alJazeera describes the main street of Coatesville:
“Lincoln Highway, a potholed street that cuts through the heart of Coatesville, a small city less than an hour’s drive from Philadelphia.”
“Building the new plant was the only way around a worsening situation. “The old plant was barely meeting its limits and would not have met the new permit requirements for phosphorus, nitrogen and copper,” says DeBalko. “In 2006, we were adding 400 to 500 houses a year, and the old plant would not have been able to meet this growth.”
“The plant is sized to handle growth 10 years from now based on projections from the municipalities. The plant is also optimized to minimize power use...Even more serious were the maintenance issues with the old plant. “We were always worried about the coat hangers and duct tape” breaking at the old plant, says DeBalko. Lutz adds,
“Since the old plant was built in 1932, with an upgrade in 1962 and 1988, we found it difficult to obtain parts. We often had to have parts made because they were no longer manufactured or kept in stock by suppliers. And if we couldn't get parts, we had to do whatever it took to make it work.”
“Municipalities served by the Coatesville plant welcomed the new facility. “The old plant was limiting new growth and development,” says DeBalko.“We have given them tours of the new plant, and after comparing it with the old plant, they were very impressed.”
Brandywine Valley Association members have toured the plant, as have middle school students. “We bring students through and explain the impact on the environment,” says Lutz. The plant staff also invites representatives from municipalities outside the region to visit and see the technology. “We like to help other plants the way they helped us when we were touring facilities and looking at different technologies,” Lutz says.”
tpo Treatment Plant Operator
By Trude Witham - Top Performer - Plant February 2012
Experienced operators in Coatesville, Pa., provide the key to putting a new treatment plant to work while simultaneously running the old one
alJazeera missed the unique and big stories here:
"The dilapidation of Coatesville is closely intertwined with the growing cost of water. Back in 2001, city officials sold the rights to the system to PAWC, in the hopes that the revenue from the sale could spark an urban renaissance. But that turnaround never came. Now thousands of low-income people must pay exorbitant prices to access a basic resource."
The only part of the above paragraph that is true is that low income people are paying high prices for water. The rest is poor journalism.
The sale of the water company had no link to revitalizing Coatesville. The reasons the revitalization failed is worthy of a national level news story:
The Chester County drug business leadership immediately set about removing Paul Janssen.
Beginning in the summer of 2005 I wrote emails to about 80 people that outlined what I believed the "Bloc of Four" council would do if elected. By September of 2005 I was sure that the new council would fire Chief Bellizzie and install suspected Chester County drug leader Richard Legree into a leadership position in the Coatesville PD.
Revitalization is bad for the drug business. Taking down the planned revitalization of Coatesville was also in the mix. No one but me and one other person from Coatesville believed that could happen. I was laughed at.
“I need Matt Gordon back” DA Joe Carroll
Joe was responding to Coatesville City Councilperson Kurt Schenk. Joe Carroll is a very easy going person. Joe’s hands were shaking as he said this. I have never before or since seen Chester County Joe Carroll as angry as he was that evening.https://app.box.com/s/7nfrdxcven5m3ci8nv8d
Right now I think what keeps Coatesville’s economy humming along is still mostly the drug business. I think the local economy would collapse if the drug business disappeared. I think there are many people in Chester County who want to keep the drug business as it is.
You are amoral, are you not? You are feeding off the violence and the despair of the drug trade. You are stealing from those who themselves are stealing the lifeblood from our city. You are a parasite who leeches off...
Omar: Just like you, man.
Maurice 'Maury' Levy: ...the culture of drugs. Excuse me? What?
Omar: I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase. It's all in the game though, right?
Powerful people outside of Coatesville now want Coatesville to become the business and transportation hub of Chester a County.
When you list Coatesville’s problems you need to consider alternative places to live and their problems. For instance drug addiction and prostitution problems are about the same in Coatesville and in the affluent outer suburbs.