Lehigh Valley

Easton buys a trolley for free downtown rides

City Hall construction contracts also awarded

EASTON, Pa. - City officials Tuesday night bought a used trolley and awarded major construction contracts for the new $32 million City Hall project.

The trolley, which is currently in San Antonio, Tex., cost $57,500.

The trolley will serve to shuttle visitors to parking lots during special events like Bacon Fest and will include a transportation hub on S. Third Street.

Trolley rides will be free but the city will spend about $25,000 a year to operate it during its projected 10-to-15 year life, said City Administrator Glenn Steckman.

Ads may be sold on the trolley to help offset expenses, and Mayor Sal Panto Jr. said if the service turns out not to be successful the trolley can always be sold.

Council member Elinor Warner said she was in favor of the idea but would have preferred there was an "actual management plan" on how it would work.

Steckman told council he would make "every effort to make it work."

The city is receiving a $40,000 grant for the trolley purchase, and it will cost about $5,000 to transport it the 1,800 miles from Texas to Easton.

Also, construction contracts were awarded to four Lehigh Valley companies: C.C. Construction Services of Bethlehem, H.T. Lyons for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, MBR for plumbing and West Side Hammer Electric for electrical.

Construction continues at the new city parking deck, which will be adjacent to the new city hall.

Construction on the parking deck should be completed by September when work will then begin on city hall. But the deck will not likely be open for parking until late March.

Council also passed a resolution honoring former city worker Anthony Castronova,  who died recently, after spending 34 years with the Public Works Department.

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