Kutztown Park bathrooms to receive upgrade, borough seeks new finance director

Patriot photo by Joe Brown Kutztown Borough Manager/Treasurer Gabriel Khalife (left) and Council President Kevin Snyder (right) listen as the council announces that the Borough's finance director position will become open to applicants.

Kutztown Park on Main Street will receive a new bathroom facility after the bid was approved at the Kutztown Borough Council Meeting on Tuesday, July 15. According to council member Edwin Seyler, the facilities were the original ones from when the park first opened.

“We’ve been struggling with that, and we finally made the commitment to build new facilities,” Seyler said in an interview with The Patriot. “It’s been a long, painstaking journey and I’ve been involved in [it] for probably two years now, so that’s why I’m personally excited that it’s going to get started.”

Spotts Brothers, based out of Schuylkill Haven, was chosen to complete the work.

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In a personnel decision, the council is terminating the current finance director (name omitted upon request) and opening up the position to applicants. In order to smooth the transition to a new director, Seyler stated that the borough will look to hire one or two part-time workers to fill the void temporarily.

Additional personnel matters included the hiring of Kyle Hess as a part-time seasonal laborer in the Public Works Department to assist with the park, and the reappointment of Dorothy Fox as a member of the Housing License Appeals Board.

In other news, the Brick Pavilion was approved for use by the Allentown District of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole during “Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week” on July 17. The council also waived the fee for its use. According to the American Probation and Parole Association website, the week is to celebrate and recognize people working in community corrections.

In addition, the council approved issuing a parade permit and waiving any fees for the Kutztown Rotary Club to host the Taste of Kutztown in the park on June 6, 2015. The annual wine tasting festival features local wine, mead and beer purveyors from the Lehigh, Berks, Mason-Dixon, Bucks and Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trails.

During the public forum Gary Bond, a resident of Kutztown for over 30 years, discussed a zoning ordinance issue he had with a picket fence he built on Sunday, July 13 at a house he bought for his daughter located in the 500 block of East Walnut Street. After building the fence on Sunday, Bond received a call on Wednesday that it was in violation of zoning ordinances. Zoning Officer Dan Eslinger, who is also the borough’s director of Community Development, informed him that his fence obstructed the sight triangle for vehicles. One post on the corner of the fence was not in compliance with zoning regulations for vehicles’ visibility, which Eslinger openly admitted to overlooking when his office approved Bond’s plans.

After realizing the oversight, Eslinger contacted Bond, and informed him that the fence had to be altered in order to meet the requirements.

“The zoning ordinance says nothing shall be placed in that sight triangle, whether it has slots in it or anything,” Eslinger explained.

The only exception is for such objects as utility poles and street signs. Ultimately, the council came to the conclusion to waive Bond’s permit fee for the fence. Bond will still be responsible for making sure the fence meets the established zoning requirements.

“We came to an amiable conclusion that was satisfactory to both,” Bond said after the lengthy back-and-forth.

Looking forward, the Kutztown Borough Council will hold a joint workshop with the Planning Commission next Wednesday, July 23 at 7 p.m. at the train station to discuss the ramifications of establishing an overlay district to the industrial section off of Willow Street, also better known as the Silk Mill District. The section is being considered for residential development.