Catasauqua Press

Monday, July 22, 2019

Catty gets offer on Pearl Street property

Thursday, May 7, 2015 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

The Borough of Catasauqua's Pearl Street property, once considered as a location for a new fire station, is again on the market.

At the April 27 workshop meeting, borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder reported to the borough council he had received a bid on the property.

Only one bid was received. It was from the same developer who had bid on it a few years ago.

The bid of $106,000 was not substantially higher than the earlier bid of $100,000.

Resident and former councilman Alfred Regits was at the workshop and pointed out the cost of hiring a marketing consultant has now resulted in a lower net to the borough.

Regits had opposed hiring a consultant when he was on the council.

Council President Vincent Smith indicated that council could postpone the deal and allow the consultant to continue to market the property if they wanted to, but the council members seemed reluctant to continue the marketing process based on the latest offer.

In a vote on the bid at the May 4 council meeting, the council voted 4-2 to reject the bid, with Brian Bartholomew and Eugene Schlegel voting to accept it.

Also at the April 27 workshop, council members had a long discussion about what initially seemed like a simple decision.

Goldfeder presented a bid for demolishing old industrial buildings located on land to be used for construction of the municipal building.

A contractor has offered a bid of $8,650.

Because the bid is below the threshold for a requirement to get multiple bids, Goldfeder allowed it to stand.

"We went out to five different bidders, but this was the only one to respond," he said.

As long as an attempt is made to secure additional bids, Goldfeder said the borough is within the rules to award the contract.

Based on input from Solicitor Thomas Dinkelacker, Goldfeder bid the project in two parts.

The second part of the bid was to assess the value of the scrap steel from the demolition.

The demolition contractor offered the borough $2,000 for the scrap metal.

This second part of the bid caused Dinkelacker to review implications unique to government rules.

"Once the scrap iron is taken down, it becomes personal property," he said. "If the personal property is over $1,000, then it needs to be sold to the highest bidder."

In theory, the concept works like an old-fashioned tobacco auction.

The contractor stacks the steel in a pile and prospective buyers come by to inspect it and bid on the value of the steel, which has a very real scrap value and is one of the most recycled products in the country.

The problem is that demolition contractors remove the steel as they tear down the building.

It is more efficient to load scrap steel into a specialized container and move it to the scrap yard as the building is demolished rather than storing it on site.

There is some question if the contractor can hold to the bid price if steel needs to be stacked for an auction.

Dinkelacker said he would review the situation and report his findings to the council.

At Monday's council meeting, the council voted 5-1 to accept a modified bid of $6,750, with Bartholomew opposed.

Dinkelacker indicated it was not the best way to present the bid, but it was legally sound.