The Catasauqua Borough Council has authorized borough Solicitor Jeffrey Dimmich to implement the borough's eminent domain powers for a Front Street property.
At its meeting on May 4, the council passed an ordinance allowing Dimmich to take steps toward taking a building at 440 Front St., owned by Robert and Nancy Butow. The discussion touched on several topics.
In its basic assessment, the building has been appraised at a value of $65,000. According to Dimmich, the owners did not respond to requests for meetings.
At the May 4 meeting of the Catasauqua Borough Council, Councilwoman Christine Weaver, chair of the borough planning and zoning committee, said the committee's recommendation is for the council to adopt "Plan A" as a footprint for the new municipal building.
The council had earlier debated over three options, rejecting a smaller footprint that would meet current needs and opting for a plan that would allow room to expand. The choice between Plan A and its alternative took up a large part of a previous meeting with council leaning towards the alternative.
Leah Reighn approached Catasauqua Council at its meeting on May 4 to voice her complaint about noise in the neighborhood, most of which has been from tenants at 740 Third St.
Reighn and her husband recently moved into the area. In two years, the house at 740 Third St. has had five new tenants. Some were evicted for drug use. The latest incident was when a tenant bumped cars while trying to park.
The Borough of Catasauqua's Pearl Street property, once considered as a location for a new fire station, is again on the market.
At the April 27 workshop meeting, borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder reported to the borough council he had received a bid on the property.
Only one bid was received. It was from the same developer who had bid on it a few years ago.
The bid of $106,000 was not substantially higher than the earlier bid of $100,000.
Vincent Smith approached the Catasauqua Zoning Hearing Board April 21 to ask for a variance to add an apartment to his primary residence at 125 Front St.
"There has always been an apartment on the third floor and it has a separate entrance," he said.
According to Smith, when he purchased the house it was divided into three apartments. He converted the property to a single-family dwelling once he completed his renovations. Now that his family is older and members of the family have moved out of the house, he no longer needs the 3,700 square feet of space the house provides.
At Catasauqua's annual Arbor Day celebration April 25, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources awarded the borough its 18th consecutive Tree City Award.
State Forester Timothy Latz presented the award to Mayor Barbara Schlegel.
"The award represents the efforts of many in the community," Schlegel said in her remarks. "It is a tribute to the shade tree commission [members] who have worked so diligently for nearly two decades to make the borough more beautiful. We have dedicated over 300 trees in the borough."
At Catasauqua Borough Council's workshop session Monday, council members seemed to shy away from a prior consensus that the proposed municipal building be as big as possible and include space for relocating the borough's public library.
Early in the meeting, borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder reported he received correspondence from the library board giving a thumbs-up to relocating at the new building.
Not so fast, said Councilwoman Debra Mellish.
Hanover Township Solicitor Jackson Eaton is preparing a revision to the township zoning ordinance regarding cell towers for the council's approval.
The revision was called for at the April 1 council meeting, where township Manager Sandra Pudliner reported Hanover's zoning hearing board had approved a cell tower in office park LVIP III on Marcon Boulevard.
Verizon Wireless had requested the tower to increase capacity in the immediate area. There was some opposition to the request, but it was handled by the hearing board.
Solicitor Jackson Eaton responded to queries from Hanover Council members at their meeting on April 15. Eaton is working closely with Attorney Joseph Fitzpatrick to iron out the legal language on an agreement that will allow the proposed FedEx warehouse project to begin in Allen Township. Fitzpatrick represents the Rockefeller Group, the lead developer for the FedEx project.
At its regular meeting April 6, Catasauqua Borough Council made a change to the way it regulates disruptive behavior by tenants in rental properties.
"Our existing code says that a landlord receives a letter about a disruptive tenant after three police calls," explained Council President Vincent Smith.
In the letter, the landlord is asked to evict the tenant. The borough wants to enforce the policy, but there are extenuating circumstances.