Bethlehem Press

Friday, December 14, 2018

DEP-directed cleanup may cost residents

Monday, September 25, 2017 by TRACY RICE Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Fountain Hill recently received $106,084.00 from the Sands Casino grant, which it will use to purchase a new police patrol vehicle, provide training for officers and purchase four in-car cameras. The fire department will be purchasing new breathing apparatus, face masks and turn out gear. The remaining balance will be used at the discretion of each department to purchase what they need for each department.

The update on the Department of Evironmental Protection storm water cleanup was not looking good for the borough. The cost of having the plan drawn up is $11,044. Executive Administrator Tony Branco said a tax increase for 2018 was almost inevitable. There were moans and groans all around. Branco said the other option would be to charge everyone, even nonprofits, a fee. For example, Allentown is charging their residents $20 for every 500 square-feet of impervious coverage. In Fountain Hill this could cost approximately $40, depending on the size of the lot. Nothing has been decided yet, but the borough needs to have a plan in place for when the time comes. Measures are being taken to address the fact that Fountain Hill is a small borough and to impose these large fees is harsh. Council member Carolee Gifford said, “we need to stand up and say, “no” and make some noise.” Branco said he has several letters drafted and ready for signature to send to the congress and state representatives to let them know they want to challenge the DEP ruling. “The way to approach this is methodically and address the counter measures in a logical manner,” said Gifford. Not all members were in agreement with her. Helen Halleman said she would oppose any tax increase or fee to the residents. Halleman says it is just the governments way to get more money out of us. Vice President Normam Blatt said he would like to consult with solicitor Peter Lehr to see what their next steps might be.

Blatt is requesting, on behalf of The American Legion of Fountain Hill, permission from council to put a monument in remembrance of veteran’s past, present and future of Fountain Hill in the Jeter Triangle. No opposition was given, all agreed it was a nice gesture and will add a nice touch to the triangle. The next Fountain Hill cleanup will be on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 9 a.m. If anyone is interested in helping they can meet at borough hall.