Palmerton's fire chief has resigned from his post.

On a 5-0 vote, with one abstention, borough council on Thursday accepted the resignation of Dennis Behler as borough fire chief. Councilman Jason Behler abstained from the vote. Councilman Richard Nothstein was absent.

After the meeting, borough manager Rodger Danielson told the TIMES NEWS Dennis Behler chose to resign due to personal reasons, but added that he will remain with the department.

Danielson noted that Assistant Fire Chief Larry Zawaly is "now ranking officer", and added council "will look at its options."

"Larry's done a nice job as an assistant," Danielson said. "We look forward to working with him."

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

Borger said the purpose of the hearing was to receive input and comments for use CDBG 2013 funds for the borough.

For fiscal year 2013, Borger said the borough will receive about $90,529. Of that, $74,234 will be for project implementation, while the other $16,295 will be for administration costs, she said.

The funds will be used for selected projects in the borough, but Borger noted the funding amounts are approximations, as they have not received amounts from the Department of Community and Economic Development as of yet.

Borger said the following has been paid to contractors toward the borough's water/sewer improvement and street improvement projects on Lehigh Avenue: $91,121 from the 2009 CDBG funds; $98,760 from 2010 CDBG funds; and $83,998 from 2011 CDBG funds.

She said $9,061 has been paid from the borough to NIMARIS Construction, and $29,987 from the borough to NIMARIS Construction. As a result, Borger said $39,048 will be reimbursed to the borough using CDBG fiscal year 2012 funds.

Borger said $35,186 will remain in fiscal year 2012. The borough has requested reimbursement from CDBG fiscal years 2012 and 2013 for the water/sewer and street improvement projects.

It will cost about $122,000 to complete the project this spring, said Borger, who added CDBG 2012 and 2013 funds will be used, and the borough will be responsible for the balance due.

In an unrelated matter, Mayor Chris Olivia presented a proclamation recognizing March 1, 2013, as National Education Association's Read Across America Day.

Olivia then presented the proclamation to Councilwoman Holly Sell, who serves as a Title I Reading Specialist at the Parkside Education Center.

In other business, council:

Ÿ Accepted the letter of retirement from wastewater treatment plant employee Albert Koch, effective March 29, 2013. Danielson said Koch was a borough employee for over 20 years.

Ÿ Appointed, on a 5-0 vote, with one abstention, Councilman Kris Hoffner authorization for check signing. Hoffner abstained from the vote.

Ÿ Appointed, on a 5-0 vote, with one abstention, Hoffner as president pro tem for the borough. Hoffner abstained from the vote.

Ÿ Approved a health reimbursement agreement.