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Lehighton Ambulance eyes new garage in S.H.

Published August 10. 2010 05:00PM

Lehighton Ambulance Association is hoping to construct a new sub-station in Summit Hill.

Last night the Ambulance Association asked for and received from Summit Hill Borough Council support for an exemption from the moratorium on new sewer connections in the borough.

The council will ask for the Pa. Department of Environmental Resources for the exception on the basis of "essential service."

Currently, no new sewer connections are permitted in Summit Hill because the central sewerage system doesn't meet full compliance with DEP criteria.

The Ambulance Association currently rents garage space in a structure next to the Switchback Mini Mart along East Amidon Street. They've been utilizing the garage for the past five years.

Joni M. Gestl, administrative coordinator for Lehighton Ambulance, said the association "is in pursuit of establishing a more permanent building in Summit Hill."

She said an agreement of sale was signed for a parcel of land on East Ludlow Street next to the Summit Hill Rod and Gun Club. The purchase hinges on the DEP approval for the sewage connection.

Gestl explained the structure will not be a public access building. "It will not be used for weddings or anything," she said. "It will possibly be a two-bay garage; a bare-bones ambulance building."

Provisions will be made for a two-man crew which will provide 24/7 coverage, she said.

If approved, the building will be built on a .67 acre vacant lot.

She said final plans aren't completed, that the project is in the preliminary stage and hinges on the DEP action.

In other matters:

• Leroy and Ruth Hagerty of 250 E. Holland St. presented photos which they claim proves a fence on an adjoining property is higher than borough code permits. They said the borough regulations allow for a six-foot fence. "No matter where you measure it, that fence is over six-feet," Leroy said.

He said the borough's zoning officer, Larry Marek, has failed to take action regarding the alleged violation.

"This is something we have to take up with Larry Marek," said councilman Bill Chapman.

Council president Joe Weber said he will speak to Marek and also discuss the matter with the borough's solicitor, Attorney Joe Matika.

The matter has been brought up for the past several month by the Hagertys. Last month Marek told the council that the fence is only six-feet high.

Marek wasn't present at last night's meeting.

• Chapman said a problem has been occurring with youngsters riding skateboards and bikes on the streets at night, making it difficult for motorists to see them. Chief of Police Joe Fittos said the police department will handle the matter.

• Chapman also said there is a lot of littering occurring in borough parks. He said borough workers are already over-extended and have to spend a lot of time cleaning up the litter.

Fittos said he spoke to one group of youths in the park and they have been cleaning up. He said there is another group which hangs out in the park which he will speak to. He said if the group doesn't keep the park clean, the youths will not be permitted to congregate there.

Borough secretary Kira Michalik said benches have also been moved. Fittos suggested signs be installed warning against moving benches. Otherwise there's nothing police can do regarding this.

• The council has scheduled a special meeting for 7 p.m. on Aug. 17 to discuss regulations with the Community Center. One of the things expected to occur is that a committee will be formed which will be given the authority to approve use of the building. Presently, use of the facility must be approved by the entire borough council.

• James Holmes was re-appointed to a three-year term on the borough's Appeals Board.

• The borough tabled final payment of $30,000 to Miller Brothers Inc. of Shenandoah, the general contractor for the building project which included construction of a police station and borough hall.

Councilman Michael Alabovitz said a punch list has some minor items still not addressed.

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