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Catasauqua budget talk meetings are set

At the Nov. 2 Catasauqua Borough Council meeting, borough Manager Steven Travers set the schedule for the 2021 borough budget talks.

He noted budget talks are behind due to COVID-19. The goal is to hold the line on taxes.

Budget numbers are expected to be presented at the Nov. 30 workshop meeting. A public meeting will be held Dec. 3 to further work the numbers, with a goal to adopt a preliminary budget at the Dec. 7 meeting. The final 2021 borough budget will be up for vote at the Dec. 28 meeting.

Councilman Brian McKittrick asked Travers to compose a list of justifications if there is a tax hike in the budget.

Catasauqua Mayor Barbara Schlegel thanked the George Taylor House committee for its hard work improving the historic house. Schlegel asked council to provide the organization with some funding in the 2021 budget.

Travers suggested council purchase a 2016 Bobcat multipurpose construction vehicle to replace a 35-year-old Bobcat used at the water treatment facility. The current Bobcat has maintenance issues and parts are not available.

A resident voiced concerns about the accessibility of the borough complex for people with disabilities. He cited difficulty opening the doors as they lack automatic-opening capability. Travers responded the borough is looking into installing automatic doors and increasing accessible parking by the building.

Councilman Cameron Smith motioned to change the engineering company serving Catasauqua to Remington & Vernick of Conshohocken. Smith explained the motion for the change is R&V possesses grant writing capability and a wider array of services. The motion carried.

Councilman Brian McKittrick said the fire department’s ladder truck may arrive as early as February 2021. He motioned to remove a loading zone space on 10th Street and submitted a motion to create a loading zone by Tony’s Top Cat Bar and Grille. Both motions passed.

Councilmember Debra Mellish motioned to advertise the rental inspection ordinance. The motion passed.

Engineer Brent Shriver noted the Willow Street parking project is moving forward to the curbing installation phase.

A resolution in support of a local share agreement grant application in the amount of $189,000 for pool repairs was approved. Another resolution was passed, defining the terms of absence of the mayor for a council president and vice president to be acting mayor.

A resolution to pursue a multimodal fund transportation grant in the amount of $90,150 passed. A final resolution for a PennVest loan, not to exceed $500,000, for a replacement generator at the water treatment plant also passed.

Travers publicly thanked the poll workers for their work during the Nov. 3 general election.

Travers noted that, as the community spread of the coronavirus increases, council may have to revert to virtual-only meetings.

The next borough council meeting will be 7 p.m. Nov. 30. It is a hybrid meeting with virtual and in-person attendance at the borough complex, 90 Bridge St. Visit the borough website at catasauqua.org or call the borough office at 610-264-0571 for access.