Northampton Press

Monday, October 23, 2017

Northampton Alive project detailed at meeting

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

Development director says area would include museums, greenhouse

Northampton Alive, a bold and ambitious development project that would change the borough far into the future — with new museums, a greenhouse, covered bridge, boat launch, Main Street artisan mall, restaurant/motel/conference center, municipal barn for mounted police and more — are envisioned by David E. Dlugose, who provided a detailed 18-page report to borough council May 18.

“I kind of think outside the box,” Dlugose said, commenting the town “has an awesome history [but has] so much more potential.”

“I did it for the borough,” he said. “I love this town. I love everything about it.”

The project has multiple parts, and making them happen would require much funding, council members agreed.

“Where do you get the money?” one asked Dlugose, who responded there is so much development money in the region.

“We’re not getting any money out of that,” he said, making a suggestion to bring in professionals to tap into that funding. “There are rich people to invest in worthwhile projects.”

Sources for funding, according to Dlugose’s report, include state and federal grants, National Trust Community Investment Corporation, companies, wealthy donors and other sources.

“American businessmen and American rich people are the most benevolent people in the world,” he said.

Council was not given any specifics from Dlugose regarding his prepared report and offered no comments. Borough Solicitor Steven N. Goudsouzian said Dlugose will need to present his report to the borough planning commission, which would hear and make a possible recommendation for the Northampton Alive proposal.

Dlugose said the initial groundwork includes committees, subcommittees and further studies. Every sector of the community and beyond can get involved, he said.

Dlugose cited Mayor Thomas Reenock as a principal supporter of the project and added borough Manager LeRoy Brobst, council President Anthony Lopsonzski Jr. and others as important contributors to the proposed borough project.