It won’t be long before the Palmerton Police Station has adequate space to temporarily house prisoners.
The borough council, in a 6-0 vote Thursday, agreed to purchase a holding cell for $17,149 from Josh Reichard’s Home Improvements.
Councilor Cory Kepner said the borough received three quotes.
Council President Terry Costenbader asked where the money would come from.
Borough Director Donna McGarry said some of the money will come from the borough’s bailout fund, while the rest is likely to come from the general budget.
Councilman Kris Hoffner said he believes the holding cell is a top priority for the police department.
Last month, the council discussed the possibility of moving its police department to the site of the former Palmerton Hospital.
Kepner said at that time that the borough had contracted with an architect, but none of the projects had been completed.
He said they were looking at long-term plans for the police department and whether he could stay at his site inside the Municipal Services Building at 401 Delaware Ave.
Kepner then suggested the council contact St. Luke’s about the old Palmerton Hospital to see if they would be willing to sell the property to the borough.
McGarry said at that time the borough was looking for contractors to give it estimates for work at the current police station.
Borough Police Chief Tim Kromer spoke of a recent incident in which a man in police custody, who has since died, became unrestrained and spat at one of the police officers. district and damaged a police vehicle.
Costenbader then expressed concerns about the possibility of a new building on the old hospital site, as it is located in a residential section, as well as access to Delaware Avenue.
Kepner said the key is trying to find adequate space, and added that he thinks a new installation would be the easiest and most streamlined approach to take.
Councilman Michael Ballard said at the time that many years ago the building directly across from the current Municipal Services Building, formerly the New Jersey Zinc Company’s research laboratory, was converted into a SS Palmer Elementary School.
Kepner said they would be looking for community feedback.
It was announced at the January council meeting that the police department needed a major overhaul.
Mayor Don Herrmann and Kepner toured the department and outlined building code violations that required immediate action.
Cleanup work began inside the police department shortly after the January board meeting.