Lehighton Borough Council Monday night took its first formal steps to rehabilitate a historic fair judging stand that it hopes to prominently display in the borough park.

The octagon stand, about 15 feet high, currently stands in the Community Grove. It was last used for the former Carbon County Fair that was held in Lehighton for over a century until 1994. The fairgrounds were sold in 1993 to Lehighton Area School District where a high school and athletic complex werre built on the site.

The stand was used for judging horse racing. It was believed to have been built at the turn of the 20th century.

Borough Manager John C. Wagner drew up specifications to rehabilitate the stand. The technical specifications were then forwarded to borough engineer Bruce Steigerwalt for his review.

After the specifications are approved, the project likely will be bid.

Wagner said that the bidders will likely be asked to do an evaluation of the stand and make a recommendation on how best to do the rehabilitation. He said it likely won't be until October when the bids are received.

Wagner said the roof may have to be removed or lowered to move it from the Community Grove to the downtown park. The present height of the stand presently would interfere with utility lines during such a move.

Councilman John Bird commented, "I understand the historical significance. Is it deteriorated beyond the point of rebuilding it?"

"No," replied council president Grant Hunsicker.

"It can certainly be rehabilitated," added Wagner.

When the fair ceased to exist in 1994, the stand was moved to a parking lot of a car dealer across the street from the Community Grove. The ownership of the dealership eventually changed hands so the stand had to be moved. Because of its height, it couldn't be moved to the downtown park so it was taken to the Grove.