During Northampton Borough Council’s public meeting on Thursday, March 21, Main Street resident Margaret Korsak appeared before the board to express her concerns in regards to the renovated Tama building. Her home is separated from the 13-unit apartment building by only a few feet.
She said she and her family were initially “thrilled” by the improvements made to the dilapidated building and the community. However, those feelings quickly subsided, she said, when issues about the building became clear.
She said there are several first-floor apartment windows that look directly into her home. The windows are casement windows and open over the sidewalk separating the two properties. This is creating a hazard, she said, and is in violation of the easement. She recommended frosted glass and window locks as a possible solution.
She also said that a pile of rubble has been left next to parking spaces for over two years. This rubble is “laced with asbestos,” creating not only an eyesore, but also a health hazard, she warned.
Another pile of rubble also sits in the basement, she said. She recalled a smell of mold permeating the building before it was renovated. She worries that the rubble in the basement is also moldy, creating another health hazard for residents.
Among other safety concerns she mentioned is the lack of a fire window and missing downspouts, which are creating drainage issues.
The owner of the building has been given numerous extensions over the years to finish the project.
“If he would finish the project now rather than later, we would be satisfied,” Korsak said.
Councilmembers Judy Kutzler and Anthony Lopsonzski, Sr. agreed with Korsak’s concerns.
Councilwomen Kutzler went to view the property. The rubble, she said, was frozen and could not be moved.
“That place has caused a lot of aggravation over the last few years,” said Councilman Lopsonzski, Sr. He added that the windows looking into the privacy of Korsak’s home is an “extreme insult” that the borough should get “undone.”
Korsak said her family is considering selling their home because of the issues the neighboring property has caused.
Council President Anthony Lopsonzski, Jr. said that Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst and the borough solicitor would investigate these issues.
In other news:
- Council paid tribute to former councilmember Richard Ackerman, who passed away.
“[He was] a great servant for Northampton,” said Councilman Tony Pristash.
“I knew him for a long time,” added Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst. “I found him a thorough person…a good Christian gentleman.”
Ackerman’s passing leaves vacancies on both the Zoning Hearing Board and the Civil Service.
- Northampton’s Public Works crew is patching potholes in the borough. Residents who notice unpatched potholes are asked to call the borough office.