Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

LEHIGH COUNTY: Tax rate decrease approved

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

In a party-line 6–3 vote Lehigh County Commissioners overturned the administration’s Oct. 31 veto of the Lehigh County 2019 budget Nov. 14. Democrats Dan Hartzell, Amy Zanelli and Geoff Brace voted against the amendment, which reduces the tax rate for Lehigh County citizens for 2019.

The action effectively put to rest the disagreement about what the millage rate will be for 2019. The commissioners approved a 3.64 millage rate marked down from 3.79 mils that County Executive Phillips Armstrong had wanted.

Exec vetoes budget amendments

Thursday, November 15, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Making good on a promise, Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong vetoed the budget for 2019 Oct. 31 because an amendment passed by County Commissioners rolled back the millage rate from the proposed 3.79 mils to 3.64 mils.

He made the announcement in a special news conference at the Lehigh Administration building attended by the press, members of the Armstrong administration, a couple of aspiring commissioners and one Lehigh County Commissioner, Democrat Amy Zanelli.

He warned against letting the Commissioner’s amended budget harm the County’s bond rating.

Article By: Douglas Graves

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

………………………….Side bar………………

Comparison of selected results of the two proposed millage rates in the proposed 2019 budget. (3.64 mils vs. 3.79 mils).

@ 3.64 [Millage rate proposed by the Board of Commissioners] @ 3.79 [Millage rate proposed by County Executive Phillips Armstrong]

Taxes $107,958,523 $112,407,363

Total Expenditures $122,579,495 $122,579,495

Beginning Stabilization Fund Balance $30,000,000 $30,000,000

Ending Stabilization Fund Balance $21,661,546 $26,110,386

Source: Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong’s published documents

GOP commissioners force tax cut

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Republican County Commissioners banded together to force a tax cut that Democratic Lehigh County Commissioners and the Lehigh County Executive did not want and warned against. The vote will keep real estate taxes at last year’s millage rate of 3.64, opposing the administration’s plan to raise the rate to 3.79 mills.

“It will be vetoed…as soon as it gets to my desk,” said County Executive Phillips Armstrong in a post-meeting interview last week.

However, the vote seems to be veto-proof, since Republicans control the board of commissioners.

FACES OF LITERACY Gala offers success stories

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

“This evening represents what America has always stood for,” said Dr. Nichola Gutgold as she opened the Faces of Literacy at Muhlenberg College program. “A nation built on the strength of immigrants, slaves, seekers, adventurers, hard workers and those willing to do what needs to be done to support their families, get ahead and to realize the American dream. Tonight, we will eat, drink and also take in the remarkable stories of three Literacy Center alumni and we celebrate Allentown as a place that welcomes and supports everyone! Isn’t that a great way to spend an evening?”

Executive Armstrong vetoes budget amendments

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Making good on a promise, Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong on Wed. vetoed the budget for 2019 because an amendment passed by County Commissioners rolled back the millage rate from the proposed 3.79 mils to 3.64 mils.

He made the announcement Wed. in a special news conference at the Lehigh Administration building attended by the press, members of the Armstrong administration, a couple of aspiring commissioners and one Lehigh County Commissioner, Democrat Amy Zanelli.

He warned against letting the Commissioner’s amended budget harm the County’s bond rating.

‘I love transforming the human face’

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

An entertaining hobby

Halloween may be Terri Vadino’s favorite holiday. It is certainly the one that gets her creative imagination going.

She recently started adding to the scary fun at a local haunted attraction, where actors line up for full-face make-up in a wide variety of ghoulish makeovers. In fact, one of the features of Vadino’s work is the fact that she likes to consult with her clients and create an original look.

Single vs.dual stream recycling

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

What is “Single Stream” versus “Dual Stream” recycling?

Single Stream Recycling

Single Stream refers to the process of recycling materials that are all mixed together, including glass, paper, plastic and metal. In this process, everything is “commingled” in a slurry of recyclables and will need to be extensively sorted and processed before the materials eventually end up in the correct categories. For consumers, this means that when you are sorting your recycling from your trash you will toss all recycling into one big bin for pick-up with less pick-up time, to boot!

Pastor does God’s work for feline residents

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES in Local News

Many people claim to be “cat people,” but Pastor Larry Vandever may be one of the most dedicated; He is committed to Lehigh Valley’s feral feline homeless population.

Vandever, who has pressed the Bethlehem City Council and administration to implement a catch, neuter and release program for the Christmas City’s feral cats, has made feeding and caring for homeless cats a crusade of conscience.