Fire Co. offers borough land worth $500,000
Lehigh Fire Company No. 1 of Lehighton wants to give a gift to Lehighton Borough.
It has some properties valued at $500,000 that it wants to offer the borough.
Jim Morris, representing the fire company, told Lehighton Borough Council the fire company has a parcel it wants to give to the borough now as well as two properties they would like to turn over at a future date. Those two properties are currently rental units.
The properties were purchased in anticipation of a building project being planned by the Lehighton Fire Department.
The new fire station is being planned on the site or in the vicinity of the present fire stations on South Third Street.
The council took no action on the matter.
Jack Kuller, Lehighton Fire Chief, said the fire department has been considering the building project for several years. He said in the past that the fire department is working in crowded quarters, with part of its operations in Station 1 (the Lehigh Fire Company No. 1 building) and some in Station 2 (the former Engine Company No. 2 building).
He said a dangerous situation exists with volunteers running from building to building which are separated by residential structures when a fire call occurs.
There are other shortcomings such as no adequate room for storing gear, little room to change into gear, and tight quarters for parking the apparatus.
In other fire department business:
• Kuller praised borough mechanic Alton Steigerwalt regarding his work on a firetruck recently. He said the fire department had responded to an emergency in the middle of a Friday night and one piece of apparatus lost a seal on a fuel filter at the scene. He said the truck had to be towed to the borough garage, where Steigerwalt worked through the night and Saturday morning to make the repair.
"He got it working by noon, Saturday," said Kuller.
The fire chief said the tow truck driver had praise for the maintenance the fire apparatus has received.
"Alton deserves the credit," said Kuller.
• The fire chief told council to keep in mind, when it does future budgets, that new emergency radios must be purchased by Jan. 1, 2013.
On that date, he said, all emergency services in Carbon County will be transferring to a narrow band for radio transmission. As a result, all existing radios eight mobiles, 30 portables, and 60 minitors will have to be replaced.