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Catasauqua council rethinks project vote

During a special meeting Sept. 28, Catasauqua Borough Council revisited its Sept. 8 tie vote, broken by Mayor Barbara Schlegel, that, at least temporarily, halted the Race, Second and Lehigh streets project.

The vote cast a cloud over the other planned projects to modernize the Front Street and Iron Works brownfield area.

In a turnabout vote Sept. 28, council agreed, by a 4-2 vote, to move forward with the myriad of projects, including the upgrade of the intersections of Lehigh, Second and Front Streets.

Five resolutions were also passed.

These three street intersections have long been considered by many as a safety issue, particularly during rush hour. One of the goals of the project is to widen the intersections and install traffic lights to provide easier, safer travel in that area.

This decision opens the path for potential success of the complex Iron Works and Willow Street parking projects.

The Iron Works project is expected to cost $42 million. The seed money has essentially been through grant funding from Harrisburg.

Borough Solicitor Jeffrey Dimmich explained the special meeting’s revote addresses the will of the majority of council.

Council’s workshop meeting convened directly after the special meeting ended.

In his recreation committee report, Councilman Gene Schlegel said the committee decided to not sponsor trick or treat due to the pandemic but added, “Trick or treat can occur with homeowners’ and participants’ discretion.”

The annual Halloween parade has also been canceled. The parade was planned to be a joint effort with North Catasauqua Borough, which chose to opt out of the event as well.

As an alternative activity, the boroughs will sponsor a home-decorating contest called the (Un)Parade. Contact the borough office for more information or visit the (Un)Parade event page on Facebook.

Schlegel also reported repairs and upgrades at the swimming pool are being evaluated and may have a high cost.

The proposed burning ordinance was discussed at length. This ordinance is on the agenda for possible passage at council’s next meeting, set for 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Catasauqua Borough Municipal Complex, 90 Bridge St.