The Tamaqua Safety Initiative has purchased the property at 20 Mauch Chunk St., most commonly known as the Tiki Bar. The acquisition of the building was made possible by the Tamaqua Area Community Partnership through private donations made to the TSI.

"One of our goals is to work with the Tamaqua Chamber of Commerce to offer the space as a viable future business prospect while enhancing and increasing the north and south development of town," said Leona Rega, director, Tamaqua Safety Initiative.

The Tiki Bar, vacant for the last year and a half, is located within what is being developed and recognized by the TSI as the safety corridor. The building was of interest to the local group; which has been in existence since December of 2011.

Schuylkill Parcel Locator shows the property was built in 1880. It adds that Edward Kashmer sold it to the Tamaqua Area Community Partnership for $23,000.

The TSI is a representation of local businesses and residents, Tamaqua Chamber of Commerce, police department, professionals from St. Luke's University Health Network, along with code and law enforcement agencies.

Development of the group began with funding from LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation).

"Over the past two years, we worked to educate and raise awareness of the important role each citizen in the community plays in the safety of our town," said Rega. "These efforts were accomplished through several open 'community conversation' forums, which encouraged residents to properly report suspicious activity, promoted the ability to report crimes anonymously, and provided a countywide drug tip hot line through the district attorney's office."

Addressing concerns from local businesses, a crime prevention seminar was held for business owners and their employees with tips on how to identify fake IDs, counterfeit currency and the steps they can take to identify crime before it takes place.

"The TSI committee serves as a place for participants to talk about the issues which are important to residents and business owners in terms of the type and frequency of specific crimes," added Rega.

Part of this process was the development of the Safety Corridor, which runs south to north from Spruce and Center streets to Mauch Chunk Street. The corridor also includes the 100 block of Pine and Railroad streets.

Some of the other accomplishments noted via the TSI involve building relationships with residents by increasing knowledge and promoting healthy living and neighborhood beautification. Some of the past efforts include participation in the SKIP (Schuylkill Keep it Pretty) day and the distribution of flower boxes to area residents. Through collaboration with the Tamaqua Community Arts Center, the organization also offered parenting education classes and hosted a community festival in August as part of a National Night Out event.

"The purchase of the Tiki is a win for both the community and the Tamaqua Safety Initiative," said Linda Yulanavage, executive director, Tamaqua Chamber of Commerce.

"This action by the TSI creates many positive possibilities within the Tamaqua Safety Corridor; physical improvements to the building inside and out; new types of businesses, new residents, a new life to the building. It's always exciting when these possibilities become realities and I believe that will happen here," she added.

"The Safety Initiative has been working to advance the possibilities in corridor and this is just one opportunity where they will have a positive impact on the future of this property."

Anyone interested in the future development of the property as a business prospect can call the Tamaqua Area Community Partnership at 570-668-6899. The TSI is looking for volunteers and encourages anyone who wants to become involved to call 570-668-1192 or email leona@tacp.info