Bethlehem City Council unanimously approved the transfer of a liquor license to McCarthy's Tea Room on Main Street at its Aug. 6 meeting.
The liquor license will allow the downtown business to stay open later hours and expanded seating, including rooftop seating has been planned.
Howard Lieberman of Business and Community Financing Solutions LLC. said business will now stay open until 11 p.m. on weeknights and longer on the weekends, but he was unsure of the exact time.
The Lehigh County Commissioners unanimously approved the collective bargaining agreement between Lehigh County and the Lehigh County Deputy Sheriffs Association at their July 24 meeting and the county will still be collecting the union's dues.
Bethlehem City Council unanimously voted July 16 in favor of the first reading of an ordinance that would require banks to register foreclosed homes in the city.
The registration fee would be $200 per property. Banks would be able to enter information about each property into a user-friendly database, which would be compiled by city contractors. The ordinance would make it easier for the city to know where to direct complaints about tall grass, dead animals and other problems associated with foreclosed homes.
A public hearing for an amendment to an ordinance protecting historic buildings from demolition not located in historic zones will be held Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. in City Hall.
The ordinance was passed in April, protecting buildings such Illick's Mill, Burnside Plantation and the main commons of Liberty HS.
After his neighbor's home was foreclosed last June, a representative from the bank gave Jim DeFranciso a card and told him to call if there were any problems.
"He did absolutely nothing," DeFranciso said.
And the Airipine Avenue home had no shortage of problems. During Hurricane Sandy, the aluminum siding fell off the house and scattered across the neighborhood. The grass is 41 inches high, there are dead animals in the backyard and mice having been getting into DeFranciso's home. And as of May 21, that bank no longer owns the home.
Bethlehem City Council voted 5-2 to approve a $3 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Grant for the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts (LVPA) at its June 18 meeting.
The grant was awarded by the state and city council did not have any input on how the grant should be awarded. Council's vote was only for the approval of the grant money.
The LVPA is building a new high school on the Southside of Bethlehem at East Third and Polk streets. The school's executive director, Diane LaBelle, said at 450 students, they have outgrown their current space.
The Lehigh County Commissioners had the first reading and discussion of a tax increment financing (TIF) plan for the proposed Hamilton Crossings shopping center at its May 8 meeting.
The proposed Hamilton Crossings shopping center is located along Krocks Road between Route 222 and Hamilton Boulevard in Lower Macungie. The shopping center would include a Target and a Costco.
Trash was once again a topic of conversation in city hall, but this time it had nothing to do with the single hauler plan. Resident Paulette Moll of 710 Second Ave. spoke to Bethlehem City Council at the May 7 meeting about a Dumpster being placed on her street.
Moll said a Dumpster was dropped off in front of 712 Second Ave. by the health department on April 15. Trash was then removed from the deck and backyard of the property.
"The Dumpster was full in about six hours," Moll said.
The six democratic candidates vying for seats on Bethlehem City Council squared off in a May 2 debate sponsored by the Bethlehem City Democratic Committee in Prosser Auditorium in the Haupert Union Building on Moravian College's campus.
Current council members Karen Dolan and Eric Evans were joined by Bryan Callahan, Steve Melnick, David Sanders and Adam Waldron in the debate moderated by former Bethlehem Mayor and Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham.
Callahan is the brother of outgoing Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan and a department chair at Freedom HS.
Bethlehem mayoral candidates J. William Reynolds and Robert Donchez debated each other in an April 30 forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Northampton County.
The debate was held in the ESSA Community Room at PBS 39 and was moderated by League of Women Voters of Northampton County President Joan Dean.
Donchez has been on Bethlehem City Council since 1996 and served as president of council for eight years. He is a former U.S. Government teacher at William Allen HS and currently serves as the chief of staff to Representative Daniel McNeill.