Catasauqua Press

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Borough to appoint building code official

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Iron Works project update also on Catasauqua council’s March 4 agenda

Catasauqua Borough Council ran through a gauntlet of items at its workshop session Feb. 25. Subjects for action at the next regular meeting, set for March 4, include appointing a building code official and an update to the Iron Works project from Chad Helmer, of Taggart Associates.

Solicitor Thomas Dinkelacker is working on several legal documents that will be voted on in the near future. Under direction from council, Dinkelacker is preparing a funding request from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. This will be the borough’s second round of RACP financing. The first round was approved.

The solicitor continues to work on the sales agreement for the Iron Works project.

Councilwoman Christine Weaver explained the borough wants to move forward with abatement plans for the Iron Works site.

“We need to make repairs to the depot building,” she said. “There has been interest in repurposing the building. The repairs will keep water from leaking into the building. Asbestos abatement is critical on the site, and we may begin demolition of the plate building.”

Costs incurred would be paid from the borough’s accounts, but the costs would be reimbursed with the approved RACP monies. According to Weaver, Helmer is investigating an industrial site reuse grant, which has funds specifically directed to asbestos abatement.

Councilman Brian Bartholomew is concerned about intermittent truck traffic in the borough. He asked for voluntary action from the police to randomly stop trucks on the wrong roads, but Police Chief Douglas Kish is reluctant to have a police officer stop truckers without probable cause. Bartholomew, who drives a heavy vehicle, asked if a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation enforcement officer could monitor trucks that stray into the borough. Kish said he will check on it.

Councilman Brian McKittrick expressed his concern over charges from a marketing firm that built and monitors the borough’s website. McKittrick wants a detailed accounting of the costs. He thinks certain costs are out of line and said he believes the website does not have the flexibility expected. Municipalities surrounding the borough all have new websites by the same designer. There may be a lower cost option since the sites are similar in design, McKittrick said.

Borough Manager Stephen Travers expects to get tablets and training for council members soon. The objective is to introduce practical technology to council meetings.

Councilman Eugene Schlegel expressed his concern that discussions in executive sessions are being leaked. Dinkelacker confirmed that executive sessions are confidential.

“An executive session is not a fact-finding session. Everything is confidential. Council can vote to remove the restriction if it desires,” Dinkelacker said.

Travers announced that funding for a full roof repair at the George Taylor House was approved and the repair will move forward.

Schlegel addressed the condition of the windows at the George Taylor House. The borough used grant money to install three new authentic reproductions at a cost of $45,000. The windows are not properly functioning and do not appear to be period-style pieces. Marvin Window Company makes a window approved for historical properties at a significantly lower cost.

Schlegel questioned how the windows were approved.

Travers said he will see if there are options for the borough to recover any of the grant money for the poorly fitting windows.

Arbor Day will be celebrated April 27 in the borough, starting with a 10 a.m. gathering at the municipal complex, 90 Bridge St.