Up to date news on the happenings in Eddystone, PA. For such a small town, there's always BIG drama...inside and outside Borough Council Chambers.

Firehouse Costs Are More Than Just Money

After a year-long and very public difference of opinion about Camden Iron coming to Eddystone, it seems that everyone finally agrees that a new firehouse would be a great thing.  Why then, if everyone agrees, is there still discord within the community?  If everyone in Eddystone is excited about a new firehouse, why is there still finger pointing and name calling?

In Monday night’s council meeting, Francine Howatt, the Borough’s manager, announced to the council members that a group made up of several residents, called Eddystone Residents for Positive Change, filed an appeal against Camden Iron’s air quality permit.  She read a letter from the group’s attorney, Mr. Adam Cutler of Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP), that notified the Dept. of Environmental Protection of the appeal.  Councilwoman Karen Reeves then read a written statement claiming that it was unfair of this group of residents to hold up the construction of the firehouse and that a letter should be written to the Daily Times to make the public aware and that “these people” have no affiliation with the current council members.

Wait!  Back up!  Did I miss something??  How does this group’s right to file an appeal against an air quality permit for Camden Iron affect the construction of the new firehouse?  Let’s break it down.  The cost of construction for the firehouse is around $2.6 million.  The money HAS to come from somewhere.  When asked by residents in the past, Borough Council said that Camden Iron was not paying for the new firehouse.  But what if the permit fees for Camden Iron’s construction were paying for the new firehouse?  Residents have been given different amounts when asking the Borough’s manager how much the permit fees would be, ranging from $500K to $1.7 million.  Even if we went with the $1.7 million, and the full amount was going to the new firehouse, we’re still short about $900K.  Did the remainder come from grants?  Mrs. Howatt says “No”.  According to her, our borough has asked for grants for the last 25 years and none of our state or local representatives would help us.  Remind me again why this Positive Change group is to blame if the firehouse doesn’t get built?

Fast forward to an article in Wednesday’s Daily Times about the new firehouse…a very short article.  Three very short, itsy bitsy paragraphs about the construction bids for the new firehouse in Eddystone.  Not one single council person or resident was named in the article but if you take a look at the comments online, one may think differently.  How sad that a handful of the people who comment online cannot move forward.   A new firehouse should symbolize new beginnings in Eddystone…A bright new shiny building rising out of the ashes of a community civil war that was caused by residents being blind-sided by Camden Iron coming to town.  My hope for Eddystone is that the residents and council members can learn to agree to disagree in a civilized manner instead of calling each other names online for the whole world to see.