From this day forward, recreation areas throughout Palmerton will be smoke-free.

Borough Council on Thursday adopted an ordinance that created smoking regulations for all recreation areas in the borough.

That includes the borough park, Third Street field, and West End recreation area.

Also on Thursday, council held its second Community Development Block Grant hearing.

Judy Borger, Carbon County director of planning and development, told council it could receive $115,640 in CDBG funds. Of that, she said $98,000 will be used toward the project, while the other $17,640 will go toward administrative costs.

However, Borger cautioned that the amount of funding the borough is slated to receive could change due to an overall reduction in CDBG funding.

Borough Manager Rodger Danielson said the borough plans to spend its CDBG allotment to replace a water line and pave the 200 and 300 blocks of Lehigh Avenue, as well as overlay the 400 block of Lehigh Avenue, if there's any money left over.

The borough is among five entitlement communities that will receive CDBG funding, said Borger, who added the applications are due Jan. 12.

In 2009, Danielson said the borough designated its CDBG funds to pave those blocks. Since then, he said the borough received another $31,000 that was earmarked to make the areas handicapped accessible.

However, Danielson noted the water line in that area should be replaced before the borough paves the streets, and suggested council combine a portion of its CDBG funds in recent years with this year's allotment to afford the project.

In an unrelated matter, council heard from Attorney Joseph Matika, of the Summit Hill law firm of Velitsky and Matika, who told council he plans to run for Judge of the Common Pleas of Carbon County.

Matika said he wanted to introduce himself, and then spoke of his experience and qualifications for the position.

In other business, council:

Ÿ Agreed to remove Thomas Duarte from the part-time police availability list. Council agreed to send Duarte a letter of thanks for his service to the borough.

Ÿ Agreed to hire Todd Merkel as borough mechanic at a starting salary of $12 an hour. His salary will increase to $18 an hour after he completes nine months.

Ÿ Announced that the hazardous structure at 910 Edgemont Avenue has been razed.

ŸAgreed to send Councilman Jeremy Barbosa to a Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs Spring Conference at an approximate cost of $750, and authorized him to vote at the conference on behalf of council.

Ÿ Approved a request by Blue Mountain Health System to hold their annual 5K Run/Walk May 7. As part of its approval, council also agreed to allow a small sign to be placed at the start of the race, as well as a small stone at the finish line.

Ÿ Granted contingent approval to the Palmerton/Towamensing Softball Association to utilize the borough hall gym as a practice facility.

Ÿ Granted contingent approval to the Bowmanstown/Palmerton Baseball/Softball Association to utilize the borough hall gym as a practice facility.

Ÿ Approved a request from the borough fire chief to take Engine 714 and truck 721 to attend the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Jim Thorpe on March 13.

Ÿ Approved a request by the Village at Palmerton to make both sides of 71 Princeton Avenue no-parking.

ŸAdopted an amendment to a borough ordinance entitled permitted off-premise signs that essentially will allow for additional advertising in the zoning district.

Ÿ Adopted an amendment to a borough ordinance entitled vehicles and traffic.

Ÿ Approved a handicapped parking request to Patricia Hunsicker at 226 Lehigh Avenue.

Ÿ Approved a handicapped parking request to Charles and Olga Kravetz at 820 Edgemont Avenue.