Catasauqua Press

Thursday, November 21, 2019

N. Catty council OKs LED streetlight replacement

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 by PAUL FOX Special to The Press in Local News

Preliminary budget, truck traffic, stormwater drainage also discussed

North Catasauqua Borough Council, at its meeting Nov. 4, approved a modified plan for LED streetlight replacement.

Borough secretary Tasha Jandrisovitz presented council with updated figures on the cost of LED streetlight replacement from PPL. Earlier this year, the borough was told that replacing all of its streetlights with LEDs would come with a fee, plus a slight increase in monthly power payments after the switch.

With those numbers in mind, council had previously decided to hold off on following Catasauqua’s recent switch to LED.

Now, however, PPL has presented the borough with a map that separates the lights that are powered above ground from those that are powered below ground. The utility company has offered to replace only the aboveground lights with LEDs. The only cost would be a slight increase in monthly power payments.

The switch would omit some areas of town where the streetlights are powered underground, but it gives the borough a head start on an eventual full switch to LED.

Borough council carried a motion to allow the switch after the solicitor has assessed the deal from PPL.

Borough council also approved the preliminary budget and then carried a motion to advertise the details of the budget to borough residents.

Later this month, several borough representatives will attend a meeting with the borough of Northampton to discuss the influx of FedEx Ground trucks in both boroughs. Before the opening of its Willowbrook Road shipping complex, FedEx Ground made assurances to nearby municipalities that their residential roads would not become trucking routes. However, since then, exactly that has happened, and no one living in the surrounding area appears happy about it. Talks between the two boroughs will hopefully lead to a reduction of unwelcome freight traffic in the area.

Borough council President Pete Paone discussed his plans to coordinate with the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor’s rewatering of the Lehigh Canal in Catasauqua and North Catasauqua.

In negotiating a division of responsibility for routing North Catasauqua stormwater runoff into the canal, the D&L has offered to handle all requirements from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, as well as help fund the construction of the drainage system. Given its standing arrangement with Keystone Engineering Group, the borough will handle all of the engineering required to connect the stormwater drainage project to the canal.

On the subject of re-engineering stormwater drains in North Catasauqua, Paone also mentioned no DEP permits will be required for the work done on the lower end of Main Street. That means flooding in that area should be dealt with much sooner than other parts of town.

The permit process with the DEP — required for the Green Street and Cypress Street drainage project — could take approximately 18 months, so clearing up issues for those areas will have to wait until then.

As part of his police report to council, Chris Wolfer, interim chief, brought new information about unit 75, the faulty squad car currently out for repairs. Wolfer said he had the vehicle reassessed by Gilboy Ford, which determined issues with the car’s timing would cost around $3,000 to repair.

Nearly $5,500 has already been spent to repair unit 75 this year, but buying a new squad car just isn’t in the budget for the borough. Rather than leave the police department down one car, council decided to have the vehicle repaired.