Catasauqua Press

Monday, October 15, 2018

Catty residents request 4-way stop signs to avoid ‘near misses’

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

At Catasauqua Borough Council’s regular meeting July 9, Arlana Corrocher asked council to address a problem she sees on Walnut Street.

“There are no four-way stop signs on Third and Fourth streets at Walnut Street. It’s hard to see because of the parked cars, and most drivers roll through the stop signs. It causes a lot of near misses,” she said.

Janice Lathrop gave her support to the problem, adding that a similar situation exists at Second and Pine streets.

Borough Manager Stephen Travers proposed adding a sign indicating that cross street traffic does not stop.

In other business, John Hammerly went to Keycodes to get a permit to replace wooden steps in front of his Bridge Street property with concrete steps. Keycodes has a minimum fee to open a permit of $50. Hammerly thought that was the full permit fee. When he returned to collect his approved plans, he was shocked when asked for an additional $215.

“The permit fee is more than the cost of the job,” he said.

He compared his latest permit fee to another job he did on his property, installing 45 feet of concrete sidewalk.

“That permit fee cost me $15. Why is there a difference?” he asked.

Travers said he will look into the matter. Council President Vincent Smith noted the fees were set years ago and have not been significantly increased. Hammerly suggested other municipalities that he has worked with do not charge elaborate fees for simple work.

In other action, Councilman Brian Bartholomew questioned Police Chief Douglas Kish about citations for fireworks. Despite the reports of fireworks in the area, no citations were issued.

“Most people didn’t have an address or they were gone by the time we arrived,” Kish said.

Bartholomew indicated he wants to see better enforcement.

Fireworks can be legally purchased by any Pennsylvania resident. However, they cannot be launched within 150 feet of an occupied building. For now, the consequences for shooting off fireworks are minimal, and Bartholomew said he wants to see that changed.

Council passed an ordinance that provides standards for street restorations in the borough. The recent utility work stressed the need for a proactive street restoration program. Township Engineer Ronald Gawlik emphasized the new ordinance meets Pennsylvania Department of Transportation standards for repairs.

The new ordinance is effective in September. Street restorations resulting from the UGI work will now need to be finalized by the borough rather than the contractor.

The utility relocation in conjunction with work on the Race Street bridge over Catasauqua Creek is complete. The bridge will be built in two halves. One side of the bridge will remain open while traffic in the other direction is detoured. Because Race Street is a state road, detours are along state roads. (See related story on page A1.)

Front Street is scheduled for road improvements. The roadway is the borough’s responsibility, but curbs and sidewalks are owners’ responsibilities. The borough will have a designated party evaluate the condition of the sidewalks and curbs. Presently, the borough takes on repair responsibilities for sewer laterals and water lines. Future repairs are on the property owner, once the lines are designated as clear and working.