Palmerton has settled on a location to build its brand new, state-of-the-art fire station.
Councilman Chris Olivia informed borough council on Thursday that the fire station will be built in the borough lot at Fifth and Lehigh Avenue.
As a result, council agreed to send out Requests for Proposals for engineer's consulting services for the design of the new fire station, said borough Manager Rodger Danielson.
In October, Speaker of the House Keith McCall presented borough officials and members of the West End Fire Co. No. 2 with a $906,000 check for the purchase of the fire station.
A veteran volunteer firefighter in Summit Hill, McCall said the grant was a "small token" of what the commonwealth can do for its volunteer firefighters.
Danielson said the grant, which came courtesy of gaming revenue from Mount Airy Casino in Monroe County, will cover the "vast majority" of the expenses.
He said the borough wants to get all of its equipment and firefighters in a centralized station, and added the consolidation would improve its efficiency.
The borough anticipates the fire station will be under construction by this summer, Danielson said.
For years, Danielson said West End Fire Co. No. 2 and Palmerton Fire Co. 2 and Palmerton Fire Co. No. 1 comprised the same department.
In June of 2009, council announced that the Palmerton Fire Co. No. 1 would cease with the swearing in of West End Fire Co. No. 2.
As a result, all of the assets of Palmerton Fire Co. No. 1 were dissolved, and council agreed to consolidate the fire companies.
In all, a total of $12,506,892 in Mount Airy gaming revenues generated by the Pennsylvania Horse Race and Gaming Development Act or Act 71 was distributed to Monroe and counties contiguous to it back in June.
Under the act, counties contiguous to Monroe are eligible to receive some of the revenue that is generated at the casino. The money will help fund a total of 34 projects that range from library construction and improving and creating parks to road repairs and restoring buildings.
The funding is distributed by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's Local Share Assessment account.
To qualify for funding, each project had to show that it will serve the public interest and promote economic and community development.
Also on Thursday, council made a motion to authorize Danielson to draw up an ordinance that would make all the parks and recreation areas in the borough smoke-free.
In other business, council:
Ÿ Recognized borough mechanic Bruce Borger, who will retire after 34 years of service.
Ÿ Appointed resident Gerald Robertson to fill a vacancy on the borough's Planning Commission. Robertson will fill the term, which expires Dec. 31.