Also, Penn Street Market debuted its Farm-to-Table “Pop-Up” Bistro; an innovative farm-to-table venue, Urban Bistro. At the close of each Thursday market day in September, a fresh air, outdoor dinner feast will be sourced by local vendors and presented by Adam Cocuzza, co-founder of a local restaurant and Neil Patel, owner of Momma Patel’s, a current vendor at Penn Street Market.
Reservations can be made online on the Penn Street Market’s home page on Redesign Reading’s website. They must be made by midnight on the preceding Wednesday.
National Citizenship Week
The City of Reading and the Reading Public Library announced their participation in the first annual National Citizenship Week - September 14 through 18, 2015.
To commemorate Citizenship Week, the Reading Public Library unveiled the newly established Citizenship Resource Center at their Main Branch located at 100 S. Fifth Street.
With the support of my office, the outreach center has been created to tap into the expertise of the many local direct service organizations that work primarily on a grassroots level with those seeking citizenship. Materials available include naturalization resource guide brochures, citizenship tool kits, and information about local ESL and high school equivalency classes as well as local legal assistance for citizenship and naturalization issues.
I will be hosting the quarterly interfaith meeting later this month. Agenda includes an update from members of Faith Communities regarding their presence at Reading Intermediate High School, an update on the City of Reading’s progress on Michele Obama’s Mayor’s Challenge to End Homelessness, information from Chief Heim regarding recent street violence, and a roundtable of congregation initiatives.
Clean City Initiative
Reading Beautification Inc. was awarded a $5K grant from Santander to fund necessary clean up supplies that are then given as in-kind contributions to the Clean City Initiative.
To date we have completed 73 projects, utilizing 2,513 volunteers who have donated 6,909 hours worth of volunteer time with a cost avoidance value of $155,797.95.
Public Works Department
ADA Compliance Update
The first part of the 18th Ward Strategic Phasing plan for prioritizing curb ramps was received from our consultant last month. This included preliminary construction drawings and specifications for the ramps. The Strategic Phasing Plan rates all of the intersections in the 18th Ward so the City can direct their construction efforts where it is needed the most. The City will use this information to prepare construction contracts to install the highest priority curb ramps first. The installation work is anticipated to start this year beginning with Kenhorst Boulevard.
2015-16 Repaving Project
The City’s construction drawings and specifications for the repaving of North 6th Street, South 9th Street and Hill Road are currently in review by PennDOT. The project is scheduled to be bid this month with most of the construction work to be completed next spring. New federal and state regulations require that all of the intersections affected by the repaving work must be upgraded with ADA curb ramps and crosswalks. 48 curb ramps at 14 intersections will be installed with this project. The designs for these curb ramps will be prepared by the contractor this winter.
Penn Street Lighting Project
This project is the second phase of the Penn Street Lighting project which began a few years ago when improvements were made to the pedestrian lighting in 800, 900 and 1000 blocks. The construction work for this second phase of the project started last month at the 700 block, in coordination with the DoubleTree Hotel. New lighting will be installed along that block as well as along the 200 and 300 blocks. Also, upgrades will be made to the existing pedestrian lighting fixtures along Penn Street between 2nd Street and 7th Street. Funding is being provided at the 100% level from PennDOT through a federal Traffic Enhancement grant. The work is scheduled for completion next spring.
Tree Trimming Update
Public Works has met with 3 separate contractors to get estimates for tree trimming on South 5th Street from Canal to Pine in regards to school safety. The projected start date is the end of September.
I have attached the Center for Excellence in Local Government’s Fall 2015 Schedule of Events.
Two local landmarks are receiving national recognition.
Go Greater Reading announced last week that the American Bus Association recently selected the museum’s annual World War II Weekend as one of the Top 100 Events in North America. I have attached a press release.
Also, the Reading Leiderkrantz Oktoberfest has been nominated by USA Today as one of the best Oktoberfest events in the nation. According to its website, travel experts at USA Today have selected the 20 top nominees and will leave it up to readers to make the final selections. You can vote for on the Reading Liederkranz’s home page once daily through Sept. 28. The OKTOBERFEST Kickoff Party, Friday, September 18th, 5:00 p.m. The public is invited.
The Centre Park Law Offices & Swanona (606 North Fifth Street) are having their grand opening on Thursday, September 17th from 3:00 – 7: 00 PM, with a ribbon cutting at 5:30. Please respond to Jeannette at 610.374.5841 if you plan to attend. Tours of this historic building will be provided.
Berks Manufacturing Day
Manufacturing Day is a nationwide event aiming to bring awareness to training and careers in the manufacturing industry. The Greater Reading community is participating in this initiative by hosting Berks Manufacturing Day on Saturday, October 3, 2015 from 8 a.m. to noon.
Participants in Berks Manufacturing Day will begin their day at Reading Area Community College (RACC) Schmidt Training and Technology Center (STTC) to meet with local companies and learn about the manufacturing training offered there. They will also get to tour Greater Reading manufacturing facilities and hear from employees about their experience in manufacturing. The companies touring include American Crane, Brentwood, Cambridge-Lee, East Penn Manufacturing, and Remcon Plastics.
Registration for Berks Manufacturing is free and open to the public and can be done on Go Greater Reading’s website. Registration will close Saturday, September 19. For more information please contact Deb Heffner or call (610) 376.4237. There is room for more Reading manufacturers to have tables at STTC. If anyone has a suggestion, please contact Deb.
The Reading Regional Food Policy and Action Council meets every other month, with subcommittee meetings on the off months to form goals & action plans. Please contact Brian Kelly at Redesign Reading for more information.
The Olivet Boys & Girls Club Mentoring and the Arts Program will be hosting a dedication of the mural honoring the life and legacy of Mr. Harvey Kimble on Thursday, September, 17, 2015 at the corner of Hollenbach Street and Schuylkill Avenue at 6:30 PM. All are invited to attend.
Chief Heim and the Reading Police Department, as well as Senator Judith Schwank, will be honored with the Voices for Change Awards at the Berks Women in Crisis Celebration of Peace on December 14, 2015 at the Reform Congregation Oheb Sholom. Invitations will be mailed in mid-November.