Catasauqua Press

Monday, November 20, 2017
Caption 8120: Officer Nathan Smith is sworn in by Mayor Barbara Schlegel. Smith will be a member of Catasauqua’s part-time police officer contingent. Caption 8120: Officer Nathan Smith is sworn in by Mayor Barbara Schlegel. Smith will be a member of Catasauqua’s part-time police officer contingent.

Front Street parking is on the table again

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

At Catasauqua Borough Council’s July 10 meeting, Councilwoman Christine Weaver re-introduced an ordinance controlling parking on Front Street, north of Church Street. The measure had been tabled at the council’s June 5 meeting.

Catasauqua’s Public Works Department is working to extend parking along the west side of Front Street in preparation of converting Front Street into a two-way street. The new parallel parking pads handle some of the parking in front of businesses. Parking slots were scheduled to be lost with the change to two-way Front Street traffic.

“It looks like we might even get a net gain of parking spaces along Front Street with the new parking ... We will have the space at Willow Street as a municipal parking space,” council President Vincent Smith said.

However, as borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder pointed out, the parking pad on Willow Street is not ready. The borough did get approval for CDBG grants to improve the parking lot.

“We need to go in there and compact the soil,” Goldfeder said. “As it is now, it could sink as the old wood fill in there deteriorates.”

With the areas along Front Street built to capacity, parking on Front Street, north of Church Street, is the next area to tackle.

“Where the new parking pads end is where the fence and the supporting wall turn onto the road,” Smith said. “There is a water connection there also. We are looking for a developer who can work with us to improve parking in that area.”

The borough does have conceptual plans showing parking at the intersection of Old and New Bridge streets and Front Street. The latest ordinance bans parking 120 feet north of Church Street, along the fence on the west side of the road. The council passed the ordinance unanimously. As Smith pointed out, the new intersection at Bridge and Front streets eliminates about 60 feet of the parking once available.

Two-way traffic flow on Front Street is now scheduled to begin Aug. 17.

Also at the meeting, council approved adding Nathan Smith to the eligibility list for part-time officers in the borough. With this latest addition, the part-time police complement is at 10 officers.

Mayor Barbara Schlegel reported Officer Scott Rothrock will be returning to the force for light duty. Rothrock was stabbed as he heroically nabbed a felon over a year ago.

In other business, the council appointed Cameron Smith to the Catasauqua Borough Planning Commission for a term expiring May 2019.

The council also approved a new insurance policy through WSA Insurance.

“They were the only bidder, but they shopped the policy to various insurance companies. No one else could beat the price we were offered,” Goldfeder said.

In other business:

• Council authorized the borough to rebid the out parcels at the Iron Works.

“We did not receive any bids for the property after the first request for a bid,” he said.

• Weaver updated council on Iron Works milestone dates. Substantial completion had been expected between July 12 and July 18. Turnover date is expected July 28. A grand opening blast is tentatively scheduled for September 17.

• The borough received a $70,000 DCNR grant to shape up the borough pool, adding a climber and repairing the stone wall. The project might be completed by next season.

• Main Streets picked up $2,000 from the Chamber of Commerce.

• Council rejected the low bid on replacing windows at the George Taylor House. The low bidder did not meet all of HUD’s strict requirements; specifically, they did not show they actively supported minority and women-owned businesses.

• At the wastewater treatment plant, council rejected the low bidder for a stabilization project at the administration building. The low bidder did not demonstrate to the engineer that he had sufficient experience with similar projects.