Lehigh Valley

Easton City Council tables action on Billy's Diner lease agreement

EASTON, Pa. - Easton City Council Wednesday night tabled action on a lease agreement with Billy’s Downtown Diner; the business is planned for the ground floor of the new city hall on Fourth Street.

Solicitor William Murphy recommended the delay until the city receives the final plan from Alloy5 architects of Bethlehem regarding the final square footage of the eatery. Originally at 2,000 square feet, the plans now show the diner to occupy 2,115-square-feet.

As part of the 29-year lease, Billy’s will pay the city about $40,600 annually in rent, which will be used to compensate the city for its work on the heating, ventilation and plumbing systems; the cost of the work is expected to be about $360,000.

Billy Kounoupis, who owns diners in Allentown and Bethlehem, thanked council for supporting his new location in Easton and said he was pleasantly surprised to learn about the additional space. When he asked council if the agreement is close, Mayor Sal Panto said, “We’re 99.8 percent there.”

Council is expected to vote on the lease agreement at its June 14 meeting.

In other business, council approved a resolution honoring Joseph Arredondo as police officer of the year -- an annual award given by the Kiwanis Club of Easton and the police department since 1981.

“He has a knack for identifying criminal activity,” said Easton Police Chief Carl Scalzo, who accepted council’s thanks on behalf of Arredondo.

Arredondo joined Easton Police in 2007 and has served in the patrol division and problem oriented policing unit. Last year he made 71 criminal arrests, 11 warrant arrests and responded to 465 calls for service.


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