Catasauqua Press

Monday, May 29, 2017

Curb cut bids high

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by Paul Cmil Special to The Press in Local News

CDBG funds could increase

At the April 24 workshop meeting of Catasauqua Borough Council, Manager Eugene Goldfeder reported on the bid opening for the borough’s 2017 curb cut program.

“The low bidder was Barker and Barker with a bid of $78,000,” he said. “That is higher than our allocated cost of $43,000.”

Goldfeder will review the bid to see if there are any anomalies. The funds for the project come from the county’s Community Development Block Grant money. According to Goldfeder, there may be an option to increase the borough’s share of the county’s funds.

Goldfeder indicated Trexler Trust granted the borough $15,000 for work at the George Taylor House. The proposed improvements include a paved, lighted walkway from the pavilion to the historical house and a Plexiglas-type floor over the excavation in the kitchen wing of the house. The other interesting aspect is the potential to start excavating some of the outbuildings on the site.

“[Northampton Community College] students expressed interest in handling the dig,” Goldfeder said. “That could save money.”

Windows at the George Taylor House remain a problem. The last bid received was well over the expected cost. Goldfeder will work with Tom Jones to rewrite the specifications in the hopes of getting a more reasonable bid.

Goldfeder also indicated he may have a contractor willing to work with the lots at 200 Front St. The buildings on the properties were damaged by fire and taken down to eliminate a safety concern. The pile of rubble on the lots has been an ongoing eyesore and a cleanup problem. The intent is to have the rubble removed to a bit below street level and temporarily fill the lots with compactible stone. The borough wants to use the space for parking.

Councilman Brian McKittrick reported the borough completed its assessment of handicapped parking spaces.

“We have 38 handicapped spaces in the borough. Thirteen people did not respond to our letter or the follow-up, so we need to assume they no longer need the space,” he said.

The borough will make one more check with handicapped property owners and then craft the ordinance that removes the 13 spaces.

Councilwoman Christine Weaver reported the planning and zoning committee will recommend several ordinances for passage at the regular meeting. All the ordinances are related to activating Front Street as a two-way street. The ordinances will take effect on different dates. Changing Front Street to two way has been pushed to mid-August.

The planning and zoning committee added more members but had resignations. The net result is they are down one member. Anyone interested in serving on planning and zoning should let Weaver know of the interest.