The Lehighton Fire Department is closer to having its construction project approved.

Lehighton Borough Council has approved construction bids and a utility pole relocation at the site.

The project cost is $3,168,308 for the construction project and $547,272 for the utility pole relocation.

Involved in the construction project is the addition of several new bays between Station (Lehigh Fire Company No. 1) and Station 2 of the Lehighton Fire Department on South Third Street.

The following firms were the apparent low bidders:

* Concrete - F. A. Rohrbach.

* Masonry - Spott's Brothers.

* Steel, iron, misc. - Reynolds Iron Works.

* General trades - Gordon H. Baver Inc.

* Roofing - Alan Kunsman Roofing.

* Aluminum, glass, and glazing - Mesco Glass & Mirror.

* Overhead doors - Overhead Door of Allentown.

* Floor & tile - Lehigh Valley Floor Covering.

* Painting - Dectis Painting.

* Elevator - Thyssen Krupp Elevator

* Fire protection - Fire Protection Industries Inc.

* Plumbing - JBM Plumbing.

* HVAC - Spott's Brothers.

* Electrical - Albarrell Electric.

The pole relocation project will be done by Miller Brothers Electrical Contractors.

Much of the project is being financed with a $1,750,000 grant from the state's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

Lehighton Borough Manager Nicole Beckett said, "The project will provide an efficient and updated fire station by rehabilitating two older fire stations that are located within the same block."

She added, "A new fire station will greatly increase the response time of the Lehighton Fire Department. This infill project will allow the fire department to provide our current level of service without any interruption. The structure will provide our firefighters with a safe working environment along will provide amenities for full-time occupancy."

Several months ago the borough council bids for the construction project. At the request of the fire department, those bids were rejected because they were higher than anticipated.

Steve Ebbert, of the fire company's building project, said plans were redrawn and bidding re-occurred to bring down the cost of the project.