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Halloween parade canceled

North Catasauqua Borough Council announced at its Sept. 21 meeting that an alternative to the Halloween parade - which was recently canceled by the joint Catasauqua/North Catasauqua committee organizing it - has been approved. The two boroughs will hold a home-decorating contest for residents. Prizes for contest winners will be sponsored by local businesses.

The borough also officially adopted two pieces of legislation that have been in the works for more than a year during the meeting. The residential rental agreement and certificate of occupancy were the sole subjects of a public meeting held in early August and have now been made official ordinances in the borough.

In other business, council President Peter Paone said the remaining budget for 2020 is very tight, adding all committees and officials should refrain from spending money before clearing purchases with Treasurer Annette Englert.

Paone also remarked positively on the shade structures that were recently installed in the kids’ area of North Catasauqua William J. Albert Memorial Park.

Mayor William Molchany commended North Catasauqua Police Department for its assistance with an active shooter situation Sept. 19 at Lehigh Valley Mall, Whitehall. Officer Stephen O’Donnell was given special commendation from Police Chief Chris Wolfer for being one of the first officers to enter the mall in pursuit of a suspect following the shooting.

Councilwoman Cherie Gebhardt reported the first fall concert at the park, held Sept. 11, was a great success. Roughly 130 people attended the free event, which was organized with social distancing in mind. From that crowd, the recreation committee was able to raise $119 in donations for Catasauqua Community Food Bank.

Paone said he heard many positive comments about the event from attendees, who were happy to have a slight return to normalcy in the community.

Gebhardt thanked public works Supervisor Travis Brett and his department for setting up red, white and blue lights around the trees in the park for the event.

Another free park concert is planned for 7 p.m. Oct. 17 and will feature the Stefanie Johnson Band.

Councilman Mark Gioielli asked Molchany about the future meeting timeline for the multimunicipal truck task force, which began meeting late last year to address the growing problem of truck traffic in residential areas. Meetings were held between Catasauqua, North Catasauqua, Northampton, East Allen Township and several other nearby municipalities that have experienced increased traffic from freight trucks.

Molchany and Paone agreed meetings would likely not resume until at least 2021 because the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program training - which an officer must have to be able to pull over tractor trailers - has been suspended until next year.

Before the task force’s regular meetings were forced to stop back in March, the municipalities involved concluded sending an officer through MCSAP training was the best way to get a handle on unwanted truck traffic in the region.