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.

No April Foolin'-Camden Iron's decision to leave Eddystone creates Borough Manager budget question

More than two years after the fight began, it is now official.  Camden Iron’s move is a ‘done deal.’  They are moving to Camden, NJ.  No April fools. 

In today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, company President Joe Balzano made the announcement and stated that the company will be up and operational by year’s end.  The announcement ends years of speculation as to what Camden Iron planned to do.  ER4PC members, who attended a May, 2010 Philadelphia Regional Port Authority meeting to block the release of 31 million dollars of state tax payer money to the European company were correct to assume that if that money could be blocked, the company would not move.  In May 2010, PRPA released the money contingent upon Camden Iron receiving all ‘non-appealable government permits.’  By the PRPA’s adding of that provision, ER4PC, with the help of many state officials, leaders from surrounding communities, PILCOP, and residents of Eddystone, was able to tie this money up until the Rendell administration left office so as to ensure that Camden Iron would not move at taxpayer’s expense.

150 jobs are supposedly moving to Camden, which is interesting because 162 were projected to move to Eddystone.  As ER4PC argued two years ago, Camden Iron is moving jobs from one location to another, not creating jobs.  The article mentions that about 50 new jobs will be created at their new port, but honestly, given all of the changes and falsehoods mentioned before, how can we believe it?  We will see how many jobs are actually created.

The Camden community is appears excited to have the company, although those quoted mentioned the quality of life sacrifices made by the community in the hopes that jobs will be created.   Camden will now be accepting a company that, prior to trying to move the Eddystone, was also denied by Philadelphia on multiple occasions and Chester on one occasion.

Borough Manager Francie Howat was quoted in the Daily Times as saying, "Knowing this project was moving forward, council was confident to go forward with its goal of building a new firehouse."  http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2011/06/22/news/doc4e0148254ee7d791441735.txt
Howat, the Mayor, and the 4 current members of Council (Begley, Pappas, Reeves, Tatisciore) took this interesting position even though ER4PC had information in June, 2011 that the company was still unsure of its plans.

Now that this project is officially not happening, Danielle Thompson and the other members of the finance committee will have some work to do in figuring out how the Borough will pay for a 3 million dollar firehouse without raising Borough residents’ taxes.  Reducing taxes was the reason this Council wanted Camden Iron in the first place. 

This brings an official end to then more than two year battle going on in the Borough.  ER4PC members now have a responsibility to put their money where their mouth has been; the group, who spoke on behalf of the more than 450 residents who signed petitions stating their concern about Camden Iron, succeeded in blocking the mega-scrapyard.  Now, the entire community- ER4PC, Borough officials, and other residents who are ready to get involved, must now work together to position Eddystone for future growth. 

I am hoping that President Pappas can figure out a way to foster positive growth in our community and that he will be willing to work with all of the people who want Eddystone to thrive.