Catty council to work on grant plan
At Catasauqua Borough Council’s regular meeting Sept. 4, Solicitor Thomas Dinkelacker asked for an executive session later this month to review sales terms for the Iron Works project.
The borough received a $1.5 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant for the project, which helped move the negotiations forward. Chad Helmer, of Taggart Associates, was instrumental in getting the grant. He has proposals out for transportation grants.
“The RACP grant can be used for almost anything,” he said. “We need to get the plan in place on how the funds will be used and get it submitted. The transportation grants that we are looking at are very specific and need to be used for transportation-related expenses like roads and sidewalks.”
Helmer was less successful getting paid. The Taggart contract with the borough requires an annual renewal. Helmer asked for the firm’s maximum compensation total to be increased to $36,000 in 2019. He told council members Taggart exceeded the existing limit for the past year while the firm pursued the grant, spending more than the $25,000 ceiling for 2018.
Council members were reluctant to approve the additional funds because they did not have enough time to look at the details.
Helmer was not the only one with a financial concern. Zora, the borough’s K-9, needs a compartment in the back of the patrol unit. The cost is $2,500. A local support group set up a GoFundMe page to get it done.
In other business, Councilman Brian Mc- Kittrick has been working to get an assistant state fire marshal appointed. He found out the state appoints qualified people to the position. The appointment is expected after a state review. The borough is creating a related job identified as fire inspector.
Council is concerned about an expansion proposal from Silver Manor. The owner wants to expand from 22 to 30 rooms. Silver Manor was granted a designation as an extended-stay hotel in an effort to improve the building. The variance was granted to the former owner, who promptly sold the building. McKittrick questioned if the new owner was following conditions required under the last zoning appeal. Councilwoman Christine Weaver asked the solicitor to attend the next zoning hearing board meeting to express council’s concerns. The board is scheduled to meet Sept. 18 to hear the owner’s request.
The borough has set trick-or-treat night as 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31.
Mayor Barbara Schlegel appointed Dante Kaintz and Andrew Kalynych as junior council representatives.