Committee Formed To Plan Train Station

Posted: April 13, 1989

Coatesville City Council this week appointed a seven-member committee to develop plans to construct a new commuter train station.

City manager Wayne "Ted" Reed said that the committee will help with

plans and financing for the station.

The city wants to buy a 4-acre site along the Main Line tracks between 10th and 11th Avenues for the station. The site, which at one time was occupied by a concrete plant, is owned by Trans-Material Inc. of West Chester, according to Reed.

The city estimates that the land will cost about $250,000. Development of a station and parking lot on part of the 4 acres is estimated to cost an additional $100,000, Reed said. The city also would like to use about half of the land as a commercial development, he said. Coatesville is seeking $200,000

from the Chester County Redevelopment Authority for the project.

The city manager said that Amtrak and SEPTA had indicated support for the idea. The principal objections to the current station are that it is rundown and does not provide enough parking. Reed said one of the tasks of the committee will be to propose new uses for the current station after the new one is built.

Reed said that SEPTA has run its line out to Thorndale.

"They've indicated that if we get a station, they would be willing to extend the line here and on out to Parkesburg, where they have a turnaround," Reed said.

Reed said that a senior SEPTA official had told him that if the project gets done, the commuter agency would start running three trains a day to the city.

Appointed to the station committee were Thomas Gallagher of the Chester County Partnership for Economic Development; Evelyn Walker of the public relations office at Lukens Inc.; Richard Nassau, executive director of the Coatesville Action Corp.; Wayne Clapp and Bill Fulton, both from the Chester County Planning Commission; Gary Smith of the Chester County Development Council, and Fidelity Bank vice president Robert Thompson, a former member of the SEPTA board.

In other business, the council Monday adopted a new fire prevention and protection ordinance. The only controversial provision in the ordinance was the hiring of the existing fire companies' paid drivers as full-time city employees. Council member Mark Milanese objected to the provision over concerns that making the drivers city employees would enable them to form a union. He said that this might drive up costs to the city.

Milanese also said he was concerned that the move would drive a wedge between the drivers and the volunteer members of the fire companies and weaken the morale of the fire companies.

No other council members supported Milanese.

The council also voted to give the historic Terracina building to the Graystone Society. Council President Rodger Johnson said that as a private, nonprofit organization, the society was better qualified than the city for grants to restore and maintain the building.

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