Borough council seeks funding for more parking
The Catasauqua Borough Council has approved borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder’s proposal to seek funding for the cost of adding parking spaces to the downtown area.
At the council’s April 3 meeting, Goldfeder received approval to move forward with a Community Development Block Grant application for 2017.
“We want to use the grant for various purposes,” Goldfeder said. “One is to assist in building a parking lot at Front Street where the buildings collapsed.”
As part of the project to establish the new parking lot, council authorized Goldfeder to hire a contractor to remove demolition debris and to grade and level the two adjacent Front street properties.
The approval is conditioned on a price not to exceed $19,000. The plan is to use contractor services for cleanup and grant funds to install the parking lot to specifications.
Also at the meeting, the council appointed Wade Haubert to the Catasauqua Civil Service Commission for a term ending December 2017. Ron Lippman was appointed as an alternate to the Civil Service Commission. According to Councilman Brian McKittrick, the commission is at full staff and has three alternates who can fill in when scheduling conflicts arise. The council’s intent in filling the alternate positions is that those individuals can move onto the commission if a member resigns. McKittrick suggested that the alternates have terms for their positions, and the council agreed to visit the request.
In other administrative tasks, the council approved spending less than $10,000 to lower the well pump on Municipal Well 1. The action is expected to improve efficiencies for the operation of the well. No service interruptions are expected.
Council changed the meeting date for the shade tree committee to the fourth Tuesday of the month. The move was prompted by scheduling conflicts. The commission meets every odd-numbered month.
The annual Arbor Day observance is scheduled for April 22 starting at 10 a.m. According to Schlegel, there are some conflicting dates on the actual Arbor Day date, April 28.
April 22 is actually Earth Day. The borough has its spring cleanup on that date. This year, the cleanup will take place after the Arbor Day ceremony.
Council awarded a contract to purchase furniture for the new municipal building. The contract was under $100,000.
The recreation committee received approval for stocking Catasauqua Creek with trout for $500.
Council has a hold on a professional services agreement with Tom Jones as historian/research specialist at the George Taylor House. Part of the role for Jones is to assist in restoring windows at the George Taylor House. The borough received a single bid of nearly $170,000 to replace damaged windows.
“Last time we bid the project, we didn’t get any bidders,” Goldfeder said. Council rejected the bid and will resubmit.
“Part of the reason the cost is so high is that we must complete the restoration in line with federal and state historical standards,” he said after the meeting. “We can’t just select a good woodworker.”
Council agreed to accept conditions for constructing a sidewalk along the new bridge on Race Street. The bridge contractor, Plenary Walsh, agreed to construct the sidewalk, but the borough must maintain it. The bridge work is slated to begin in 2018 and last most of the year. There are no plans at present to construct a sidewalk on the other side of the bridge.
During the meeting, there was public comment about parking. Some business owners are distressed with the lack of parking during the building project at the Iron Works site. Details on proposals to alleviate the problem will be discussed again at the workshop meeting April 24.