Bethlehem Press

Friday, March 22, 2019

FOUNTAIN HILL Mayor Gifford hits ground running

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 by TRACY RICE Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

“There is lots to do with being mayor and if something needs to get done, I have to make it happen,” said new Mayor Carolee Gifford at the Feb. 5 borough council meeting. Gifford made her first official proclamation by designating April 2018 the Pa. 811 Safe Digging Month. It is the “Dial before you dig!” nonprofit for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

If you plan to disturb the earth with power equipment, you are required by Pennsylvania law to notify the underground utility companies of your intent to do so. “It is the one call system to prevent natural disaster within your community,” said Gifford.

The Fountain Hill Business Alliance has also been created and they held its first meeting last month. With at least a half dozen local Fountain Hill businesses in attendance, they were able to discuss ideas on how to start pulling the community together. First order of business was the creation of a Fountain Hill Borough Facebook page. Check it out at: They have come up with a possible Community Day in accordance with the opening of the pool. The details have yet to be decided, but “this is exciting with the interest and enthusiasm of the local businesses,” said Gifford. There was a strong interest in getting art out in Fountain Hill. Ellen Flynn, owner of The Art Establishment, has offered to chair the Art Council. The first meeting was scheduled for yesterday evening, and was expected to be a community-based venture. The next meeting of the Business Alliance of Fountain Hill will be on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at borough hall.

Flynn would like to get started on beautifying the borough. She would like to start with the hanging garbage cans on the poles spread out through the Borough. She will donate her own materials, just needs the hanging garbage cans to get started. Council voted and gave permission to proceed.

The swim season will be upon us before you know it. The YMCA has submitted their 2018 Pool Management agreement. There was some discussion as to the opening day and concerns over the concession stand. The Pool agreement was tabled until the next meeting. President Larry Rapp received a request from our new state representative, Jeanne McNeil, to utilize borough hall as a satellite office for one morning a month. This would be as a convenience for her constituents. Council voted quickly and approved this request.

The renovation on the Public Works building is moving along smoothly. “The inside is almost complete and the outside work has to wait until it warms up,” said Executive Administrator Anthony Branco. Council member Helen Halleman, said, “I am thoroughly pleased with the Public Works renovation to the old building.” There were also 2 recommendations to promote Ernest Liable and Michael Valdez to full time Public Works employees. They completed all testing and fulfilled the requirements. Council voted and approved their promotion.

The House and Ordinance Committee is currently working on the fire inspection code. They are looking to strengthen the code to require businesses to disclose what chemicals they have on the premises.

The Police Department has the Easter egg Hunt tentatively set for March 31. Keep watching the website for updates. Fountain Hill Little League will also hold signups Feb. 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Feb. 28 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Registration is located at the Fieldhouse on Stanley Avenue next to the pool behind the WAWA. Any questions you can call Mike Yurasek at 610-905-8840 or Bob Brandt at 610-216-9051 or email