also require them to get permission from the street’s residents. However, events open to the public and endorsed by the city could qualify for a fee exemption with council’s approval.

After extensive discussion, City Council tabled the motion. Some members believed that the motion’s language was unclear as to where the money would go and what types of events would be exempt from the fee.

“Basically, you have to have a set standard, and those standards haven’t been laid out,” said Council Member Arvilla Hunt. “And there’s nothing clear as to who can apply to [be] city-endorsed and who can’t.”

The deferral comes after City Council’s decision to re-examine street closure regulations earlier this summer. After realizing that the city loses money whenever a street is closed and receiving complaints about closed streets from residents, City Manager Kirby Hudson drafted the regulations presented on Monday.

Hudson said that whenever a street is closed, the city must pay police to set up barricades and patrol the area, and costs are incurred from the wear and tear of equipment. Insurance for property damage that may occur during the event is also included in the $600.

Though City Council agreed earlier this summer that new policies must be adopted, some members thought the new fee was too much.

“$600 is ridiculous,” said Council Member Jarrell Brazzle.

Hunt said that she wants to avoid decreasing residential activities in order to make up for fiscal shortcomings.

“We can’t try to close the gap in the budget by nitpicking,” she said.

Regardless of the outcome, the city will have new equipment for when they do close streets.

Working with the Coatesville Area Partners for Progress (CAPP), Acting Bureau Fire Chief James Lentz acquired a $5,000 grant from the Stewart Huston Charitable Trust. The funds will go to the purchase of new barricades.

Because the old barricades do not meet Department of Transportation requirements, Lentz reached out to CAPP, an organization that can receive certain grants that the city cannot.

Lentz also received his Emergency Management Certificate from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency at Monday night’s meeting.

Presented by Bill Turner of Chester County Emergency Services, the certification qualifies Lentz for dealing with emergencies and disasters in the public scope.

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One Comment

  1. Renaming stuff that was already done by the City of Coatesville Planning Commission and already paid for is fine. As long as it isn’t re-planned with new funds.

    And ignore Brazzle, he’s just likes to hear himself talk.

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