Catasauqua Press

Friday, December 14, 2018

Council denies extension request

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 by HANNA O’REILLY Special to The Press in Local News

N. Catty residents lodge complaints about condition of Second St. property

At the Sept. 17 meeting of North Catasauqua Borough Council, Hyoungjoon Park appeared with his lawyer, Alexander Ward, regarding an email he received about the condition of his property at 1020 and 1022 Second St.

Park’s property had been undergoing construction work for months. The progress seemed to have hit a standstill as of July 20. Neighbors filed complaints, and the borough is concerned the project will not be completed before the winter season hits.

As part of an agreement Park made with the borough at the Feb. 20 meeting, all structural issues at the property were to have been addressed by March 22. A sinkhole was to have been filled by April 2 and the property brought up to code by Aug. 1.

Park told council the work on his property will begin again soon. He said he has been out of the country dealing with family health issues but is planning on moving forward with the project.

“Neighbors have been complaining,” borough council President Peter Paone said. “What’s the next step?”

Park said he has been reaching out to numerous utility providers about the next steps that need to be done.

Council Vice President John J. Yanek said he believes Park is only making progress now because he received the email from the borough.

Paone explained to Park that council wants to see this project succeed.

“I would hate to see this project sit through another season,” Paone said.

Park requested an extension for the project until Oct. 31. Council denied this request but will reassess if Park comes forward with more detailed plans about his next steps with the property work.

“Show progress,” Paone said. “That’s key.”

In other business, North Catasauqua resident Kylee Richie, who lives on Wyandotte Street, approached borough council about Ridge Street not being paved. Her garage is accessible from Ridge Street.

“It is ruining our cars,” Richie said.

Paone explained the street is a “paper alley” and is not owned by the borough; therefore, it is not the responsibility of the borough to pave it. Paper alleys are throughways that appear on plan maps but are not adopted or maintained by a municipality.

The steps in getting the borough to take over the street are involved. The entire neighborhood would have to agree to this decision before approaching council. Each member in that area, which could include up to 60 homes, would be expected to approach council with this request. From there, council would have to accept ownership of the street and then agree to the maintenance of it.

Marc Hillenbrand, a North Catasauqua resident, approached council about the metered box covering the electrical work at North Catasauqua William J. Albert Memorial Park, 701 Grove St. He requested the box be placed at the end of the basketball court instead of extending down the side of one of the park buildings. Council agreed to Hillenbrand’s request.

“As long as there are proper permits for this,” Paone said.

Hillenbrand continued with a request that council allow the use of a golf cart during the borough’s upcoming North Catasauqua Autumnfest, scheduled for Oct. 13 at the park.

“We would not be using the cart to give rides to individuals,” he said. “The cart would be used to help us pick up trash and make it more accessible.”

Paone said he will look into the policies regarding this before providing an answer.

Hillenbrand also made a request that Sixth Street be closed between Grove and Arch streets during Autumnfest, specifically for the car show. He reported the Andretti car needs a proper blacktop, and he does not want the interference of traffic. Council agreed to this, as long as Hillenbrand finds the proper manpower to shut down the street and man it.

Robin Rooke, a member of the fire police, said he received a letter in the mail stating he can no longer serve with the team. Rooke said it is alleged that he neglected to complete inventory procedures, an allegation he denies. Rooke said he completed the necessary paperwork for inventory, showed his superior and left the paperwork in his bin, where it stayed. However, he said he is still being asked to leave the fire company.

Borough Solicitor Steven Goudsouzian explained to Rooke he must comply with the letter and follow the police chief’s orders.

“If you serve at the whim of an individual, you are done serving when that individual says you are done serving,” Goudsouzian said.

Rooke agreed to turn in his belongings as soon as possible.

The next meeting of borough council is Oct. 1.