Municipal Report: New Morgan Borough terminates park

An ordinance was approved at the June 11 meeting to terminate the existence of New Morgan Park.

The Borough of New Morgan created the park by an ordinance in 2010. The entrance to the 500 acre park is located along the east side of Route 10 near the northern boundary of the borough by Miller Road. To motorists, it appeared as a pleasant place to stop, rest and enjoy nature.

The intention was to develop hiking trails with picnic tables closer to the road.

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The land had been purchased from what was known as Morgantown Properties, which was owned by New Morgan founder Raymond Carr, in 1999. Prior to that, about 5000 acres had been owned by Bethlehem Steel Corporation.

Borough Manager Carolyn Williams said the Borough was looking for a tax exemption for the land in the park. The Borough appealed the status of taxation to Berks County Court, but the county did not feel the Borough had enough residents to qualify for a reduction in taxes. Williams said she believes there should have been a small reduction in taxes, though.

The area will no longer be designated as parkland. The ordinance takes effect immediately.

Two assaults were reported at New Morgan Academy in May, Council President Richard Venezia said during the police report.