Notes on West Chester,
by Jim Jones
1. The Borough of West Chester is not responsible for, nor has it authorized this web site. Information on this site is not intended to replace official versions of the same information.
2. The notes presented on this web page do not contain everything that was recorded in the official minutes.
3. All content of this page is derived from public documents, and while every reasonable effort was made to insure its accuracy, information on this site is presented AS IS without warranty, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy, timeliness, or completeness. It is intended as a resource for historians, and nothing more.
4. To report an error or make a comment, please contact Dr. Jim Jones.
The premium for the insurance on the Borough's trucks -- six fire trucks (all but one, which belonged to Fame Fire Company), a Chevy dump truck, two International trucks and a police motorcycle -- declined to $695.40 for the year.
Joseph M. Pernell applied for the job as caretaker at Marshall Square Park.
Borough Council received applications for electric signs from J. B. Simon & Co. (northwest corner of Walnut & Gay) [sporting goods at 41 E. Gay (1932 Boro Dir)], and Senior Cab Company (235 E. Market Street).
In response to a request to allow skating and/or fishing on the Borough ponds at Fern Hill and Milltown, Borough Council voted 6-0 to post "No Trespassing" signs.
Borough Council scheduled a public meeting on Thursday, January 22 -- before the special election -- at the Courthouse to allow engineer Vosbury to explain the proposal to expand the sewage treatment plants.
Henry R. Guss asked for a permit for an electrical sign at 124 W. Gay Street. [His business was "Cigars, Sodas and Billiards" (1932 Boro Dir)]
The Borough controller reported good financial news for the year 1930. The balance at the beginning of the year was $877.10, but by the end of the year it was $25,648.04 thanks to $108,286.77 in tax revenue, $18,922.13 in delinquent tax revenue, $55,987.59 in water rents, $22,905.85 in delinquent water rents, $19632.55 in sewer rents, $747 in fines, $608.13 in license fees, etc.
Borough Council awarded the annual contract to provide 5,000 gallons of gasoline at 11 cents/gallon and 400 gallons of motor oil at 46 cents/gallon.
Borough Council discussed the results of the referendum on sewer plant expansion: 738 in favor and 228 opposed.
Borough Council set the 1931 property tax rate at one dollar per $100 of assessed value.
Borough Council approved the 1931 budget of $403,347.53, which included $150,000 for the sewer plant expansions.
Martin Lorgus got permission to erect a garage and apartment on Elizabeth Street between Matlack and Franklin Streets.
Borough Council approved the permit for an electric sign for the Mansion House Hotel.
The Bernard Schlegel Post of the American Legion passed a resolution requesting Borough Council to use local workers and local supplies as much as possible for the expansion of the sewage treatment plants, "to the end that residents of the Borough may receive as much benefit as possible from said work and construction." Borough Council replied that they were in "hearty accord with the spirit of the resolution." [JJ: unemployment]
J. Howard Mecke Jr., owner of the miniature golf course at Sharpless Park, asked for his water bill to be canceled since he had to haul water to his property in August. Borough Council refused.
Borough Council agreed to buy new trousers for the police force. They also agreed to lay a new linoleum floor in the police headquarters at a cost not to exceed $216.
J. Howard Morton, whose address is "General Delivery, West Chester," applied for the position of caretaker at Marshall Square Park.
The "Texas Company" asked the Borough to remove the fire plug in the sidewalk in front of their [gas] station on the northeast corner of Walnut & Chestnut Streets.
Regarding the downtown lighting project, 35 property owners still owe a total of $1,535.03.
Borough Council agreed to spend $545 to hire two extra policemen for two months.
The final cost of the linoleum floor in the police headquarters was $227.
Henry Mathews of the Bell Telephone Company [manager (1932 Boro Dir)] presented a proposal to install a phone system in the Borough that would link all of the fire alarms to the police station and from there to the appropriate fire house.
William Muth proposed that the Borough use redwood frames for the "glass house covers" instead of cypress on the expansion of the sewage treatment plants. (Muth was a salesman for the redwood frames.)
Borough Council reappointed Norris Ingram to the Board of Health for five years.
Members of Borough Council argued over which bank would get to hold the money borrowed for the sewer plant expansions. In the end, they voted 5-2 to put it in the First National Bank, but Brinton and MacElree both favored the Chester County Trust Company.
Borough Council voted to allow the Chester Valley Bus Lines to move their electric sign across the street from 113 N. High Street to 114 N. High Street.
Borough Council ordered the Sharpless-Hendler Ice Cream Company of Philadelphia to remove an illegal electric sign at 214 S. New Street. [George Hare's grocery store (1932 Boro Dir)]
Gus Boortsalas requested a permit for an electric sign at the southeast corner of Market & High Streets. Borough Council referred it to the Fire Committee.
Borough Council received several requests for street lights but could not take any action because they forgot to include money for street lights in the 1931 budget. Instead, they referred the requests to the Finance Committee.
Borough Council voted to install water meters at the County Jail and the Morris Nursery.
Borough Council is still seeking money from the West Chester State Teachers College for delinquent sewer rentals.
Borough Council received complaints from neighbors about water in the alley [JJ: 300 block of Mechanics Alley] from the George W. Smith garage.
Borough Council received six bids for work on the sewer plant expansions, of which the lowest was $178,000 and the highest was $233,000.
Frank L. Reimer applied for the position of caretaker at the sewer plants.
Borough Council received applications for electric sings from the Senior Cab Company (221 E. Market Street)
Dr. Bayard Kane demanded that Borough Council install a gate at the right-of-way to its Fern Hill reservoir to deter trespassers.
Borough Council authorized the Park Committee to spend up to $100 to buy twelve park benches for Everhart Park.
Edward Barry of S. Matlack Street presented a "petion (sic) signed by a large number of residents of that section asking for better police protection and citing many acts of lawlessness that have occurred in that neighborhood recently." Borough Council referred the petition to the Burgess.
Borough Council voted to remove and store the pump and pipe used to obtain water from Ridley Creek during the drought.
Gus Boortsalas asked for permission to leave an iron post with a sign in front of his business at Church & Market Street, despite complaints that it was too close to the curb and interfered with traffic making turns. Borough Council refused to allow him to keep it there, but agreed that he would not have to pay a bond on the new sign after moving it.
The State of Pennsylvania finally paid the delinquent sewer bill for 1929 and 1930, plus the 1931 bill, for the West Chester State Teachers College.
Most of this meeting was devoted to discussing the sewer plant expansion.
Borough Council voted 6-0 to accept the bid of $178,000 from the firm of Vincenzo DiFrancesco for the expansion of the sewer plants.
Borough Council voted 6-0 to terminate the two extra police officers hired last winter.
Borough Council granted permission to the Sharpless-Hendler Ice Cream Company of Philadelphia to install an electric sign at 214 S. New Street, and to William Ballas. They also referred two other requests for signs to the Fire Committee from Morris Weiss [Boston Shoe Store at 18 W Gay (1932 Boro Dir)] and Gus Boortsalas [The Exchange Restaurant at 12 E Gay (1932 Boro Dir)].
The West Chester Board of Trade sent a copy of a resolution to Borough Council asking them to enforce the two-hour parking limit and the law against double parking.
George Fritz applied for the caretaker position at the sewer plants.
D. Paul Ferrier applied for a position on the West Chester Police Department.
The Board of Health sent a letter conveying a resolution calling for legal proceedings against Mr. Tapper, the Borough garbage collector. Borough Council filed it.
PECO sent a note informing Borough Council that the gas rates will decline.
Borough Council voted 4-0 to install a gate across the right- of-way at the Fern Hill pumping station.
Borough Council received a letter from Holding & Harvey (lawyers) concerning "damages" claimed by their client, the owner of the Green Tree Building, from "the taking of certain land belonging to the Green Tree property" at High and Gay Streets. Borough Council referred it to their solicitor.
The West Chester Lions asked Borough Council to excuse the taxes owed by Henry J. Larkin of 429 W. Miner Street. On a motion by Heed seconded by Kerwin, hey voted 4-0 to excuse his taxes.
Borough Council decided to hire two 'reasonably good mechanics" to operate the sewer plants instead of 'an engineer and two laborers" as recommended by Vosbury. On a motion by Heed seconded by Kerwin, Borough Council voted 4-0 to appropriate $1620 for the salaries of two "disposal plant inspectors," Robert E. Rowe and George Fritz, at $135/month. [JJ: That means the $1620 would cover two salaries for six months. Rowe was a machinist who lived at 538 S. Matlack, according to the 1932 Boro Dir. Fritz lived at 304 N. Darlington Street.]
Belt informed Borough Council that he, acting as the chair of the Real Estate Committee, wanted to fire Harry Peterson, the janitor at the municipal building, after several warnings. The Borough Solicitor Knauer said that only Borough Council could fire Peterson. Council "President MacElree stated that he felt to (sic) job should be given to a colored person as its (sic) was one of the few jobs in the Borough that could be given to the colored tax payers." On a motion by Kerwin, seconded by Belt, Borough Council voted 4-0 to make Peterson's last day of work on June 26 and his pay end on July 1.
Borough Council received an estimation from PECO about the cost of electricity for the new sewer plants. PECO estimated the cost at about $5,800 per year, but engineer Vosbury thought it should be about $1,104 per year.
The "change of voltage" at Milltown will require that the electric motors used in the water plant be rewound. PECO will do that at no cost and guarantee the results for a year, but Borough Council wants a five-year guarantee.
After taking a recess, Borough Council reconvened with Hoopes and Dewees absent.
"Mrs. John Melton addressed Council saying her husband had been put in jail for non-payment of taxes. She needs his help in the support of her family and his employers are willing to pay half the amount due if Council will order his release and permit him to pay the balance in regular installments." Borough Council decided to refer Mrs. Melton's request to the Finance Committee and the Tax Collector.
Borough Council continued their argument about what electric power should cost at the expanded sewer plants.
Neighbors presented a petition asking Council to pave the 100-block of E. Virginia Ave., and Borough Council voted to shift $1000 from elsewhere in the budget to pay for it.
This meeting was devoted to a discussion of cost overruns on the sewer plant expansion that resulted from the high cost of rock blasting ($8 per cubic yard).
Borough Council opened bids for the contract to collect garbage. They rejected the bids by Peter Blosenski and Frank Blosenski immediately (the minutes do not explain why) and reviewed the remaining bids by John Blosenski (West Chester RD3), F. C. Blanchard (Downingtown), Nelson Clayton (Brandywine Summit), David Wilfong (Media RD1), A. Earl Pennington (Brandywine Summit), Lewis Hickman Sr. (West Chester), Max Slavitz (West Chester), Hugh Moore (Mortonville) and Raymond Tapper (West Chester RD [not given]). Borough Council referred all of the remaining bids to the Board of Health so they could determine which of the bidders could comply with Borough law.
Borough Council issued electric sign permits to George B. Smith (Turks Head Hotel), Penrose & White (Old Trolley Station on S. High Street), Vilsack & Smith (27 N. Church St.), and Dr. Reuben Kramer (Woolworth Building). [NOTE: The 1932 directory gives his name as Dr. Raymond Kramer, a dentist.]
Borough Council received a letter from PECO stating that they cannot provide anti-glare shields for "old-fashioned" arc lights. On a motion by Belt, seconded by Brinton, Borough Council voted 6-0 to refuse any further requests to shield their homes from streetlight glare.
Nine property owners complained about water damage to their homes caused by faulty drainage from the top half to the bottom half of the block bounded by Marshall, Walnut, Virginia and Matlack Streets. Street Commissioner Reagan said that the problem has already be taken care off.
Borough Council voted 6-0 to shut off water service to customers who have failed to pay their water bills.
Borough Council refused the request by Henry Price for $17.50 to pay for recasting concrete street gutters at 520 N. Matlack Street because he did it without waiting for Borough Council to order the work.
Borough Council voted 5-0-1 (MacElree did not vote) to order Gus Boortsalas to remove the new storm door on 10 E. Gay Street because it intrudes into the sidewalk right-of-way.
Borough Council agreed to improve and pave W. Rosedale Avenue from High Street to a point 450 feet west of Church Street, and then to bill West Goshen for one half of the cost after the work is completed.
P. H. Corcoran complained about the condition of Everhart Avenue for a half block north of Miner Street, and he also complained about the W. Market Street dump. Kerwin told him that block of S. Everhart Ave. is scheduled to be paved this year.
Work on the sewer plant expansions is being delayed because the stone contractor (Trego) cannot deliver fast enough. The construction needs 100 tons of stone a day and Trego can only deliver 36 tons a day. So even though Trego is charging only $1.60 per ton and Sugartown Stone will charge $2.00/ton, Borough Council authorize the sewer contractor to get stone from Sugartown.
Borough Council approved a sign permit for Joseph Giunta (corner of Lacey and Matlack Streets).
Borough Council received a letter from the PA Department of Health informing them that some of the bidders on the garbage contract are not qualified, and others have complaints against them pending. Borough Council decided to scrap all of the bids and start over again.
Borough Council passed a resolution stating that they would only pay bills for orders signed by the president of Council, the Borough Secretary and the Borough Treasurer, and counter-signed by the Borough Controller.
Borough Council approved an electric sign permit request by Dunlop Tire Co. (114 E. Gay Street) and referred a request by Irvin E. Kirk (124 E. Market Street) to the Fire Committee. They also approved a request by George Tridimous to replace an existing sign at 8 E. Gay Street with an electric sign, and an application for a "small sign" by Catherine Hoge (19 S. Church Street).
Borough Council refused the request by Mrs. Arabia (346 W. Gay Street) to remove her water meter an charge her a flat fee since she now has only two apartments in a building which used to have three.
The pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church requested a property tax exemption for the parsonage. Borough Council referred the matter to the Solicitor.
Borough Council opened bids for the garbage contract from Peter Blosenski (Lima, Delaware County), Frank Blosenski (Newtown Square), Stanley Blosenski (Gradyville), William H. Schreck (West Chester RD [not given]), Howard D. Nixon (Coatesville), John Blosenski (West Chester RD3), F. C. Blanchard (Downingtown), Nelson Clayton (Brandywine Summit), David Wilfong (Media RD1), Lewis Hickman Sr. (West Chester), and Raymond Tapper (West Chester RD [not given]). They also rejected a bid by James Ryan because it did not include a certified check as required. Borough Council voted to create a committee composed of Belt, Brinton and Dewees to meet with PA Dept. of Health officials and evaluate the bids.
Borough Council approved an electric sign permit request by Irvin E. Kirk (124 E. Market Street).
Borough Council received a letter from the Longwood Fire Company. They did not intend to charge for the use of their "chemical apparatus" at last week's fire [JJ: along Goose Creek].
Regarding the garbage contract bids, only Wilfong and Clayton were qualified. On a motion by Dewees seconded by Brinton, Borough Council voted 6-0 to award the contract to the lowest qualified bidder, Wilfong, at $6,840 for three years.
Borough Council refused a request by the owners of the Green Tree Building to open High Street so that they could connect to the main gas line. Instead, they told the owners to tunnel under six feet of pavement to reach the gas line.
Borough Council approved a new water meter on the 3" water line for the Green Tree Building. [JJ: The New Green Tree Building, which still stands in 2006, was under cosntruction in 1931.]
A representative of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Villa Maria Academy protested their water bill. Borough Council referred it to the Water Committee.
Borough Council approved a wooden sign for the Standard Oil Co. at the Turk's Head Garage. They also referred the following electric sign permits to the Fire Committee: S. Grant & Son (38 W. Gay Street), and General Outdoors Advertising Co. (in front of the Turk's Head Garage). They referred a regular sign permit for Howard W. Arndt (633 S. Walnut St.) to the Fire Committee.
Borough Council voted to purchase a Foamite generator for the fire company at a cost of $350 plus 750 pounds of Foamite powder at 15 cents per pound.
Thomas R. Haviland, Esq., the lawyer for the Immaculate Heart of Mary Villa convent, asked the Borough to reconstruct a storm sewer outlet at the corner of Biddle Street and the railroad because it floods land that has recently been converted for use as a playground.
Borough Council approved electric sign permits for the General Outdoors Advertising Co. (in front of the Turk's Head Garage), and received applications from Lewis Hickman Jr. (108 N. High Street), Luigi DiAnnuntio (104 W. Market Street) and Giuseppe Malavolte (4 N. Church Street).
PECO spoke on behalf of the Green Tree Building request to open High Street to make a gas line connection, saying it was too dangerous for its workers to do that kind of work in a tunnel.
Borough Council approved a ten-day notice to delinquent water customers before shutting of their water.
Borough Council ordered Luigi DiAnnuntio (104 W. Market Street) and Giuseppe Malavolte (4 N. Church Street) to remove their signs because they were erected without a permit, and to apply for proper permits.
Borough Council refused Lewis Hickman Jr.'s application for a permit to replace an existing sign at 108 N. High Street with a larger sign.
Borough Council ordered the signs owned by Supple, Willis, Jones Co. at 551 S. Matlack Street and the southwest corner of Biddle & Darlington Streets removed because their bonds were expired.
Bell Telephone received a permit to open Gay street so it could install a telephone cable into the Green Tree Building.
Borough Council referred the application for an electric sign by Walter Scott (33 E. Market Street) to the Fire Committee.
Borough Council agreed to advertise for bids to supply a fire "pumping engine."
Borough Council rescinded the order to remove the signs owned by Supple, Willis, Jones Co. at 551 S. Matlack Street and the southwest corner of Biddle & Darlington Streets because they renewed their bonds.
After the Fire Committee reported that recommended approval of Lewis Hickman Jr.'s application to replace an existing sign at 108 N. High Street with a larger sign, Borough Council voted 6-0- 1 (Heed did not vote) to approve it.
Borough Council received a letter from "Malvern-Duffryn Mawr Building & Loan Association" urging the "greatest economy" and every possible effort to reduce taxes.
Borough Council referred electric sign permits to the Fire Committee from the Whelen Drug Company (on the "New Green Tree Building"), Carlson's (corner Matlack & Gay Streets), N. Harlan Slack (garage door at 116 W. Market Street) and Dr. H. Reiter (southwest corner of High & Walnut -- sic). They also received a request for a permit to allow Bituminous Service to extend their office at Union St. and the railroad tracks.
Borough Council voted 5-1 (Heed opposed) to approve the electric sign permit request by W. E. Scott at 33 E. Market Street.
Borough Council discussed delinquent water bills. The water bill of the Sharples Separator Company was overdue and the US Marshall's Office has filed a suit against them. Since Borough Council "would dislike to further embarrass the company by disconnecting its water supply," they deferred action until next Monday, December 14, at 7pm.
Borough Council set the 1932 sewer rate.
Borough Council voted 5-1 (MacElree opposed) to buy a Seagraves 600-gallon triple combination fire pumper for $8,150. MacElree opposed the purchase as "unwise at this time to make a large expenditure of the Borough funds because of present business conditions" and he though that the present pump could be made to serve for a few more years.
Borough Council refused to permit a sewer connection for Charles Aument at the northwest corner of Price St. & Bradford Ave. because he lived outside of the Borough.
Villa Maria Academy paid its disputed water bill.
Borough Council approved sign permits for Giuseppe Malavolte (4 N. Church Street) and Dr. H. Reiter but denied them for Carlson's and Whalen (sic) Drug Company because the plans did not show adequate support for the signs.
Borough Council decided to turn off the water to all delinquent customers (but did not mentioned the Sharples Separator Company or anyone else by name).
|Copyright 2010 by Dr. James A. Jones|