Catasauqua Press

Friday, November 22, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY BILL LEINER JR.Joseph Merkel, a Catasauqua High School senior, is sworn in as a junior councilperson by Catasauqua Mayor Barbara Schlegel at the Oct. 7 council meeting. PRESS PHOTO BY BILL LEINER JR.Joseph Merkel, a Catasauqua High School senior, is sworn in as a junior councilperson by Catasauqua Mayor Barbara Schlegel at the Oct. 7 council meeting.

Borough council votes to push street repair work

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 by BILL LEINER JR. Special to The Press in Local News

At the Oct. 7 Catasauqua Borough Council meeting, Councilman Brian Bartholomew successfully pushed through a motion to spend $200,000 earmarked for street repairs.

The motion passed unanimously, despite some mild resistance. Before the vote, Bartholomew voiced frustration about UGI work in the borough delaying needed street repairs.

Council President Vincent Smith said street repairs tend to be completed after midyear. To date, reportedly because of the UGI delays, no road projects have been completed in 2019. Borough Manager Steve Travers is charged with reviewing the street repair list submitted by Bartholomew and prioritize which streets will be repaired in 2019.

The Fest O’ Fall event, held Oct. 5, received accolades as another successful community activity. Several council members and Mayor Barbara Schlegel noted the event was well attended. Catasauqua Fire Department Chief Richard Hertzog Jr. said approximately 140 residents visit the fire house that day during its open house.

Fest O’ Fall is a fundraising event for Historic Catasauqua Preservation Association.

One of the HCPA leaders, in a written statement provided to The Press, reported the HCPA is independent of the historic George Taylor House. It was previously reported all funds raised at the Fest O’ Fall go to the George Taylor House. HCPA disagreed with that statement. The HCPA does partner with the George Taylor House in various activities through the year.

In her recreation committee report, Councilwoman Jessica Kroope commented on Fest O’ Fall.

“It was great. It takes a lot of people to make it work,” she said. “This was our 14th fest. I thank all who helped.”

Kroope is requesting an ad hoc committee to address the needed restoration of the George Taylor House. Its roof, which needs replacement, has grant dollars and the roofing contractor lined up. Roof replacement may occur this fall.

Kroope also wants to create an ad hoc committee to seek additional grants and a national funding source to aid the restoration effort.

Volunteer committee vacancies include a spot on the shade tree commission and two openings on the borough authority. Call the borough office to apply.

Mayor Barbara Schlegel swore in Joseph Merkel, junior council member. Merkel, a Catasauqua High School senior, can attend all council meetings throughout the year. He may also provide council a report at the meetings. After high school, Merkel plans to attend a university and play college-level soccer, he noted.

Travers reported three used borough vehicles were sold, totaling receipts of $27,250.

Travers also reported the 2020 budget meetings were expected to be Oct. 14 and 15. Councilman Gene Schlegel asked for the Halloween parade to have a line in the budget.

“The Halloween parade costs between $3,000 and $5,000 and should be in the budget,” he reported. Smith agreed.

Chad Helmer, borough consultant from Taggart Associates, gave an update on the Iron Works project. Helmer reported additional grant funding will be pursued. The plan is to get the property ready for a future sale.

The fire police awarded the police department a $1,000 check for the department’s K-9 fund.

The next Catasauqua Borough Council meeting is 7 p.m. Oct. 28 at borough hall, 90 Bridge St.