Catasauqua Press

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Council reviews next steps for N. Catty cruiser fleet

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 by PAUL FOX Special to The Press in Local News

North Catasauqua Borough Council held another virtual meeting May 4, which began with a presentation from Enterprise Fleet Services about its police vehicle rental program.

One of the North Catasauqua Police Department vehicles has had engine issues for the past several months. Just as the department made the decision to discontinue further repair work and retire the cruiser, similar issues have appeared in another vehicle.

At previous meetings, Police Chief Chris Wolfer and borough council members discussed costs for several options they had for securing new vehicles, before eventually settling on Enterprise. Council did not come to a decision after the presentation May 4 but is expected to have a final discussion at the May 18 meeting regarding the matter.

Council members also discussed writing a letter of support for Catasauqua Community Food Bank, which is in the process of applying for grant money to purchase commercial appliances. With the coronavirus pandemic leaving many people unemployed or just financially uncertain, the food bank has seen a 50-percent increase in clients.

This greater need has led to an overall food shortage at the food bank, so it is in need of food donations like canned goods, sauces, peanut butter, jelly, cereals and more.

Councilwoman Cherie Gebhardt reported the North Catasauqua Recreation Committee plans to make a donation to the food bank and hopes this action will inspire other groups and organizations in both North Catasauqua and Catasauqua boroughs to help out as well.

Back in October 2019, council was approached by resident Ernie Keller with a petition requesting the borough vacate Berks Street, a paper street that runs between Grove and Penn streets and cuts through two sides of his property.

Council agreed to sign the petition but required Keller to get signatures from all of his surrounding neighbors as well.

At the May 4 meeting, borough council reviewed the signatures and voted to approve Keller’s request to vacate.

Council and other borough officials had a lengthy discussion about how and when public spaces in the borough can be reopened and how that will affect events planned for the summer and the rest of the year.

On the matter of opening the park, the borough will follow Northampton County’s decisions, which means open-air spaces can be used at one’s own risk.

Benches, play equipment and bathrooms will remain closed. Social distancing guidelines also remain in effect. As such, all park pavilion rentals for the month of May are being canceled and refunded.

The North Catasauqua Betterment Committee carnival is canceled for 2020.

J4, the joint Independence Day celebration between Catasauqua and North Catasauqua, is postponed until 2021.

The North Catasauqua WE SING Community Chorus yard sale at North Catasauqua William J. Albert Memorial Park is also postponed. A new date is yet to be determined.

All park sports leagues, as well as the summer Crafts and Laughs and wiffle ball programs, Autumnfest and the car shows are temporarily on hold. The status of those programs will be reviewed at the end of May.

There are no summer concerts or family nights yet scheduled for the park this year. Committee members responsible for those activities hope that, at the very least, some of those events can be moved to the fall.

The upcoming recycling event scheduled for June 20 is also to be determined. The borough is unsure if the vendor who collects electronic recyclables is still able to do so under social distancing restrictions.