Catasauqua Press

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Neighbors clear overgrowth on lot

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 by PAUL FOX Special to The Press in Local News

North Catty residents ask council for reimbursement of mower rental

The owner of a property that neighbors 408 Buttonwood St. returned before North Catasauqua Borough Council Aug. 19 to discuss the clearing of overgrowth on the now-empty lot.

Several neighbors came to last month’s borough council meeting and decided they would pool resources to clear the overgrowth themselves. They rented a brush-hog rotary mower to cut back the thick vegetation, which has overtaken the property.

The property owners asked to be reimbursed by the borough for the cost of the rental, but council President Peter Paone and Solicitor Steve Goudsouzian said paying private citizens without making a specific arrangement ahead of time would set a bad precedent. Paone said he discussed the issue with some private third parties who are willing to make a donation that would reimburse the neighbors for their efforts toward maintaining their neighborhood.

Now that the bulk of the overgrowth has been dealt with, the borough can safely send in their own officials to continue the maintenance based on an ongoing complaint from the neighbors.

In other business, according to Paone, there will not be any meetings in August regarding the multimunicipal comprehensive plan. In development between Catasauqua and North Catasauqua boroughs and East Allen and Hanover townships, the plan is set to officially kick off in October.

With the Spotted Lanternfly invasion spreading into North Catasauqua, residents are desperate for an effective method of combating these pests. The borough’s recommendation: “Smush them!”

An added tip — they can only jump forward, so if you approach from the front, they can’t jump away.

Public works Supervisor Travis Brett requested permission to purchase a 2006 pickup truck from the borough of Pottstown for $8,000. The truck would replace a car his department has been using to transport shovels and other snow cleanup equipment. After some discussion, council concluded purchasing a new truck would be a better investment than adding another old vehicle to the borough’s aging fleet. The public works department will begin the search for an eligible new truck for sale.

Plumbing issues at North Catasauqua William J. Albert Memorial Park, 701 Grove St., have temporarily decommissioned several toilets in the park bathrooms. Until the problems are solved, posted stalls will be unusable.

Applications for the police chief position are due Aug. 30. Accepted applicants will be interviewed by Mayor William Molchany Jr., Paone and Michele Hazzard and Cherie Gebhardt of the police committee.

Borough council and staff congratulated Officer Antonio Tramonte for his nomination to receive the Pennsylvania DUI Association’s Top Gun Award for “extraordinary efforts in removing impaired drivers from our roadways.”

In 2018 alone, Tramonte made 59 total DUI arrests, 44 of which were for drug-related offenses, which are much harder to detect than alcohol-related offenses. Winning the award includes receiving new DUI detection equipment, as well as improving the police department’s ability to apply for future equipment grants.

Molchany commended Cpl. Chris Wolfer for “stepping up to the plate” in the wake of the late Chief Kim Moyer’s sudden passing last month. On top of all the logistical and administrative tasks he was suddenly faced with as officer in charge, Wolfer also had the responsibility of emptying out the chief’s desk and returning all of his belongings to his family.

In his police report to council, Wolfer announced his plans to have Moyer’s car number — 79 — officially retired and forever preserved as the chief’s number.

A public memorial service for Moyer will be held 6:30 p.m. Aug. 22 at Catasauqua High School, 2500 W. Bullshead Road, Northampton. Doors open 5:30 p.m.

The next council meeting will be held Sept. 3 because of the Labor Day holiday.