Leann Pettit.

PHOENIXVILLE PA – If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to ride in one of those hot air balloons often seen drifting above Limerick (PA) Township early on a calm morning, Leann Petit wants you to wonder no more.

Petit is the editor of The (Phoenixville PA) Phoenix newspaper, and an accomplished cook and traveler too. She and friends took off last week (Nov. 18, 2010) with the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team, a company that conducts flights from locations in Montgomery, Chester and Berks (PA) counties. They glided across and above Limerick, enjoying the sunrise and passing by the Exelon Nuclear cooling towers.

Photo from BetterThanATravelGuide.com

POTTSTOWN PA – Only the first 45 seconds of this more than 12-minute flight video has relevance to Limerick (PA) Township and Pottstown PA area residents, but think of it as a starting point to your own personal game of “WazzThat?”

A traveler from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, flying to San Francisco CA, shot a video through his cabin window earlier this fall as the jet on which he was a passenger followed the Schuylkill River for awhile and flew over Limerick, Pottstown, Birdsboro, Reading, Palmyra, and Harrisburg PA, and beyond. The piece was posted last Tuesday (Nov. 16, 2010) on YouTube.

Planes stacked up on a take-off runway at JFK Airport in New York.

To play the game watch the video, stopping it every few seconds. Find a landmark that probably is familiar from ground level but might not seem so in an aerial view, and answer the question, “what’s that?”

Send The Post an e-mail and tell us what you found.

Photo from Panoramio.com

SANATOGA PA – With little discussion, an agreement to cooperate with neighboring Limerick (PA) Township in “planning and development” of a master plan for the Sanatoga interchange at U.S. Route 422 was unanimously approved Thursday (May 21, 2009) by the Lower Pottsgrove Township Board of Commissioners.

A similar measure has already been approved by the Limerick Board of Supervisors, Rodney Hawthorne, Lower Pottsgrove township manager, told commissioners during their second monthly meeting in the township municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd.

Lower Pottsgrove’s resolution, No. 814, does not commit it to any decisions or financial expenditures, township Solicitor R. Kutz Holloway noted. “It’s just the first step in the process,” he said, an acknowledgment that the townships “are going to work together.”

The proposed Sanatoga Springs development, shown in this artist's rendering, is one of many plans suggested for the interchange.

The proposed Sanatoga Springs development, shown in this artist's rendering, is one of many plans suggested for the interchange.

The interchange, around which a huge amount of commercial and residential growth is expected in coming years, is divided by the townships’ common boundary line. The municipalities anticipate it will cost tens of millions of dollars to re-work the highway’s exit ramps, widen existing roads, create a feeder or frontage road system, and install traffic control systems there.

Potentially as important as their common need for funds, however, is the indication from officials in both townships of a common interest in land use, zoning issues, development standards, and possibly even marketing of the interchange as a visitor destination. Those and other topics likely will be subjects of interest in the master plan collaboration.

In the recent past Lower Pottsgrove has been seen as somewhat further along than Limerick in planning components for the interchange. However, Limerick earlier this year completed its township comprehensive plan and Lower Pottsgrove continues to refine zoning language for its interchange district, so it’s hoped coordination can be a simple task.

Related (to Sanatoga interchange development):

SANATOGA PA – If there’s strength in numbers, area municipalities that will re-negotiate franchise contracts with Comcast Corp. during the next two years plan to bulk up before they battle.

Verizon representative Daniel Greavy said Thursday that Verizon's television service  in Lower Pottsgrove was a "qulity of life improvement" for residents.

Municipalities hope to gain better deals with Comcast as cable TV franchise agreements expire.

The borough of Royersford (PA) has asked surrounding boroughs and townships to join a working group it is forming to prepare for haggling with the cable television service provider over renewal of its franchise agreements. The agreements, which usually last for 10 years, allow Comcast to supply homeowners with its services in return for fees and other compensation paid to the municipalities in which they reside.

Existing agreements in several municipalities, including nearby Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township, 7 miles to the northwest, expire within the next 18-24 months. Royersford wants to hire a professional negotiating firm, which has experience in franchise agreements, to represent the borough as its contract comes due.

Last month, according to township Manager Rodney Hawthorne, Royersford sent a letter to its municipal neighbors asking if they’d like to do the same. To which, Lower Pottsgrove’s Board of Commissioners during its meeting last week (May 4, 2009), said “Count us in.”

The board’s agreement constitutes only an expression of interest. No costs associated with the effort were discussed, but Commissioner Anthony Doyle noted that any resulting expenses incurred by the group would be equally shared by municipalities represented.

For several years Comcast has been a sole supplier of television services in many municipalities. But with growing competition – Verizon Corp.‘s opposing FIOS-brand television services will be available in Lower Pottsgrove this year, for example – Comcast has fought for market share. Some municipalities believe they can win better franchise deals for the future.

During 2008 alone, according to budget documents, Lower Pottsgrove earned about $160,000 from cable television assessments, in addition to other payments and perquisites called for under its franchise pact with Comcast. Its deal with Verizon may bring in an additional $50,000 this year.

Photo by Clipart.com