NORRISTOWN, PA—The Montgomery County Commissioners announced today that they have requested Norristown Council postpone its review of the county’s permit application for the Airy Street Prison.
“Montgomery County prides itself on listening to the people we serve,” said Commissioner Jamila H. Winder. “We’ve heard the people of Norristown and the surrounding community. We want to ensure we’re doing our due diligence.”
The County maintains its position that County tax dollars should not be spent on restoring or maintaining the history of incarceration. After listening to the people of Norristown, community organizers, and preservationists, the County will issue a request for information (RFI) that solicits proposals seeking to reuse a portion of the space without utilizing county funds.
The RFI will invite individuals and organizations to submit viable development plans for the potential reuse of the oldest section of the prison building and/or the façade that contribute to the Norristown Community, do not prohibit the future development needs of the Municipality of Norristown and the County, and do not rely on the use of County tax dollars.
“Montgomery County has a great partnership with Norristown and its community,” says Commissioner Ken Lawrence. “Our goal has always been to further spur the municipality’s revitalization and benefit the entire community. This RFI will invite anyone who has a viable plan to reuse the space to step forward for consideration." The County will announce the timing of the RFI before the end of the year.
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