Building a Better Boyertown receives honor
By Diane VanDyke; Connection Writer
Building a Better Boyertown was in the spotlight at the 24th Annual Boyertown Area Progress Dinner on Jan. 21 in recognition of its accomplishments during 2008.TriCounty Area Chamber President P. Timothy Phelps and Berks County Commissioners Christian Y. Leinbach and Kevin S. Barnhardt presented the James K. Quality of Life Award to BBB President Charles Haddad and Main Street Manager Heather Oxenford at the event held at LaMassaria at Bella Vista Golf Course in New Hanover Township.
"Good things do not happen by themselves; it takes good people," Haddad said during the presentation. "We are fortunate to have good people in Boyertown to make things happen."
BBB, a nonprofit organization, started in 2002, as the result of Mayor Marianne Deery's vision.
"We needed to do something to revitalize the town to attract more businesses and increase the tax base," she said. ...
Business and property owners made approximately 27 faςade improvements using $75,000 in grant funds and about $100,000 in private investments. Improvements included the addition of new ramps, doors, and windows; painting; minor repairs; and planters.
BBB revived the entrances of the Borough's inner core parking lot by adding benches, planters and walkways.
"The Rhudes (Kevin and Dawn) recently purchased the State Theatre," Haddad told the 200 people in attendance. "This will become a main attraction to Boyertown with the continuation of movies and the addition of live performances by local theatre groups."
Future plans include a $3 million streetscape project to improve the seven-block area surrounding Boyer's Corner. The streetscape will include the addition of brick walkways, plantings and Victorian-style lighting. BBB secured grant funds for these improvements.
BBB also assisted the borough in purchasing the two-acre railroad parcel near the existing railroad tracks. BBB secured grant money to renovate the area when it knows the fate of the rail line.