$700K approved for pool updating
City plans for a rebuilt Memorial Pool dominated the Bethlehem City Council meeting June 4. The pool is currently closed.
Public Works Director Michael Alkhal asked for an additional $700,000 for rebuilding the pool on Illick’s Mill Road near the ice rink. He said he envisions the result to be a “destination” pool.
According to Business Manager Eric Evans, the existing pool has several fatal flaws, which means extensive rebuilding is needed.
Councilman Bryan Callahan thought it important to “do it right; make it last another 60 years.”
Mayor Robert Donchez said, “To be open by summer 2020 is not a goal — we could open Labor Day. We have to do the job right.”
A first reading motion for an amendment to the stormwater management ordinance that would authorize the transfer of $700,000 as requested by Alkhal was approved and the final vote on the amendment will be at the next regular meeting, scheduled for June 18. The final vote on the amended ordinance will be in a future regular meeting.
Residents later shared their concerns.
Lynn Rothman, with Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Council, said she recommends measures to “reduce the carbon foot-print” for Bethlehem. Among her suggestions were proposals to install solar panels on roofs and to place solar panels over existing parking lots.
Ronald Williams wants the city to do a better job of pothole management. “Downtown streets are in excellent condition, while residents have deployable streets,” he said.
Bill Scheirer said it is “sad that Allentown has better streets than Bethlehem.”
Steven Antalics decried the “gross deterioration” of the South side, citing “trash on the sidewalks,” “boarded up buildings,” “backlots macadamized and without gardens,” and the conversion of single-family homes into student housing.
“Those houses can never to back to single family homes,” said Antalics.
In other business, Lea B. Grigsby was appointed to the Redevelopment Authority Board.