Bethlehem Press

Friday, December 14, 2018
Lehigh County Executive Phil Armstrong introduces himself to Fountain Hill Council. Lehigh County Executive Phil Armstrong introduces himself to Fountain Hill Council.
PRESS PHOTO BY TRACY RICEThe newly renovated Fountain Hill Public Works building, located on North Clewell Street. PRESS PHOTO BY TRACY RICEThe newly renovated Fountain Hill Public Works building, located on North Clewell Street.
Fountain Hill Council listens intently to Jason Smith’s presentation of the changes for the MS4 project. Fountain Hill Council listens intently to Jason Smith’s presentation of the changes for the MS4 project.
Jason Smith, of Hanover Engineering, giving Fountain Hill Council an update on the MS4 project. Jason Smith, of Hanover Engineering, giving Fountain Hill Council an update on the MS4 project.

FOUNTAIN HILL Roadway construction and parking woes continue

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 by Tracy Rice Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

April was a busy month for Fountain Hill Borough Council. At the April 3 meeting, council received an update on the MS4 project from Jason Smith, of Hanover Engineering. Hanover had submitted the suggested proposal to the DEP and received the comments back. There were approximately five comments to address from the DEP.

Some issues to address are portions of the borough that were not previously covered by the storm water drain-off, the border along South Bethlehem and land use data (Park Land) that was changed from residential to park. “St. Luke’s Hospital has been very helpful and gave us the plans for the land and has offered parking lots to add more storm water drainage,” said Smith. The MS4 project is not an easy project, but it is something that must be done, and unfortunately will cost the borough a lot of funds that were unplanned.

Executive Administrator Anthony Branco has been working diligently to apply for whatever grant money is out there to help offset the cost of the project. Council is currently working on implementing a fee schedule for every property owner, but nothing has been finalized yet. Branco was approved by council to apply for the 2018 Community Development Block Grant for Lehigh County for funding for the reconstruction of curbs and gutters on Broadway within the low/moderate income areas of Broadway.

Ordinance 840 is amending the Code of Ordinances for the enforcement of “Quality of Life” violations. The Borough Code official now has authority to issue a violation ticket for infractions within this code, including providing for collection of unpaid fines and costs, including the liening of properties. All codes and ordinances are available to view at the borough office.

The public works building is nearly complete. All that remains is to pave and finish the outbuilding. This was a longtime project that will finally give the Public Works Department an updated and safe working environment.

During the April 18 meeting, Lehigh County Executive Phil Armstrong made an appearance. He is traveling to all the local council meetings to see what goes on. He is well aware of the roadway situation in Fountain Hill. He has a different perspective on the long term problem with Broadway and other roads. He said, “We should be managing roadways instead of always fixing them.”

Road construction is an ongoing issue in the Lehigh Valley and is not going away anytime soon. Concerned Fountain Hill resident Patrick Figueroa said, “There is a major parking issue in Fountain Hill. I have had over $4,000 worth of damage done to my car in the two years since moving back here.” Part of the problem is that people are trying to utilize every possible inch of parking and they are parking too close at the end of a street where it meets the alley.

Police Chief Ed Bachert said, “The yellow paint needs to be redone on the curbs and we will continue to ticket cars parked illegally.” He has an idea to help alleviate the influx of cars on the streets. He took an informal neighborhood poll and suggested charging for a parking permit for residences. There are a lot of details that would need to be worked out, therefore, Council President Larry Rapp is sending the issue to the House and Ordinance Committee to discuss.

Stay tuned for more information regarding Fountain Hill Community Day, which will take place June 9 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Borough Park. Check for updates on the Fountain Hill Community Day Facebook page, as well as the Fountain Hill Borough Facebook page and website: fountainhill.org.