Bethlehem Township Commissioners have awarded $1.8 million in contracts to renovate the township’s 11-year old community center. They did so with little discussion at their April 3 meeting.
Last July, Entech Engineering’s Ryan Kennedy reported that gutters were improperly sloped on the metal roof over the facility’s natatorium, leading to pockets of standing water that seep into the building. He identified about $2.5 million in repairs for a 50,000 square-foot building that cost $10.3 million to build and is shackled by a mortgage requiring a $725,000 annual payment.
You won’t see the Green Menace in the next round of superhero movies making their way through the theaters. You may not see it at all. But it’s here. And it’s a killer.
Despite less than a day’s notice, over 400 people braved a downpour and crammed into Hanover Township Community Center March 31 for a town hall with Congressman Charlie Dent (R-15th). The crowd was so huge for the hastily arranged meeting that parking had to be diverted to a nearby church.
At an inviting annual salary of $89,438, a vacant magisterial district judgeship is certain to attract a lot of attention. This leads to numerous candidates and sometimes, things get heated.
Candidates from both major parties filed nomination petitions last week for the municipal primary May 16. There are several hot magisterial district judge races. The Saucon Valley School Board race should be contentious, too. But it looks like it will be a quiet primary.
When John Morganelli was first elected district attorney, he had a staff 13 part-time assistants. Though those attorneys are now senior prosecutors who can be counted on to try the most difficult cases, Morganelli has gradually replaced departing part timers with career prosecutors. On March 16, he asked county council to approve the elimination of two vacant part-time assistant DA positions so he could create two full-time positions for experienced prosecutors who will be paid a salary of $59,084 each. He said he could find the money for this within the approved budget for his office.
That’s an ecclesiastical matter in which courts refuse to involve themselves. But oftentimes, there are property questions. Who owns the real estate on which First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem stands? Questions like that are decided by a judge.
That’s a question currently before President Judge Stephen Baratta. He has already had to play Solomon once and direct the two denominations on when they could hold their Sunday services. He’s urged them to work together and has given both factions reason to believe each could lose. But they remain at odds.
After hearing Hanover Township resident Lorna Rossnagle complain about “extremely disruptive” truck traffic along Jaindl Boulevard, Hanover Township Supervisors on Feb. 28 heard that developer J.G. Petrucci is planning to build two more big boxes along the same road. Kevin Horvath, P.E., representing Petrucci, presented plans for what Petrucci prefers to call two flex warehouses (99,000 square feet and 94,300 square feet). Horvath said they would be 70 percent warehouse and 30 percent light industrial.
Controversial plans for a senior retirement community at Green Pond will be decided by an independent hearing officer from outside the Lehigh Valley. Attorney David Brooman, from Norristown, was the unanimous choice of Bethlehem Township’s board of commissioners at its March 6 meeting. He has three decades of experience in municipal law, land use planning and environmental law.
Broughal was supposed to decide that motion on March 1, when the hearing was scheduled to resume. But that never happened. Broughal told commissioners that his decision, whatever it is, would be the basis of an appeal. He also predicted that other disqualification motions would soon follow, aimed at others.