CADCB briefs task force on projects
Community Action Development Corp. of Bethlehem (CADCB) Director Anna Smith updated the Mayor’s South Side Task Force members Oct. 30 on projects they are involved in for South Bethlehem. Smith explained during her presentation that CADCB operates under the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, a federally-funded anti-poverty organization. Their mission, she said, is to improve the quality of life in south Bethlehem by fostering economic opportunity, promoting community development, and empowering residents.
Their Start your Own Business program teaches local entrepreneurs business basics, marketing, small business finance, and sales. CADCB also provides one-on-one technical assistance to small businesses.
Smith said their Southside Vision 2020 goals, in partnership with the city, include promoting economic viability and sustainability, affordable housing, utilization of public spaces, safety and wellbeing, as well as community engagement and communication.
They are currently overseeing façade renovation projects for houses on Hayes, Fillmore and Fourth streets. Smith played a testimonial video of Hayes Street resident Jody Peterson describing how the projects have improved her neighborhood.
The CADCB development committee is working on new lighting for south Bethlehem and outdoor and wellness programs, according to Smith.
She went on to say they are making progress with the SouthSide Proud campaign.
Smith highlighted the organization’s latest success story, a woman-owned tire and auto services business that started with an idea, then became reality as M&N Tire & Auto Services.
Seventy-five-year-old SSTF Chairman Roger Hudak had decided to retire from the chairmanship, but he said that after meeting with Mayor Donchez and seeing what the administration has planned for the city, he was persuaded to remain for another three years.
Adam Finke, Evan Mehok, Emma Tao and Hanna Yahraus, all students from Lehigh University, spoke about their involvement in “Southside Storygarden,” the university’s Capstone project for Lehigh’s Global Citizenship Program. According to Mehok, the project goal is to promote storytelling through public spaces within the Bethlehem and Lehigh communities. He explained their vision is to beautify the Greenway by installing physical displays that relate to stories they have collected from area residents.
The young scholars also brought up their frustration with an email recently sent out from the university regarding the demolition of the Trembly Park apartment complex. This would eliminate on-campus student housing for the 2019-20 academic year for upper-classmen.
Janine Santoro from the Bethlehem Area Public Library, described several programs available at the Southside branch. One of the ongoing programs is homework help, with Lehigh students volunteering assistance.
City Planning Director Darlene Heller mentioned that proposed designs for the New Street project will be forthcoming at a public meeting in the near future.
“We’re okay so far,” said Associate Dean of Community Education Gail Mrowinski when asked about the parking situation for NCC students at their Southside campus.
The Mayor’s South Side Task Force meets regularly on the last Tuesday of the month at Northampton Community College’s East Third Street campus.