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Catty council passes 5G ordinance; McKittrick to resign Nov. 1

Catasauqua Borough Council held a special meeting before the monthly council workshop Oct. 25 to discuss Ordinance 1409, the 5G aesthetic design guidelines.

Council approved the ordinance, crafted by Cohen Group, a law firm from Pittsburgh hired to draft the ordinance. The ordinance can be reviewed by contacting the borough office.

During the workshop meeting, a resident asked if the 5G facilities will be shrouded in the historic and waterfront properties. Solicitor Thomas Dinkelacker said the 5G equipment will be shrouded. Shrouding means the 5G equipment will be covered to be less visible.

In other business, Dinkelacker said council Vice President Brian McKittrick is resigning his council position. No reason for the cause of his council resignation was provided.

It is expected McKittrick’s resignation will be accepted by council at the Nov. 1 council meeting. Council President Vince Smith asked potential council applicants to contact the borough office by Nov. 19 to apply for a position on council. Applicants will be required to supply a biography and a statement of intent.

A resident thanked council for installing a bell for residents with accessibility challenges to enter the front doors of the municipal complex on Bridge Street.

The resident also asked a second question regarding fire pits at some properties. He said he was told some of these pits cannot be used because the yards are too small. He asked how a resident can have a fire pit in a yard that is too small to use in accordance with the fire pit ordinance requirements.

Smith said there is a meeting with the fire marshal and borough Manager Stephen Travers this week to consider the issue of a person having a fire pit that, based on the borough’s fire pit ordinance, cannot be actively used because the yard is too small.

Smith noted there is no violation if there is no fire in the pit, regardless of yard size. He emphasized the need to call the police when a resident is burning in violation of the ordinance.

Another resident asked police Chief Douglas Kish how many felonies were charged in Catasauqua during the past 30 days. Kish said he did not have the information at hand. The resident alleged there was a vandalism crime that was not handled by the police. Kish said he would look into the incident.

The same resident asked why there was no police follow-up on incidents.

“We follow up on every incident that occurs, and if we can arrest, we will,” Kish said.

The situation became tense when the resident asked the mayor what she is doing to assist getting these issues resolved. Mayor Barbara Schlegel said she meets with the chief three days a week to review issues.

The resident alleged there have been numerous bicycle thefts over the summer, but Kish said there were no bicycle thefts reported to the police since July.

The resident pointed out he always hears the police are busy. Smith asked if the resident could meet with the police chief and/or attend a public safety committee meeting to review these matters. Kish suggested the resident email questions about police data, so the chief can answer his questions.

Councilman Paul Cmil asked about a change in how council handles the agenda regarding audience input. Smith said he tries to allow residents time to express themselves at the workshop meetings. Dinkelacker noted that, at a workshop, residents can bring up any topic they choose.

Travers announced Hartzell’s Pharmacy will hold a vaccine clinic 9 a.m.-noon Nov. 18. The clinic will provide Moderna vaccines. Travers requested residents schedule their vaccine at hartzells.com.

The next council meeting is 7 p.m. Nov. 1 in the municipal complex, 90 Bridge St. It is a hybrid meeting, both in person and virtual options. Visit catasauqua.org for the meeting access codes.