MOUNT CARMEL TOWNSHIP — H&P Construction plans to build a new facility at the former location of King Coal Tours, but not before a vein of coal is removed from the property.
Michael Habowski, owner and operator of the firm, said workers preparing the land struck the Holmes vein, which runs through the property along Route 61, just west of Strong, and the coal will be removed before construction commences.
“It doesn’t have to be removed, but it’s better practice to get rid of the material and fill in any voids,” he said Friday. “It’s hard to say how much is there.”
Habowski believes the area was deep mined, but never strip mined because the property had once been owned by Susquehanna Coal Co., which placed tracks through the property to serve a trolley station and barn.
The station and barn were eventually converted to the offices and garage for the bus company, which closed in January 2016, about two months after president Robert E. Else III admitted before a federal judge to defrauding the public of 400,000 to $500,000 by overbilling LATS from 2006 to 2012.
Habowski said the buildings will be renovated as part of the project to re-locate his construction business from 456 Oak St. in Kulpmont. The site was purchased in December and includes approximately 5 1/2 acres.
“The site is larger. There is not enough room at the existing site,” he said, adding that the business will still have a Kulpmont address.
A timeline for completion of coal removal and renovation of the buildings has not been set.
Ed Amarose, Mount Carmel Township zoning administrator, said a permit through the township is not needed for the excavation of coal.
H&P Construction, which formed in 2006 and specializes in commercial and residential construction, has completed projects throughout the Northeast and as far south as Virginia.