Exeter looks to improve business district

By B. Garret Rogan - For Sunday Dispatch | August 7th, 2015 9:57 am

EXETER — The council took preliminary steps toward seeking professional aid in planning a new direction for the town’s business district during Tuesday’s regular meeting.

The borough is applying for up to $25,000 in grant funding from Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development to pay for the services of professional consultants to aid in the creation of a vision statement and action strategy for improving the borough’s business district.

The planning services in question would come from the Lilitz-based firm Derck and Edson as well as the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, a Harrisburg-based nonprofit company specializing in community revitalization.

Exeter’s community improvement committee, Exeter Proud, played a key role in researching the programs made available from the two firms.

Exeter officials were quick to point out that Tuesday night’s motion would not cost the borough any money, but future costs may be incurred should a relationship be formed between Exeter and the firms.

Exeter Proud committee member Nancy Dolan acknowledged that the state has not yet established a budget for projects such as these, but characterized Tuesday’s motion as being an early way to be involved should funding become available.

The motion passed by a margin of four to two with council members Joseph Esposito, Joe Pizano, Thomas Shannon and Richard Turner voting in favor while Denise Adams and John Morgan voted against.

Council member Larry Dellegrotto expressed support for the motion but abstained from voting, citing his relationship with Dolan.

Following the meeting, Adams explained that she voted against the motion because she had not attended a meeting where the program options were presented. She was also stated a preference for finding a local firm to aid in planning if need be.

In other matters, residents were reminded of the Exeter Volunteer Fire Department’s annual charity chicken roast to be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 at the volunteer fire hall on Lincoln Street.

Fire department officials also announced the reception of over $3,000 in charitable donations from a recent mail drive.

Also on Tuesday, residents were reminded of zoning rules that pertain to backyard swimming pools.

Any pool exceeding 2 feet in height requires a zoning permit to ensure that it is more than 10 feet away from any roofed structure. The pools must also be surrounded by a fence. If there are any electrical wires connecting the pool to a powered filter, a building permit is required as well.

These restrictions apply to permanent and inflatable pools. Zoning permits cost $50 while building permits are priced at $129.

Exeter holds its next council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7.

By B. Garret Rogan

For Sunday Dispatch

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