Northampton Press

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

VFW finds potential new home

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

Borough council tables hearing fee relief request

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4714, Northampton, has been invited to house its operations at the Col. John Siegfried homestead, 21st and Canal streets.

The post has been searching for a new home since July when Abra Development, Whitehall, bought the original building at 1204 Main St. Opportunity Behavioral Health, which purchased the Siegfried homestead earlier in the year, has offered space in the building for the VFW to store equipment and hold meetings.

For the VFW to utilize the space, however, a zoning hearing must be held to accommodate the change of use. There is a $500 fee for such a hearing. Robert Carvajal, owner and program director of the Reading-based Opportunity Behavioral Health, requested relief from the fee. He noted his business is a not-for-profit enterprise and the VFW is a nonprofit group.

When the matter was to be discussed and a vote taken during the Sept. 5 meeting of Northampton Borough Council, Councilman Robert McHale requested an executive session be held regarding the issue.

Returning to chambers, council members decided to not bring Carvajal’s request to a vote. The matter was tabled indefinitely, according to borough Solicitor Steven Goudsouzian.

Opportunity Behavioral Health, whose clients are primarily seniors and those with multiple disorders, only uses the site for offices. There are no clients on the property. According to Carvajal, there are only a handful of employees and the program developer on site.

“I want to be part of the community,” Carvajal said earlier in the year, mentioning he is impressed with the borough and the people.