Catasauqua Press

Friday, February 21, 2020

Sycamores removed at North Catty park

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 by PAUL FOX Special to The Press in Local News

Council votes to tentatively accept offer to take down six additional trees

During the Feb. 3 North Catasauqua Borough Council meeting, public works Supervisor Travis Brett discussed the two sycamore trees removed at North Catasauqua William J. Albert Memorial Park last month by Snowscapes.

After the job, the company offered to remove six more old trees from the park for an additional $6,000. Because Brett considered the price point to be exceptional, he urged council to approve the action, knowing the six trees in question will have to be removed at some point this year.

Council member Joseph T. Keglovits requested the opportunity be left open to receive a better offer, so council voted to take it on the condition the offer not be matched or beaten. Vice President John Yanek voted “no” on that motion, on the grounds he did not believe the borough could find a better offer.

During the vote, newly elected Councilman Mark Gioielli asked whether the public works department plans to replace the trees that have been and will be removed from the park. Brett said the trees will be replaced, and council President Peter Paone chimed in to say they have already started researching the best shade trees to plant.

Brett also requested council ask borough residents to cut back overhanging trees on their properties, as most are exceeding the limit.

Borough Treasurer Annette Englert addressed the charges incurred by the property at 1020-22 Second St., which was just recently permitted as fit for habitation after a yearslong struggle with the property owner.

Those charges exceeded the $10,000 retainer previously paid by the owner, but Solicitor Steven Goudsouzian said it is unlikely the borough will see the difference. In this case, he explained, the retainer served as motivation for the owner to make the changes the borough required.

Borough Secretary Tasha Jandrisovitz announced the office has advertised for a part-time police department secretary position. She also presented council with a motion to apply for grant money for LED streetlight replacements. PPL will replace a number of streetlights in the borough with new LEDs, which will cost much less to operate.

Catasauqua and North Catasauqua have been planning this year’s J4 Celebration, which will begin with an opening ceremony by Mayor William Molchany Jr. and Catasauqua Mayor Barbara Schlegel. The planning committee has set July 5 as the rain date. The pub crawl has been moved to July 3.

Molchany has also been attending a series of multimunicipal meetings to address the truck traffic in the area. A recent change in state law has made it nearly impossible for municipalities to restrict trucks, it was reported. Discussions so far have been productive, but the involved municipalities have yet to find a reliable way to keep tractor-trailers off residential streets.

Catasauqua Borough Councilman Paul Cmil organized a public forum for residents 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at Catasauqua Middle School, 850 Pine St., to voice their concerns about the truck traffic.