County sells land to East Norriton for trails

Dan Clark of the Times Herald reports:

NORRISTOWN >> For $5, East Norriton purchased five parcels of land held in the county’s repository hoping to turn the empty lots into part of a trail that will eventually connect to trails in Plymouth Township and Norristown.

Montgomery County commissioners approved the sale to East Norriton at their meeting on Thursday.

“My office works very hard to be proactive and come up with a lot of ways for different levels of government to work together,” county Treasurer Jason Salus said. “To that end, several months ago we undertook an initiative whereby we notified all the surrounding property owners and school districts where parcels in the county property repository were located.”

Salus explained that repository properties are those that have gone unsold at tax sales.

“As part of that effort one of our notices went out to East Norriton Township notifying the local elected officials that there were a number of abandoned parcels, five, along the Sawmill Creek that were available for purchase,” Salus said.

Officials from East Norriton had expressed interest in the properties because they were in the process of obtaining other parcels of land for a pedestrian trail along the Sawmill Creek, Salus said.

The parcels of land are all in the flood plain and not big enough to develop on, he said.

“We’ve acquired about 20 of these properties along that stream already and we’re trying to join them all together and eventually build a trail that will connect to Norristown’s Sawmill Creek Trail that they’re in the planning process of with Montgomery County,” East Norriton Township Manager Donald Delamater said. “And in the other end connect to the Plymouth Township municipal complex trail. It would be a regional link that we’re hoping to achieve there.”

All of the land was given to residents as door prizes by movie theaters early in the 20th century. A previous article in The Reporter, a sister publication of The Times Herald, movie theaters would offer small plots of land as door prizes to encourage people to come to the movies.

However, the landowners often did not pay the taxes and did not do anything with the land. The land that ended up in the repository could not be sold at a tax sale.

“They gave these away as some kind of door prize, but then people had to pay property tax on them and it wasn’t exactly much of a gift,” commissioners’ Vice-Chairwoman Valerie Arkoosh said.

Commissioners’ Chairman Josh Shapiro commended Salus for finding a way to take the land off of the repository and for finding a good use for it.

Click here to read the entire article.

Conshohocken dog park proposal ramps up

Jenny DeHuff of the Times Herald:

CONSHOHOCKEN — A group of canine confederates rejoiced after Wednesday night’s borough council meeting, when council adopted a resolution supporting a new dog park in the area.

While a location has yet to be determined, the Friends of a Conshohocken Dog Park are eager to see the wheels in motion.

Council President Paul McConnell said, during a recent council workshop meeting, the Friends submitted a business plan and proposal outlining how the township might work with the dog park group to work out the kinks of the project.

The motion, made by Transportation and Parking Committee Chair Jason Salus, passed unanimously.

Raj Gupta, Friends committee member and candidate for borough council in the first ward, said cost totally depends on the location.

“It was a big win tonight just to get the council to support it,” he told The Times Herald.

“So now we’ll work with the park and recreation subcommittee to find a location based on that. We want to put together a proper dog park. Our message to council has always been that this will be privately funded, with no taxpayer dollars.”

Click here for the entire article and video coverage.

Boathouse agreement approved

After many years and grand visions for bringing Conshohocken residents to the waterfront, last Wednesday Council took a concrete step to initiate a joint venture with area schools that will result in a new boathouse along our waterfront.  When complete, the new boathouse will provide recreational access to the river for Conshohocken residents.

from Jenny DeHuff of the Times Herald

CONSHOHOCKEN — In a move dubbed a “breakthrough” for the borough, Conshohocken council unanimously approved an agreement with developers to construct a boathouse along the riverfront.

Members of the council said Wednesday night that acquiring a boathouse is a huge step in connecting the Conshohocken community with the waterfront.

The boathouse is slated for the borough-owned plot of land, commonly known as the “100-foot strip,” located between Ash and Cherry streets.

Read the entire article by clicking here.

Spring Shade Tree Planting

Conshohocken Shade Tree Commission

The Conshohocken Shade Tree Commission would like to invite all borough residents interested in planting a tree on along the street in front of their home to participate in our Spring Bare-Root Tree Planting.  Since our Fall Planting was such a great success, we’ve decided to again work with TreeVitalize, to purchase a variety of trees for planting around the borough, which are suitable for planting beside sidewalks and under power lines.  We have a limited number of trees which are slightly larger – all trees are distributed on a first come first served basis.

The trees can be picked up on Saturday, March 27th from 9 until 11 AM at the Borough Yard at the unopened end of West 7th Ave. Please have a means of transporting the tree back to your home, and plan to plant it that day which will greatly increase the likelihood of survival.  We will also have a number of volunteers to help assist you with proper planting information.  There will also be printed literature available to every participant on the care and maintenance of your new tree.  All tree recipients will also be receiving two 2″X2″X8′ wooden stakes for each tree and a Gator bag to assist with tree watering.

Please email if you are interested in either planting a tree in front of your home (or contact the Borough directly at 610-828-1092).  We are also actively recruiting volunteers to help with planting on Saturday, March 27th – please email us to sign up!

UPDATE: Read the Conshohocken Examiner’s news article about the spring planting.

Conshohocken receives state recycling grant

The week before last the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced that Conshohocken received a $225,007 grant to expand our recycling program.  The grant will cover the cost of acuqiring a new recycling truck, 5,000 new recycling bins and the costs the Borough incurred to update our recycling ordinance.  A tip of the hat to Borough staff for seeking out these funds.

Shade Tree Commission update

The Conshohocken Shade Tree Commission presented their Annual Report at last night’s Council meeting.  Over the past year since being re-established they’ve done quite a lot of work, including a bare root planting, revisions to the street tree list and the recruitment of many community volunteers.  In a dense and developed community like ours, trees are a cost-effective and efficient way to ‘green’ the town and the Commission has done an exemplary job of achieving several goals towards that end.

The Shade Tree Commission will hold their Spring Bare Root planting on March 27.  Email if you would like a tree.

Regretfully, last night Council accepted Carol Smith’s resignation from the Commission.  She was a key member of the team that helped reinvigorate that board and we thank her for her dedication.

Volunteer for the Environmental Advisory Committee

Borough Council is currently accepting resumes from residents interested in serving on the recently-established Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC).

The mission statement of Conshohocken’s EAC is:

The mission of Conshohocken’s Environmental Advisory Committee is to promote initiatives for conservation of energy and natural resources, in response to local governments and residents whose communities are consuming resources at a rate that cannot be sustained over a long period of time.  It is also the mission of the Environmental Advisory Committee, here after referred to as EAC, to influence the conservation of energy and natural resources of Conshohocken owned buildings, parks, and grounds through enhancement of environmentally sound procurement of products and services and through a continuing education program.  The EAC is an advisory committee made up of Borough Council officials and volunteer residents of the Borough of Conshohocken.

Residents interested in serving on the EAC should send a letter of interest and resume to Borough Manager Fran Marabella at, please include “EAC Resume” in the subject line.