Parkesburg Borough wants to be a safe, connected, attractive, bustling community providing good services while managing growth and a thriving economy.
That's the vision of the borough’s planning commission and revitalization committee, which is recommending borough council adopt its goals for the next five years outlined in a new revitalization plan. Planners and Borough Council have set a joint meeting to introduce the plan — to be conducted remotely — for both 7 and 8 p.m. Aug. 13.
The plan and instructions for attending are on the borough’s website, parkesburg.org.
According to the plan, crafted over the past two years by a citizens task force led by Rhett Lipscomb, a borough council member, and the Chester County Planning Commission, the historic western Chester County village with a population of 3,974 is expected to see a 30% population growth by 2045.
The primarily residential borough at the crossroads of routes 10 and 372 is mostly built out, so how it meets the anticipated population hike, attracts new business development, markets itself as a regional destination, and makes the improvements to services, streets and parks are among the stated goals borough council must consider, fund and prioritize.
The current comprehensive/revitalization plan was written in 2002 and was updated periodically.
Borough Council has been reluctant to let projects simmer on the back burner, and a July 24 meeting over the stalled $2 million Parkesburg Train Station upgrade has resulted in the project moving forward. That’s the assessment of Borough Manager Neil Vaughn and Bill Schoell, district office director for state Rep. Dan Williams.
Borough officials, Williams, state Sen. Andrew Dinniman, and executives from Amtrak and PennDOT discussed the current impasse between Amtrak and PennDOT. According to Schoell, Amtrak had requested a design review and wanted to charge PennDOT what he called “an astronomical fee.”
“It would have taken a sizable chunk out of the $2 million PennDOT had earmarked for the project,” Schoell said.
With Parkesburg and PennDOT ready to proceed with construction, the parties agreed that some work at the train station out of the purview of Amtrak will begin soon. This includes work on drainage, entryway improvements and sidewalks. Schoell said PennDOT and Amtrak officials will meet in October to see if the impasse may be settled.
“We’re doing all we can as quickly as possible,” Schoell said.