Burger King looks to build new restaurant, same location

FLEMINGTON — Burger King on High Street may be torn down and rebuilt sometime soon.

The fast-food chain approached the Flemington Planning Commission with plans to demolish the decades-old restaurant and replace it. The new building will take up just about the same footprint, Mayor Gary L. Durkin reported at Borough Council’s meeting Thursday evening.

He was one of three planning commission members to meet with a Burger King representative from Ohio recently to discuss the project.

The project also will give drivers the option to turn back into the parking lot after going through the drive-through, he said.

Both the local and the county planning commissions approved the project, he said.

No start date for the project was given, but it should take only a few months from demolition to construction.

The Flemington Planning Commission is made up of five members, and three make a quorum. However, Councilman Wayne Allison said, sometimes it is hard to get even that many members together. The borough will look into whether it is legal to appoint an alternate member, in an attempt to fix this problem.

Also Thursday, Borough Council voted to change its flood plain management ordinance, giving residents more leeway on what can and cannot be done in the flood plain.

The borough passed the original ordinance last summer, as did the City of Lock Haven and other local municipalities, Councilman David E. Grimm said. The move was made in a relative hurry, to meet a deadline.

Council chose the most restrictive version of the ordinance but pledged to review it, and it has kept that promise.

The lessening of restrictions now means that fill soil may be placed in certain situations, manufactured homes may be placed in the flood plain, and a percentage of a property may be rebuilt if it is destroyed by fire, Grimm said.

However, the local ordinance cannot over-ride any Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations, he said.

With Goodwill Ambulance Association building its own garage and planning to move out of the Goodwill Hose Co. fire hall, the fire company is taking a look at its own building. One of the areas under consideration is door security, and a key-fob system is being considered. The fire company also is looking at more energy-efficient lighting.

The borough uses the fire hall for its office and meeting space and would pay for at least some of the changes. The Joint Building Committee discussed what percentage the borough would be responsible for, with the proposal of paying half the cost on the table.

Council, however, was not in agreement about that figure.

Currently the power bill is split three ways, with the ambulance association paying 45 percent, the borough 30 percent, and the fire company 25 percent. And in the past, the three entities split the costs of building repairs three ways as well. This will change now that the ambulance association is moving and taking itself out of the equation.

Council decided that its Building and Property Committee, made up of council members Jo LaRoque, Stephen W. Hoy, and Gary Mellott who chairs it, should look at the fire company’s plans, then recommend what the borough should be responsible for.

The recommendation would then go to the Joint Building Committee. Allison, Hoy and Traci A. Kuntz represent the borough on that committee, with Kuntz chairing the committee.

Hoy said the Joint Building Committee also should establish guidelines of who pays for what in the future.

At Grove Community Park, the pad for the new restroom is under construction, Allison reported. Four charcoal grills also have been installed, crew foreman Bill Brungard added.

The Summer Recreation Program this year will be a half-day program, and people interested in being the playground supervisor are encouraged to apply to Jack Bailey, program director.

Council allotted up to $200 for flowers in the park this year. “We have the nicest flowers of any park in the county,” Allison said.

In 2016, the Hi Neighbor Committee, which builds community spirit, bought and planted the flowers. The committee has not decided yet whether it will do the same this year, council heard.

PennDOT has targeted seven trees that hang low over the roadway and plans to hire a contractor to remove the trees completely, Brungard reported. The property owners involved seem happy to be rid of the trees, he said. The trees include ones at Gallagher Carpet One Floor & Home, the dance studio, and the cemetery, he said.