Resident expresses concerns about airport’s future plans
At Catasauqua Borough Council’s workshop session May 29, Cameron Smith approached council to express his concern about both proposed expansion plans recently released by Lehigh Valley International Airport and the potential for increased traffic on Race Street.
Smith alleged schools could be taken if the airport is expanded as a cargo hub. The borough does have a representative on the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, and Christine Weaver has reviewed the proposals made and did not find major impact on Catasauqua.
Most of Smith’s concerns were echoed by Hanover Township, Lehigh County, during its analysis of the original FedEx Ground proposal. East Allen Township recently rejected a warehouse along Weaversville Road because of traffic concerns. The increases in highway capacity are theoretically calculated to increase safety and accommodate traffic.
Most of the concerns about traffic from Willowbrook Road have subsided only because the objective is to wait and see what happens. Concern has shifted to warehouse developments along Route 329 and improvements at the intersection of Weaversville and Howertown roads.
The borough has lost 30 homes taken by the airport over the past few decades. Council President Vincent Smith said the school board is not concerned with losing school property.
In other business, at the June 4 meeting, council will seek permission to advertise for an ordinance mandating grease traps in restaurants. The FOG (Food, Oils and Grease) Ordinance is designed to reduce treatment costs at the borough plant and reduce clogs in main sewer lines.
The borough’s newest truck has been splattered with graffiti.
“Hate to back down from the graffiti players, but we need to park borough vehicles inside,” Councilman Brian McKittrick said.
Borough Manager Stephen Travers reported there are two entities interested in the old borough hall building. He is coordinating showings.
McKittrick is proposing traffic changes around Milton Street, Peach Street and Tunnel Alley. The police department is conducting traffic studies. The police will also look at Pineapple Street around School Street. According to McKittrick, trucker-based GPS systems route trucks up Pineapple Street because there is a commercial cement plant there.
Weaver made adjustments to the proposed ticketing ordinance and will present it formally at the next meeting.
“The goal of the program is to get compliance on nuisance violations, not to collect money,” she said.
The appeals process will be modified. The plan is to charge $100 for an appeal, and if relief is granted, the fee would be returned.
Councilwoman Jessica Kroope indicated the existing pool concessionaire will not operate the concession stand this year. The borough is looking into options. The pool is scheduled to open this weekend and will have limited operations until school is out. There are maintenance problems with the pool machinery; it is currently being worked on.
The borough is working on implementing credit card payments for transactions. Travers indicated the office staff will start with online transactions and move to credit card terminals in the near future.