According to Francis Dougherty, Pawlowski's managing director, the sale of the fire training facility at Queen City Airport "demonstrates to all the rest of the country that Allentown is open for business." I believe that in many ways it demonstrates that Allentown is for sale. The Administration has insinuated that if the Lehigh Valley Hospital couldn't buy that land for expansion, they might well move their lab, costing Allentown many jobs. They now imply that the sale will create more jobs. In reality, it was never said that the parcel was wanted for anything but additional parking. Queen City contains acres of paved area which could have been rented for parking. Dougherty also said that the fire training facility will be moved to the police academy in Lehigh Parkway, creating a "center of public safety training excellence." When I first starting posting about this sale last year, I wrote that we are headed toward such a facility. Consequently, we will create a Public Safety Director, and support staff. How ironic that the Fire Chief has such sugar plums in his head, while construction still hasn't started on the East Side Fire Station. The future Public Safety Center will further infringe upon the public's park land in Lehigh Parkway. With Dougherty calling City Council's approval "a partnership to bring sustaining jobs to the community", don't be surprised in the future to see more parcels shaved off Queen City and Lehigh Parkway.
*The provided link goes to the Morning Call Blog 610. There was also an article in Saturday's hard copy Morning Call, however, I'm unable to locate the story on mcall and provide that link. Both those articles were written by Emily Opilo.
Below is a reprint from my post of July 2012, entitled The Fire Tower Caper
The above is my post from July 2012, entitled The Fire Tower Caper. Allentown City Council approved the sale this past Wednesday, June 19th, 2013.