VISTA Today Daily News Business Briefs are concise stories that bring you up to date with what’s going on around Chester County. This morning:
Gates Brothers Continue to Defy FERC
Richard and Kevin Gates, Malvern natives and owners of West Chester-based Powhatan Energy Fund, remain steadfast in fighting FERC’s $34.5 million dollar fine.
The Gates brothers were given 60 days to pay the fine, but they have decided to let FERC make the first move, rather than comply with the decision.
“Powhatan did not pay the penalty to the FERC,” said Richard Gates after the 60 days were up. “So, the Commission is now free to try to enforce its silly allegations in federal court. No matter what FERC elects to do, we will continue to chronicle its ineptitude on our website.”
Some experts say the result of the fight will be a far-reaching precedent for energy traders in the future.
Krapf Finalist in 2015 Philadelphia Family Business Awards
Krapf Bus Companies has been named one of the finalists of the Philadelphia Family Business Awards for 2015. The West Chester based company is the fifth-largest provider of school bus services in the country.
Krapf provides student transportation for local municipalities. Started with just two school buses, the company has grown and expanded in size as well as in scope and diversity.
Today, Krapf has more than 2,800 school-bus and commercial vehicles with more than 3,200 employees. In addition to its school bus services, Krapf also provides public and paratransit transportation as well as coach services.
“As a privately owned family business, our reputation is on the line every day, which strengthens our commitment to constantly improving our service,” said CEO Blake A. Krapf.
New Forbes Ranking for WCU
West Chester University has had its rank upgraded by Forbes magazine, climbing to 472nd place overall, and 167th place in the Northeast.
West Chester University is a public university and is the fourth largest university in the Philadelphia region. Its historic campus is situated on 406 acres of land, and the university offers more than 118 undergraduate programs divided between its five colleges.
The Frederick Douglass Institute was founded on the campus, to honor the former slave, journalist, author, orator and statesman. Douglass delivered his last public speech on the campus on February 1, 1895. West Chester also competes athletically at the NCAA Division II level in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
David Sander, a township solicitor, is defending a controversial retirement agreement between the township and its former police chief, Albert McCarthy, saying that it did not violate the spirit of the board’s promise of transparency, and that its non-disclosure component was standard procedure.
“There’s no secrecy involved,” Sander claimed.“There’s nothing to be hidden here — it’s a standard nondisclosure clause between both parties.”
The suit was filed against the supervisors and McCarthy by Michael S. Hammon, the township resident whose vehicle was hit in April by a township police cruiser driven by McCarthy. Following the accident McCarthy was placed on administrative leave, before announcing in May he was retiring.
In the suit, Hammon contends that the township entered into an agreement that gave McCarthy retirement benefits of up to $45,000 in tax dollars annually without voting on it in a public meeting, as required by state law.
Secret Service Denies Closing Business for Pope’s Visit
The Secret Service, which is handling security for the Pope’s visit in September, said Thursday that they have not ordered Philadelphia businesses to close and are not interfering with SEPTA rail services that weekend.
The City has repeatedly stated that it will be open for business during the event. In fact, the Secret Service said in a press release that it has taken “unprecedented steps to work with local area business owners to help facilitate keeping the businesses in Center City open.”
SEPTA has drastically cut back the number of open stations and hours that Regional Rail trains will operate on September 26 and 27 but still anticipates some disruptions to its service due to the sheer number of expected passengers.
As many as 1.5 million people are expected to pour into the city the Saturday that Pope Francis arrives to highlight the World Meeting of Families’ events.