Friday, March 22, 2013
Officials praise $26 million office/transportation project on S. Third Street.
With the earth still frozen and site preparation delayed by 45 days, Friday's groundbreaking for Easton's new intermodal center—home to the next city hall —was largely symbolic. There were speeches, a lot of thank yous, and about 20 city and state officials lined up with shiny shovels, digging in pre-dug dirt. Still, those officials said the intermodal is an important symbol: of Easton's revitalization and of cooperation among government agencies and mayoral administrations. "It was a puzzle," City Councilman Ken Brown said of the project, which has existed in some form for 12 years. "And as each mayor left office, the next one had to pick it up and make sure the pieces fit." Now, with construction set to begin, Brown said those pieces not…
Monday, March 18, 2013
City plans to move government offices to new center about a block away.
Easton will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for its new city hall on Friday, the mayor's office said Monday. The groundbreaking—scheduled for 2 p.m.—comes about six weeks after Mayor Sal Panto first announced plans to move the city offices from the Alpha building to the intermodal center at 123 S. Third St. In addition to the city offices, the intermodal will include a LANTA bus terminal, commercial space and a new 375-space city parking deck. City officials say the move will help generate income for Easton through the sale of the Alpha building and from rents from the other intermodal space, and give the city goverment a more visible, centralized location. Critics of the project have said the city has moved too quickly, and that the …
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Should Easton be moving its city offices to a new building?
Last week, City Council voted to look for buyers for the Alpha Building, which has been home to Easton government for the last 17 years. The plan is for the city to move its offices to the new intermodal center farther south along Third Street. We've seen a mix of opinion on this move so far. When the idea was first proposed last month, reader Adam Fairchild said the move was that of a modern, competitive city. "Cities that do not spend money on their infrastructure, beautification and modernization will be left behind," he wrote. Commenter Ronnie DelBacco called the idea of a new city hall "a monument for Sal Panto," and said the city needed to be more thrifty. "Stay put and make due with where you are," he wrote. "My guess is that …
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Other big stories include a violent robbery in Wilson, and local reaction to the new pope.
Within three years, Easton's city goverment will have a new home. City Council voted Wednesday to look for buyers for the Alpha Building—its home since 1996—and move to the new $26 million intermodal center. For the past few years, budget season in the Easton Area School District has meant the threat of cuts to staff and programs. And that's the case again this year, where the district could trim 18 positions either through attrition or staff cuts. “It’s March on the calendar, but I’d say the theme of this is Groundhog Day," board member Robert Moskaitis said at Tuesday night's board meeting. Catholics around the globe watched Wednesday as Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the new pope. Among them was the Rev. Deogratias …
Monday, March 11, 2013
Mayor says he's confident council will vote Wednesday to move out of Alpha Building.
Easton City Council will likely vote Wednesday night to move the city's offices out of the Alpha Building and into the new intermodal center. That's according to Mayor Sal Panto, who told the city's Historic District Commission Monday he expected council to approve the move. "Council members, at least the ones I’ve talked to, are very supportive," Panto told the commission, which gave its approval to the latest designs for the intermodal project on South Third Street. When completed the $26 million intermodal will contain LANTA offices (plus an attached bus station), the National High School Sports Hall of Fame and another commercial tenant and—the mayor hopes—the new city hall. The city will also put in a parking deck that officials say …
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Other big stories include the intermodal unit, and Cheeburger coming to the Pomeroy.
On March 5, 2011, George Humbert, Jr. was found dead in his apartment on S. Sixth Street in Easton. His death—still unsolved—was ruled a homicide, although authorities have never said how Humbert, 54, was killed. Two years later, the case is being investigated both by Easton police and a Northampton County grand jury, District Attorney John Morganelli said Tuesday. The Center for Animal Health and Welfare has begun an Easton-wide trap-neuter-return program. The center has gotten a $97,000 grant from PetSmart which requires them to spay and neuter 1,400 cats in the next two years. So far, the center has one board member doing the job and needs help. So the center is looking for people around Easton to set humane traps to catch stray cats …
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Construction on building that could someday be Easton's city hall scheduled for later this month.
Thursday, March 7
Easton will break ground later this month on the building that could someday be its new city hall. Mayor Sal Panto announced Thursday that construction of the Easton intermodal unit will begin with a groundbreaking the third week of this month, with officials expecting the project to wrap up by 2015, according to the Express-Times. Panto has said he hopes to move the city's offices from the Alpha Building on S. Third Street to the intermodal -- a $26 million project that will include a three-story structure and a new city parking deck. The city is paying for the project with state and federal grant money, as well as a $10 million bond. In addition to city offices, the intermodal building would also house a LANTA bus terminal, the National…
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Administration wants to move city offices to intermodal building, but council has questions.
Earlier this week, Mayor Sal Panto announced a plan by his administration to move the city's offices to the planned intermodal building, and then sell the Alpha Building, which has been city headquarters since 1996. At the time, Panto said he would offer more details about the plan at Wednesday night's City Council meeting. And although the mayor did explain more about how the sale would work, council members say they need more time and information -- and want to hear more from residents -- before taking a vote next month. “To really make a good decision, we need a more detailed financial prop of what’s going to happen, including what revenue we lose, what revenue we gain, all of that," said Councilman Roger Ruggles. Councilman Michael …
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Mayor Sal Panto said the city should sell the Alpha building after moving into new intermodal center. What do you think?
If Easton is going to spend money on a new building, it might as well own that building. That's Mayor Sal Panto's argument for moving the city government offices out of the Alpha building on South Third Street and into the still-to-be-built intermodal building a block or so away. Of course, this isn't a done deal. The mayor will bring his plan before city council Wednesday night. And you'll have a chance to speak up then too. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. Until then, we'd like to hear what you think. Take our poll, and then use the comments section to explain why you think the city offices should/shouldn't move.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
School board set to vote on tax breaks to help develop six sites in the city.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Easton is once again looking to set up Keystone Opportunity Zones to boost economic development in the city. The KOZs are a state program that provides tax exemptions to people who develop abandoned or blighted properties. The city's list, presented Tuesday night to the board by Easton Mayor Sal Panto and Economic Development Director Gretchen Longenbach, includes a broad range of properties, from abandoned buildings to still-in-construction projects. Easton needs the school board's approval -- as well as that of Northampton County Council -- before it can present its plan to the state. The school board is expected to vote later this month, the Express-Times reports. The newspaper said the KOZ would go into effect in 2014 and last nine …