Catasauqua Press

Monday, September 25, 2017

Second Street house is still standing

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 by Linda Wojciechowski lwojciechowski@tnonline.com in Local News

Borough awaits engineer’s report before demolition

A sinking twin home at 1022 and 1024 Second St. in North Catasauqua continues to cause concern for neighbors. The structure developed a gaping hole underneath one side last year, and the borough has taken the owner to court, demanding that repairs be made or the structure removed.

Residents of the neighborhood have been attending borough council meetings regularly to express their concerns about safety and to monitor the borough’s progress in addressing the problem.

While the court ruled in the borough’s favor, requiring the homeowner to take action, he has responded by repeatedly filing petitions to delay.

While the court order allows the borough to take whatever steps it deems appropriate, including demolishing the vacant home, the council decided to take Solicitor Steven Goudsouzian’s advice at the June 13 council meeting to wait until an engineer’s report is completed.

Councilman Joe Keglovits urged the council not to wait any longer.

“No matter what our engineer report says, we’re going to end up in a lawsuit,” he said. “The court ruled in our favor. I think it’s time to take action.”

Council President Peter Paone agreed with Goudsouzian.

“I think it’s best to wait for the report from the engineer, to ensure we have a firm legal footing,” he said.

Councilman Bill Nothstein said neighbors’ concerns about uncut grass, standing water and unsafe access to the property for curious children should be addressed in the meantime, and Paone said the conditions would be evaluated and remediated by the borough.

Paone said Monday he has still not seen the engineer’s report.

“I am hoping to have an update at the end of this week,” he said in an email to The Press. “With the heavy rainfall last week, we have received additional concerns regarding the structure.”

The borough code enforcement officer inspected the property last week to document the conditions.

“While we are awaiting the engineer’s report, we will continue to monitor the structure, and if we feel additional steps are warranted, we will take the appropriate actions to safeguard the public.”

The council authorized taking action at a May council meeting, so demolition can occur without any further council votes.