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County gives green light to Lehighton firehouse

Published March 16. 2011 05:02PM

Plans for a new firehouse in Lehighton received the green light from Carbon County Planning Commission members.

During the commission's monthly meeting on Tuesday, the board voted to recommend conditional plan approval for Lehighton Borough's proposal to build a firehouse complex at 140 S. Third St., Lehighton.

Ivan O. Meixell Jr., county planner, reported his findings on the plan prior to the vote.

He said that the site of the proposed complex is an existing residential site and that all structures will be demolished and removed prior to the new construction.

Meixell also addressed Nicole Tessitore of the Lehighton Borough, and Bernard M. Telatovich, vice president of Benchmark Civil Engineering Services of Allentown, who is involved in the project. He explained to them that the plan contains all preliminary/final plan requirements of the Lehighton Borough Land Development Ordinances, but there was some additional information needed to fully comply with the Schedule II Regulations. Each item still needed was outlined in Meixell's report.

Meixell also pointed out that the borough is appealing the zoning application denial it received for the project on Feb. 22. The appeal will now go before the Lehighton Borough Zoning Board during its March meeting.

Meixell then recommended to the commission that the project be approved.

In a related matter, the county planning commission also recommended approval of a lot line revision that Lehighton Borough was proposing. This revision was needed for the firehouse complex project.

The plan called for combining a .7-acre lot, .19-acre lot, and .10-acre lot, to create a lot for the new firehouse.

The new firehouse complex has been in the works for some time.

According to articles published in the TIMES NEWS last year, the project is expected to cost between $3 and $5 million to complete.

The borough purchased the three houses between the Engine Company 2 building that is utilized by the borough police and fire department, and the Lehigh Fire Company No. 1 building. The three houses will be demolished to make way for the new construction, which will connect the structures. The Lehigh Fire Company No. 1 building was constructed in 1938 as part of the federal recovery program from the Great Depression. The Engine Company 2 building was erected in 1910. Both of these structures will remain intact, although renovations are anticipated.

Following the demolition, the project will be completed in three phases, the TIMES NEWS reported in November. The phases include preliminary work and planning, the construction document phase, and then the construction of the new building.

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