The possibility of a creating a regional health department is no longer a reality. Following the action of the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners to back out of the formation of a bi-county health department, by a vote of 8-1 Northampton County Council decided the economy would not support funding this new agency.
Councilman Lamont McClure was the single vote opposed to repealing the health department legislation at council's Aug. 16 meeting.
Almost half of Northampton County's 115 bridges have maintenance work that will need to be done to meet Penn DOT requirements.
The engineering firm of Bethlehem-based Borton Lawson highlighted the 53 county-owned bridges that need to be replaced, removed or rehabilitated for safety reasons at an Aug. 15 Northampton County Finance Committee meeting. The condition of the county's bridges receive between a C-minus to a B-plus grade as compared with the state's bridges, which rated a C when evaluated for safety.
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) concessions will save Gracedale Nursing Home money and reduce Northampton County's contribution to Gracedale's 2012 operating budget. Recently ratified by union members, the new four-year contract was approved by an 8-1 vote at Northampton County Council's Aug. 16 meeting.
With state budget cuts for the county's human services departments a reality, Northampton County Council unanimously supported applying for the commonwealth's Human Services Block Grant pilot program.
A new information sharing system and a records management system will be welcome for needed technology advancements for Northampton County's sheriff's department.
At Northampton County Council's Aug. 2 meeting, Sheriff Randall Miller received council's approval to purchase a county-wide COBRA information sharing system and a digital records management system.