Borough considers option for added entrance to Iron Works
Solicitor Thomas Dinkelacker called a special meeting of Catasauqua council recently to discuss a development on the borough’s Iron Works site.
“We have an easement agreement that we worked out with Catty Charter LLP that will give us a second route out of the municipal building site,” he said April 20.
The easement definitions get confusing because so much change is anticipated. As background information, Catty Charter has a gravel parking lot that extends from the Pine Street Bridge along Front Street to the old entrance to the FL Smidth property. Nearly a year ago, the borough took control of the access road and designated it Bridge Street. To gain access to Catty Charter’s parking lot, you need to enter off the Bridge Street extension. Catty Charter needs the parking spaces for its employees at the nursing home and bank building the company owns on Bridge Street.
The new municipal building planned for the Iron Works site will be just below the Catty Charter parking area. The borough was looking for an alternate access to Front Street. In the grand scheme of the design, the Bridge Street that was once the entrance to the FL Smidth property goes away. It is replaced by the latest Bridge Street extension, which is the main entrance to the Iron Works and forms a straight-line extension of the real Bridge Street. The latest Bridge Street extension will go through 440 Front St., where a brick building is scheduled for demolition.
If that is not confusing, the new access road to Front Street will be closer to the Pine Street bridge.
“What we proposed to Catty Charter is that we would have an easement across their property about halfway across the parking lot,” Dinkelacker said.
In exchange for access to Front Street, the borough would expand parking on the canal side of Catty Charter’s lot.
“There is a steep drop off at the end of the lot. The borough would provide fill to bring the property up to level and grade the parking lot,” he said.
The access way could be used by the construction team as well.
“I don’t expect that anyone would use the parking lot as a staging area,” he said. “Catty Charter needs that space for employees.”
The easement agreement would also allow the borough to make changes to the routing of sewer lines that will serve the new municipal building.
“The existing sewer lines would be under the new building. We want to reroute them, so we can access the lines for maintenance,” borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder said.
The matter is still under consideration because this proposed access road would not allow left turns onto Front Street. It is too near the traffic control light at Pine and Front streets.
“We are in the process of working out the details on this phase,” Dinkelacker said. “There are other considerations for parking that we need to look at. The negotiations are ongoing.”