Bethlehem Press

Friday, December 14, 2018

Sewer, garbage fees remain unchanged for 2018

Thursday, October 19, 2017 by Tracy Rice Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

The 2018 budget was discussed at Fountain Hill Council’s Oct. 18 meeting. Bethany Sebesta, assistant to the executive administrator, gave the presentation.

She was able to confirm that there will be no increase to the sewer and garbage fees for the 2018 year, which is something residents of Fountain Hill can be happy about.

“These are only the preliminary numbers and are not final,” Sebesta warned.

Borough officials are still waiting for some financial numbers to come in and some figures may change before the budget is finalized. More budget discussion is planned for the next council meeting.

Anne Marie Jordan, council member, had an update on the state mandated program for storm water abatement.

The Pa. Department of Environmental Protection notified the borough earlier this year that a federal mandate requires the reduction of pollution in the Lehigh River and the borough will have to pay for it.

In order to accomplish this, the borough will need to create some new water basins to handle storm water runoff within the borough. Fountain Hill has five years to implement the project. Council member Carolee Gifford said in a previous meeting that she did not want to undertake this without contacting the state representatives to voice their concern over having to foot the bill for this project which was done.

The borough did not receive any letters back from Congressman Charlie Dent’s or U.S. Senator Robert Casey’s office. They did receive a letter from U.S. Senator Pat Toomey’s office: “We are well aware of the situation and will continue to monitor it.”

Council has already approved the creation of an advisory board to implement a fee schedule in order to help pay the $462,000 that it will cost to help reduce the pollution of sediments to the Lehigh River over a five-year time span. There has been much discussion over this matter and it is not a matter of what if, it is a matter of what can we do and how do we it.

Carolee Gifford, recreational committee chair, announced the next borough cleanup on Nov. 4 at 9 a.m. starting at Borough Hall.

The next meeting is Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.