How did Northampton County weather, so to speak, Hurricane Sandy? Emergency Management Services Director Bob Mateff provided county council with an answer at its Nov. 1 meeting. This sparsely attended meeting started just moments after power was restored to the county courthouse.
Although details are still under wraps, Hanover Township Manager Jay Finnigan is well on his way to producing a no-tax increase budget for 2013. He made this announcement following a supervisors' meeting Oct. 23. If the supervisors adopt Finnigan's spending plan, it will be the township's sixth straight year without a tax hike. Supervisors will review it in more detail at their Nov. 13 meeting.
"I didn't get a raise?" joked veteran Supervisor Steve Salvesen.
"No," Finnigan somberly replied.
Hellertown Historical Society president Earl Hill asked borough council Oct. 15 to make what he argued are necessary changes to the Pony Bridge.
Hill's request involves extending a three-foot drainage pipe near the bridge, which would help to eliminate a larger drainage ditch that has become troublesome and dangerous to maintain.
"It's just a disaster for everyone," Hill said. "I just don't want anyone getting hurt."
The pipe, Hill said, would need to be extended 20 to 25 feet.
Candidates were asked to answer this question: What is the most pressing issue in this election and how do you plan to address it?
David Molony (R.)
Pennsylvania must change the way we pay for schools.
Property taxes devastate our communities, remove people on fixed income from their homes and kill small family farms. School taxes continue to rise even when people are vulnerable in economically stressful times.
Harrisburg promises "relief" and "reform" without a substance, but the changes are swamped by adjustments and new increases.
We need a new system.
Bethlehem Area School Board decided Oct. 15 to postpone a vote to expand a Southside Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance zone (LERTA) into the Bethlehem Center industrial site off Route 412 because developer Majestic Realty of California may not be offering work to local contractors.
A LERTA offers businesses incentive to operate locally by establishing an incrementally-rising tax payment over a decade, only at the end of which would the full tax payment be necessary.
The voter ID law did not pass for this election, but citizens are now seeing television and billboard ads that some say appear confusing.
The Department of State TV ads entreat citizens to proudly display their IDs, only to later qualify that doing isn't mandatory. The billboard ads proclaim in English and Spanish the slogan, "This Election Day, if you have it, show it." The emphasis seems to be on having ID to show, not on doing so being unnecessary.
Bethlehem City Council held a public hearing for the distribution of the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) at its Oct. 16 meeting in city hall.
The city will use $1,053,234 to help fund various projects, including $106,000 for street overlays, $73,526 for the Lynn Avenue Bridge and $15,000 for the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living.
The proposed CDBG budget also included $25,000 for employer assisted housing. This is the first year for the program and would help assist some city employees get housing in Bethlehem.
Unlike the four-and-a-half hour hearings that are becoming the norm for Bethlehem's Zoning Hearing Board, its Oct. 24 hearing was a quick one. Zoning Officer Suzanne Borzak, celebrating her 25th birthday, was actually able to go home early.
The first matter involved the former Anna Maria Restaurant, located at 114 W. Fourth St. When Pastor Wesley Jun purchased the property in 2004, he lived on the third floor, and the restaurant operated below him. When it closed a few months later, he moved his family into the building.