The Borough of Northampton’s new rental inspection ordinance has been met with some resistance.
The ordinance took effect Jan. 1. It requires landlords to pay a registration fee for each rental unit, to allow a borough code officer to schedule inspections of the property, to pay inspection fees and to correct unsafe conditions.
Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst reported approximately 34 percent of the properties inspected have failed. He noted some of the failures involved issues like buildings not having fire detectors.
The arrival of spring has seen the return of workers at the construction site of the Coplay-Northampton Bridge.
This is the second year of a three-year project.
“The opening of the new bridge is June 2020,” said Lehigh County Director of General Services Rick Molchany. “The job is on schedule. We are not behind.”
The three-year job of replacing the bridge began with the demolition of the 80-year-old concrete bridge and the steel superstructure on the Northampton side. Custom piers were then constructed into the bedrock of the Lehigh River.
The Col. John Siegfried homestead, at 21st and Canal streets, will have a new use after a March 14 decision by Northampton Borough Zoning Hearing Board of Appeals.
The decadeslong vacant building, whose history dates back to the Revolutionary War, will house offices for Opportunity Behavioral Health, whose clients are primarily seniors and those with multiple disorders.
The new upgrade of the former Tama Manufacturing building, 18th and Main streets, came before Northampton Borough Council March 7 when a few neighbors raised safety and privacy concerns.
New Jersey developer Dan Donnelly converted the Tama property, which had fallen into disrepair, into 13 apartments with extensive interior and exterior upgrades.
Margaret Korsak, in her address to council, noted her concerns regarding windows, asbestos and rubble. She also offered suggestions on how to address the issues.
At a February meeting, Northampton Borough Council has given its approval to Northampton Area High School to utilize Municipal Park for the 2019 Northampton Area School District choral concert May 29.
The concert begins 6:30 p.m. at the park’s band shell and is expected to last two hours.
Emily Reinsmith, NAHS choral concert director, made the request, according to borough Manager LeRoy Brobst.
“This would be similar to the event held two years ago at the permanent band shell in the Municipal Park,” Brobst said.
The concert is expected to draw a crowd.
Ironton Rail Trail Oversight Commission will hold its annual spring historical walk beginning 9 a.m. March 23 on the IRT. The walk — the first of many 2019 events — starts at the Chestnut Street barn, just west of MacArthur Road.
The four-hour leisurely walk has stops for walkers to view historical sites and landmarks, including the first anthracite-fueled iron company and the first Portland Cement Company in America. At least 23 historical sites and landmarks will be presented.
Northampton Farmers Market approaches its opening in May with major changes — providing not just shopping for produce and other items, but also a destination of sorts. Northampton Borough Council, at its Feb. 21 meeting, was given a glimpse of what the outdoor market has in store.
Victor Rodite, community planner, whose idea for a farmers market blossomed into reality, is stepping aside and going to concentrate his time on writing grant applications. Councilman Robert McHale said this would be a better benefit to the borough. Rodite will aid in the transition to a successor.
Curator Ed Pany said the Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum had a banner year in 2018 with a large mix of students from the Northampton Area School District and representatives from nine foreign countries, various organizations and others visiting the museum on tours.
There were 2,947 students and teachers who attended tours and educational programs. There were another 536 other persons who toured the museum. The total number of museum visitors adds up to 3,483.
At the March 7 Northampton Borough Council meeting, a resident expressed his concerns regarding when the public is able to address council. Currently, members of the public are permitted to speak on topics only at the start of the meetings.
Council will review options. One possible solution is to allow the public to voice their input when each specific matter on the agenda is addressed — but before a vote is taken. Another possibility is to allow residents time to speak just before the end of the meeting.
At its Feb. 6 Northampton Exchange Club dinner meeting, members named three Northampton Area High School seniors as Students of the Month at a Service to Youth program, held at Northampton Banquet & Event Center, 1601 Laubach Ave.
Abigail Piotrowski, Michael Kistler Jr. and Andrew Cochrane were presented with the club’s Lamp of Knowledge plaque, a certificate of merit and a pen. The honorees will be entered into the essay contest for Student of the Year, with the theme selected by the National Exchange Club.