Blogs > Daily Local Dan

A blog that takes a look at West Chester area government, politics, and community events.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pour tax

First, I apologize for neglecting this blog for the last few weeks. Also, I apologize for going a week without approving comments. I've been busy playing around with the new flip cams JRC gave us. And, I've been even busier trying to figure out how to edit the videos we shoot with the cams.

Anyway, the hot issue in West Chester this past week has been the so-called "pour tax." Borough council has asked State Sen. Andy Dinniman to craft legislation that would allow the borough to assess a 5 percent tax on all alcoholic drinks sold in the borough. The tax would raise revenue to help fight alcohol-related crimes and nuisances.

As expected, residents like this idea, and restaurants don't.

The question is, will the pour tax chase away drinkers and restaurant owners? (Borough council has recommended a tax of 5 percent, or a quarter on a $5 beer.)

Some argue that West Chester is a "destination town." People come to West Chester to dine and drink because it has a unique atmosphere - going out in West Chester is different from going out in, say, West Whiteland Township.

Others argue that diners, drinkers and restaurant owners care about price, not location. If the the beer is cheaper on Route 100, that's where the customers will go. West Chester is not enough of a "destination town" to trump price.

Now, only restaurant owners, and a certain prominent landlord, have said that WC is not enough a destination town to overcome a slight increase in drink prices. And I'm not sure they're being sincere. I have no convictions regarding the "pour tax," but I know I'd rather drink a beer in West Chester than in West Whiteland.

Here's the video I did on the pour tax. As you can see, the going is still a little rough. The day I edited this video, I couldn't figure out how to put transitions between the cuts.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oh, no! My streets are covered in ice!

For the last week, all I've heard is West Chester borough residents kvetching about the icy, snowy matter that still covers some of their streets.

I sympathize, to an extent.

But what bothers me is this - it seems that some readers believe it is my job to assure the entire West Chester Public Works department gets fired.

These readers believe the following: West Chester's roads should be completely clear; there should be no snow in site; residual snow is evidence of the public works department's absolute incompetence.

Meanwhile borough officials tell me that, in West Chester, there is nowhere to plow snow to. Unless you haul it out of the borough, it remains on the side of - or in the middle of - the road, they tell me.

Philadelphia has these nifty "melt trucks." The trucks lift snow into a boiler, which is on the back of the truck. The boiler melts the snow. Problem solved, or greatly reduced.

Except that boiler trucks are really expensive. Philadelphia only uses them on Center City's most vital roads, I believe.

Do West Chester residents want to pay for a bunch of melt trucks?

[OK, OK, I know, y'all feel like you're paying so much in taxes that the borough should already have used your money to buy, like, ten of them. Whatever. It's not my job to make sure your public works officials get fired.]

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Carolyn Comitta officially mayor

Former councilwoman Carolyn Comitta was sworn in as mayor of West Chester today. Click here to read a PDF of her inauguration speech.

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