No parking signs near former church to come down until work begins
On Monday, a construction company hired to demolish the former Ss. Peter and Paul's church in the 200 block of East Abbott Street in Lansford put up a bright orange fencing and signs that prohibited parking on the street in anticipation of heavy equipment tearing down chunks of the brick building.
But as of Wednesday, one or two pieces of equipment sat silently near the old church. There were no tumbling walls or clouds of dust. The only demolition happening was of residents' patience in having to find spaces to park their cars on other blocks and walking home.
That evening, borough council agreed to remove the no parking signs in light of the complaints flooding borough offices. The signs can go back up when the contractor is finally ready to actually begin work.
Councilman Lenny Kovach said the contractor was waiting for a specific piece of heavy equipment to arrive before beginning work. He also said only half the block is under the parking ban.
Councilman Tommy Vadyak said he's gotten many complaints from residents, some of whom are elderly and/or disabled, and having a hard time making the trek from distant parking spaces to their homes. He wants the no parking signs down immediately.
"Our taxpayers come first, not Mr. Brennan," he said, referring to the contractor.
The former church is one closed by the Allentown Diocese in the summer of 2008. It's being razed to provide more parking for the adjacent St. Katherine Drexel church.
in other matters Wednesday, council agreed to ask a representative of Blue Ridge Digital Home Security to visit to answer questions about the new $3,850 security package council is having installed in the community center on Ridge Street. The center now houses the borough offices, police station, zoning office and tax collector.
The package includes smoke alarms that automatically call 911, motion detectors, keypads and door switches. Vadyak also wants glass break detectors installed.
Also on Wednesday, council agreed to seek quotes on roof replacement for borough buildings; have a company it hired last month start work to remediate the mold problem in the former borough hall above the American Fire Co. No. 1 on East Patterson Street; and to ask neighboring Coaldale to contribute to the payment of workers' compensation costs for the Lansford Ambulance Association, which also serves Coaldale.
Council also gave Jim Martino of the Carbon County Office of Planning and Development the final approval to the use of 2009/2010 community Development Block Grant money to improve East Bertsch Street.
The $79,330 cost of the project will be paid for by funds that had been previously intended for resurfacing Cortright and West Ridge streets, resurfacing Dock Street and rehabilitating two homes.
In other matters, at Vadyak's request, council agreed to have its zoning committee meet with the borough code enforcement/zoning officer to find out why bills are not being mailed and why it's taking so long to obtain permits.
Borough council will hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 15 to adopt a final 2012 budget.