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Design of new Palmerton fire station draws interest

Published February 05. 2011 09:00AM

Palmerton has received widespread interest for the design of its brand new fire station.

The borough received 18 Request for Proposals for the engineering design of the station as of Friday's deadline, according to borough Manager Rodger Danielson.

Danielson said the amount of RFP's the borough received is a "real sign of the economy we live in."

"A lot of people are looking to pick up additional work," Danielson said. "There's a lot of good firms, some of them from a ways away, hoping to get the job to design the building."

While council is slated to meet at 7 p.m. Feb. 10, Danielson said no action is likely to be taken with regard to the RPF's until next month.

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, which will be built in the borough lot at Fifth and Lehigh Avenue.

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.

Borough Manager Rodger Danielson previously said the grant, which came courtesy of gaming revenue from Mount Airy Casino in Monroe County, will cover the "vast majority" of the expenses.

Danielson previously 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.

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