Construction begins at municipal building

Allentown Borough’s new municipal building will be accessible to the disabled in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

By: Lauren Burgoon
   ALLENTOWN — The borough’s municipal building is another step closer to becoming accessible to the disabled.
   Construction has started on the building on Main Street and planned renovations will make the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
   Construction plans include an elevator installation in the rear of the building. Currently the building is not accessible to the disabled from the Main Street entrance. There are two short flights of stairs to reach the borough meeting room.
   "The project has been pretty much stalled because of the weather," Mayor Stu Fierstein said. "It’s on-going and we’ll continue until it’s complete."
   The mayor said he expects construction to be completed by late spring, but no exact date is set given the unpredictability of the weather during the project so far.
   The construction affects the municipal’s court facility. The room cannot be used during construction, which prompted the Borough Council at its Tuesday night meeting to approve a resolution for an interlocal agreement with nearby Washington Township. Under the resolution, passed by a unanimous vote, the borough will use Washington Township’s court facilities during construction.
   Also at the council meeting Tuesday, a resolution to purchase a 2003 Crown Victoria police cruiser was unanimously approved. The borough will pay four payments of $6,300 for the cruiser and the first payment was authorized Tuesday. The cruiser has already been delivered to the town and is parked in the annex behind the municipal building.
   The new cruiser is a replacing a 1998 Ford cruiser used by the director of public safety. The old car needed repairs estimated to cost $4,000 and Mayor Fierstein said the council decided the money was better spent on a new car.
   The borough received a $750 trade-in for the old cruiser. Allentown has 30 days to turn in the vehicle, during which time Mayor Fierstein said equipment, like a police radio system, will be transferred from the old to the new car. Also during that time, the new car will be outfitted with the appropriate decals.
   Councilmen Dan Wimer and Michael Schumacher were absent from the Tuesday meeting.