Northampton County's Citizens' Academy is accepting applications. Northampton County Executive John Stoffa said the second annual behind-the-scenes look at county government will be held Sept. 4 to Nov. 14.
Information and a registration form for this tuition free, 11-session course are available at the county's website, www.northamptoncounty.org or by calling or emailing Tom Harp, director of administration, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-559-3192. Registration deadline is Aug. 16; the academy class is limited to 25 participants.
Gracedale's chief administrator confirmed for Northampton County Council that the county-owned nursing home has exceeded its six-month spending plan by 1 percent.
However, Gracedale Administrator Millard D. Freeman told council members at their Aug. 1 meeting "it is too early to predict if [the nursing home] would be overbudget for 2013."
Savings from policy changes and Medicaid reimbursements have not yet been entered on the nursing home's balance sheets for the year.
A Northampton County Council resolution opposing the removal of two Easton dams to restore shad migration met with resistance from seven of the eight members attending council's July 18 meeting.
Introduced by Councilman Bob Werner, the resolution listed a multitude of reasons for keeping the dams in place. Two major reasons involved cost of the project and rationale for the removal.
Dating back to the 1800's, the dams are located at the juncture of the Lehigh and Delaware rivers in Easton and the Chain Dam near Easton's Hugh Moore Park.
Northampton County's stable credit rating and patience played key roles in borrowing money to refinance old bonds and make important capital improvements.
By a 5-3 vote, North-ampton County Council changed the way professional-services vendors are selected.
The July 18 amended ordinance prevents the county executive from using a competitive sealed bid process as an alternative if county council has previously voted down a vendor selected using the request for proposal method.
Northampton County Council will wait for a more favorable bond market before taking action on a bond refinancing plan.
Heeding the advice of the county's financial advisor, council members at their July 2 meeting agreed it was best to delay a plan to refinance the county's 2006 debt and add $11.4 million for bridge repairs and Gracedale improvements.
Northampton County Council's approval of an $11.4 million bond sets the county on the road to much-needed bridge repairs and Gracedale improvements.
Council's June 20 unanimous approval of a 2013 bond will officially take place with a July 2 Internet auction which will set the terms of the borrowing and interest rates.
With interest rates so low, council will also take advantage of cost savings by refinancing the 2006 debt and adding millions of dollars for 18 Priority 1 bridges which PennDOT has evaluated as unsafe and needed to be repaired in a three-year time period.
Two Northampton County Open Space projects received unanimous approval for funding.
At Northampton County Council's June 6 meeting, council authorized a $58,800 grant to remove the Johnston Park Dam in Bethlehem's Historic Colonial Industrial Quarter, along the Monocacy Creek and $119,789 to rehabilitate the Creek at Illick's Mill Park.
The dam removal grant is also funded by a matching $58,800 DCNR grant and $33,500 from the City of Bethlehem.
Northampton County Council plans to make every effort to keep Braden Airpark in Forks Township operating as an airport.
At their June 6 council meeting, many council members spoke out against the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority's plans to sell the airport to raise revenue and pay off the Airpark's and the authority's debt.
Northampton County Council approved changes to its hotel room rental tax collection policy in an effort to be more competitive and to simplify the process.
Lori Sywensky, the county's community development coordinator, told council at its May 2 meeting that two major updates to the county's hotel room rental tax rules and regulations would simplify how the 4 percent tax was collected from the county's 43 establishments. Sywensky added that the changes would make the county more competitive with Lehigh County.