Seeking home for howitzer
One of the matters discussed at the Sept. 19 Northampton Borough Council meeting was the future of the U.S. Army howitzer gunnery weapon located at the former Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4714 building, 1204 Main St.
Abra Development, Whitehall, acquired the building in July for $185,000, according to records in the Northampton County Recorder of Deeds office.
Earlier talks indicated the VFW would use a portion of the building for equipment storage and meetings. This was conditional on the new owner getting a variance to add new businesses in the building, including a pierogie-making operation. The zoning hearing board’s tie vote in June resulted in the denial of the variance.
Despite not being approved for the variance, Abra still bought the building. The VFW will move out of the building and is looking for a new space to hold meetings and store ceremonial rifles and other equipment.
A new home also needs to be found for the Army howitzer located on the site.
At the Sept. 19 meeting, Mayor Thomas Reenock, a U.S. Army veteran, suggested moving the howitzer to the veterans plaza on Washington Avenue. The memorial site underwent an extensive upgrade with memorial remembrances dedicated to individual veterans by family members. It was also noted the VFW played a major role in the improvements at the memorial.
The VFW has been invited to house its operations at the Col. John Siegfried homestead, 21st and Canal streets. 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.
The matter is still before borough council.