Northampton County's next elected county executive will not be seeing a pay raise. In spite of researched facts, Northampton County Council advocates for raising the executive's pay to $95,000 were defeated soundly by a 2-7 vote.
Discussion at council's Nov. 15 meeting ranged from the poor economy to the prospective candidates for the top job in the county. This is John Stoffa's last term as county executive. Executive's pay is currently at $84,700, so the proposed raise would be $10,300.
Finding abandoned or illegally parked cars on county property will carry stiffer fines. Northampton County Council unanimously approved increased fees for violations of the county's parking of vehicles' regulations at its Nov. 15 meeting. A traffic ticket will be issued with a fine of $50 for any vehicle parked in a handicapped spot and not displaying a current handicapped placard. If the ticket is paid after 14 business days, the fine increases to $70.
Tax incentive programs are useful financial tools to attract developers to build on underutilized properties. But the increased availability of these programs is making it more difficult to attract businesses to the South Bethlehem area.
A Lehigh Valley Convention/Expo Center is on its way to becoming a long-awaited reality.
Mike Stershic, director of Discover Lehigh Valley, answered Northampton County Council's questions on the $50,000 feasibility study for a convention center in Southside Bethlehem.
After one year as Gracedale's management company, Premier Healthcare Resources reports that progress is being made. Northampton County Councilman Bob Werner, who serves as a liaison to council on the new Gracedale Advisory Board, shared the good news with council that Gracedale is currently at 90 percent of its 650-bed goal. There were 63 new admissions and a 30 percent increase in referrals at the county-owned nursing home, according to Premier's progress update at a Nov. 8 GAB meeting.
The contract for non-emergency medical transportation at Gracedale is going back to the evaluation committee.
Northampton County Council discovered at its Oct. 18 meeting that while it can reject the Request for Proposal (RFP) committee's recommendation it does not have the power to select the transport service.
Nazareth Ambulance Corps (NAC), the current transport service provider, will extend its contract another 30 days to allow for the committee to re-examine the contract bids in light of council's rejection of its choice. NAC's contract was set to expire Oct. 31.
ArtsQuest's SteelStacks and PNC Pavilion buildings are property tax exempt. Northampton County officials have revealed the conclusions of an independent financial review that determined ArtsQuest meets all the criteria for a nonprofit organization and, therefore, is entitled to a real estate tax exemption.
David Backenstoe, the county's first assistant solicitor, said at an Oct. 19 press conference that he is satisfied with ParenteBeard's $14,000 investigation to review Arts Quest's nonprofit status.
Nazareth Ambulance Corps (NAC) will most likely continue to provide service to Gracedale, the county-owned nursing home.
Despite recommendations from Gracedale's administration for LifeStar Response, a large 75-vehicle fleet with offices in Bethlehem, Northampton County Council at its Oct. 4 meeting opposed hiring LifeStar for Gracedale's non-emergency medical transport of residents.
By a 7-2 vote, a new resolution introduced by Councilman Tom Dietrich approved retaining the Nazareth transport service. NAC's contract is set to expire Oct. 31.
Backed by a strong presence from Nazareth Ambulance Corps (NAC) employees, a paramedic's well-delivered speech convinced Northampton County Council to delay its decision to award a contract for Gracedale residents to LifeStar Response, a non-emergency medical transport service.
The Northampton County Prison and Courthouse will reap the benefits of energy-saving improvements and the county will see a $200,000 reduction in these expenses, according to County Executive John Stoffa.
As the Stoffa administration prepares its 2013 budget for Northampton County Council's approval, Stoffa reported that the county's $6 million Guaranteed Energy Savings Agreement (GESA) with the McClure Company, a Harrisburg-based company which is a subsidiary of PPL, is 99 percent completed.