On Dec. 5, Catasauqua Borough Council called the code hearing board into session to clarify code issues on the Dery Mansion. The new owner asked for clarifications in code changes that took place during the past couple of decades.
A code hearing is different from the more frequent zoning hearing. A code hearing is necessary when there is a violation of the building code. It is rare the board ever meets.
Pie’s On Pizzeria owner John Landi continued his tradition of providing a free meal on Christmas to anyone who would ask. Landi had a room full of elves making sure 500 meals were delivered or served Christmas Day. The party began before noon and lasted until around 3 p.m.
“This is such a great event. It does show the Christmas spirit,” Stacey Delong said.
Pie’s On Pizzeria, 102 Pine St., offers sign-up sheets on the days leading up to Christmas.
“It helps us get a handle on how many meals we need to make,” one of the elves said.
Hanover Township set up its budget for 2018 with few changes. Council is set to have a meeting by the end of December to approve all remaining bills and approve the budget.
One concern voiced during the summer was a request by two councilmen, Curtis Wegfahrt and Robert Heimbecker, to send the insurance contract to bid. The township has a long-standing business relationship with Brosky Insurance. The company has a local office in the township.
At Catasauqua Borough Council’s end-of-year meeting Dec. 20, Mayor Barbara Schlegel vetoed a business registration ordinance passed by council at its last session.
In her letter to council explaining the veto, Schlegel said most of the information requested in the ordinance is already available. The major concerns are security and privacy.
“Anyone can get the information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA.) Some businesses might have proprietary processes. The floor plans could be used by people intent on doing harm to the business,” she said.
Debra Mellish has become the go-to expert on Catasauqua’s early Iron Age. She conducts a walking tour of the borough, pointing out historical structures and where some landmarks once stood. Self-conducted tours are available at the Historical Catasauqua Preservation Association. She presented a detailed genealogy of the first families of the Iron Age and how their legacy persisted well into the 1900s at the Helfrich Springs Grist Mill Nov. 28. The grist mill is preserved by the Whitehall Historical Preservation Society.
In keeping with the holiday season and to recognize the contributions residents have made to the borough, Mayor Barbara Schlegel passed out many awards at Catasauqua council’s regular session Dec. 4.
First on the list was the ever-popular Catasauqua Youth Cheering Association. Participants received a certificate, thanking them for their participation at local sports events. The girls practice throughout the year and increase their skills under the watchful guidance of volunteers.
Stephen Piller, of Catasauqua, a previous Scoutmaster with Boy Scouts Minsi Trails Council, appeared before Magisterial District Judge Michael D’Amore Dec. 14. His case was forwarded to Judge James Anthony in the Lehigh County Common Pleas Court.
On Aug. 24, Piller was accused of exposing himself to Scouts and inappropriate sexual contact during private sleepovers he held in his Catasauqua home and during outings at Camp Trexler in Monroe County. Three alleged victims of sexual assault were interviewed by Lehigh County Detective Andrew Millen.
Police have charged a North Catasauqua man in the death of his wife Dec. 9, but further investigation suggests she may have died days before.
According to a news release from Pennsylvania State Police, North Catasauqua Police Department was called to 1017 Fifth St., North Catasauqua, in the early-morning hours of Dec. 9 for a report of a cardiac arrest emergency. There, officers found Holly Cernobyl, 47, at the bottom of the basement stairs with what appeared to be a blow to the head.
Shopping local is the latest adventure in the holiday season. Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, holiday shoppers are urged to get out, shop locally and meet business owners on Small Business Saturday, this year held Nov. 25.
Catasauqua is looking to highlight its local businesses with hopes to attract more artisans to a business district that looks forward to a revitalized future with Iron Works.
Borough Councilwoman Debra Mellish has been a strong proponent of legislation that requires all businesses in Catasauqua to register. The registration process is necessary for safety reasons, according to its proponents, and provides the borough with data on businesses.
During the Dec. 4 council meeting, Police Chief Douglas Kish spoke in favor of the ordinance.
“Businesses move out, and we don’t get alerted to the change. The information we have on file is out of date, so we can’t respond effectively in an emergency,” he said.