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North Catasauqua approves new tax rate for 2021

At North Catasauqua Borough Council’s Feb. 15 meeting, members approved the new tax rate for 2021 of 13.7 mills. During a brief virtual meeting Feb. 1, the board had formally voted to advertise the new rate.

Borough Engineer Dave Kutzor presented bid prices for the Main Street storm sewer project at the Feb. 15 meeting. There are four options for the project.

The base contract would see the construction of new storm sewer inlets along Main Street in North Catasauqua. There are also two alternates, which would include additional new inlets to alleviate flooding around nearby parts of Green, Washington, Wyandotte and Hunter streets.

Kutzor presented the borough with costs for pursuing the base contract by itself, which would be roughly $755,000. He also provided costs for each alternate individually and with both alternates together - roughly $1.161 million.

The entire cost would not fall to the borough. North Catasauqua has a $200,000 grant that will go toward the project. To cover remaining costs, the borough will pursue a loan from PennVest, a state program that specifically helps to fund sewer, stormwater and drinking water projects.

Borough council voted to approve the new garbage bill at $400 per household. Residents are permitted to pay their garbage bill quarterly. However, those who pay it in full by March 15 will receive a $10 discount. A $20 discount applies for senior citizens who pay the entire bill by March 15.

Tasha Jandrisovitz, borough secretary, announced the borough office has given out five more lot releases for the Willowbrook development. That brings the number of Willowbrook homes in North Catasauqua up to 20, six of which have already been moved into.

Mayor William Molchany congratulated and thanked the public works department and emergency management director Roger Scheirer for their great work in clearing the streets of snow during and after the three-day storm, Jan. 31-Feb. 2.

Council members lauded the police department’s Valentine’s Day donations to patients at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital-Cedar Crest and Lehigh Valley Cancer Center-Muhlenberg. Police Chief Chris Wolfer said the event was an overwhelming success, and the department plans to do it again in the future. Wolfer thanked Officer Brian Douglas for the idea and for working behind the scenes to put it together.

North Catasauqua Police Department is also now looking to hire a part-time officer.

During the meeting, borough officials discussed potential sightings of garbage mismanagement by waste collectors. Councilman John Yanek said he was getting the impression some garbage trucks were collecting garbage and recycling together. Jandrisovitz said any residents who witness any mismanagement of garbage and recycling should report it to the borough office.

Borough council President Peter Paone announced the River Central multimunicipal group has launched the official website for its comprehensive plan at planrivercentral.org. On the site, residents of North Catasauqua, Catasauqua and Northampton boroughs, East Allen Township and Hanover Township, Lehigh County, can find the Get Involved page, where they can provide ideas and feedback.

The group plans to hold a number of virtual community meetings for public input later this year.