After expressing concerns about purchasing a new ladder truck for the Northampton Borough Fire Department, Northampton Borough Council has engaged in discussions with the fire department to see whether a purchase is possible within the next few years.

In September, council tabled a decision to approve the purchase of a new Pierce aerial ladder truck for $1.4 million. The 15-year loan would cost the borough nearly $80,000 per year. Councilmembers said other borough expenses took precedence, and they were worried about what they called a lack of reporting.

On Wednesday, Oct. 1, the borough’s fire committee met with Chief Keith Knoblach to discuss finances.

“We walked away with a positive attitude and a can-do spirit,” said Councilwoman Judy Kutzler on Thursday, Oct. 3 during council’s workshop meeting.

Kutzler also apologized to Knoblach after reviewing the fire department’s annual report.

“They have a wonderful report,” she said.

She said the report indicates that nearby municipalities “will be there for us during this downtime” without a ladder truck.

If the fire truck is purchased now, the borough would not get it until 2021.

With no promises made to purchase a new ladder truck, council did promise to continue to look at financing.

In other news, a report on rental inspections was given during the borough’s workshop meeting. In September, 159 inspections were conducted by zoning officer Keith Knoblach. Eighty-four licenses were issued.

Knoblach said that a number of properties are in review status. He indicated that most of the issues found are issues like missing fire detectors or missing C02 detectors.

“Some of the landlords just need to know what we are looking for,” Knoblach said, “[Then] they make updates to their other properties.”

Finally, Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst is working on scheduling a meeting with surrounding municipalities and FedEx representatives to discuss truck traffic concerns. Brobst said the meeting should be held sometime within the next month.


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