Palmerton has tabbed a veteran firefighter as its new fire chief.

On a 4-1 vote, with one abstention, borough council agreed on Thursday to appoint Larry Zawaly to the post, and Dennis Behler as assistant fire chief, effective immediately.

Councilmen Richard Nothstein, Kris Hoffner, Jeremy Barbosa and Michael Ballard voted in favor. Councilman Jason Behler abstained. Council President Terry Costenbader was absent.

Councilwoman Holly Sell, who voted no against both appointments, said she did so because "it wasn't a decision I wanted to make at this time."

The fire chief position had been vacant since Dennis Behler who most recently served in that capacity resigned in March due to personal reasons. Behler has remained with the department.

Also on Thursday, council held the second in a series of two Community Development Block Grant public hearings conducted by Judy Borger, director of Carbon County Planning and Development.

Borger said that for fiscal year 2013, the borough is anticipated to receive $91,354. Of that, $74,911 was for project implementation, while the other $16,443 is for administration costs, she said.

The borough has utilized prior CDBG funds toward water/sewer improvement and street improvement projects on Lehigh Avenue to repair the water line in the 200 and 300 blocks of Lehigh Avenue, and to pave the 200-300 blocks of Lehigh Avenue.

All the work has been completed.

In an unrelated matter, borough manager Rodger Danielson announced that the borough's water company is working to repair leaks at First Street and Delaware Avenue.

"They're trying to isolate the area so that we can cut into the pipe," Danielson said. "We can't turn off the line and isolate where we'd like to, so we may have to do some live capping work."

Danielson added, "We may still have to turn off some water to people for a while, depending on what we can end up isolating, and when the tapping contractor might be available."

He noted that the problem isn't uncommon due to the age of the valves.