Gangs are becoming more prevalent in the Lehigh Valley, local elected officials were told during a Mid-Eastern Counties Association of Boroughs meeting held Feb. 26 at the Northampton Borough Council chambers.
Bath, Northampton, Coplay, Coopersburg and Wilson boroughs were represented at the meeting.
Bethlehem City Police Department Sgt. Simon Boddie in a PowerPoint presentation provided council members and mayors with a sordid tale of gang activity in the valley along with tips to help identify persons affiliated with gangs.
The deadline for organizations, individuals and families to sponsor a street banner in Coplay is quickly approaching. The deadline is Saturday, March 15.
For more information on the specifics of sponsoring a banner and cost, stop by the borough office at South Fourth and Center streets or visit the borough website.
The borough planning commission is heading the project.
The board will next meet 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 25 in council chambers.
Northampton resident Dawn Perl presented her case for re-opening a former animal shelter.
The Northampton Borough Council admitted the borough has a problem with stray cats, but expressed reservations about the re-opening of the shelter at its March 6 meeting.
Perl previously submitted a plan to operate the shelter on a private basis to the borough earlier.
She said she would provide the insurance, volunteers, professional help and financing to operate the shelter, located east of the borough's waste water treatment plant.
The Northampton Borough Council approved a request requiring specialized training for public works personnel.
Borough Manager Gene Zarayko made the request at the March 4 council meeting. Council approved his request.
Lehigh Career & Technical Institute has agreed to train four public works employees.
The cost is $1,650. The start date for the training is yet to be determined.
Recent snow storms have led Northampton Borough residents to place items in front of their homes to save parking spaces.
The borough has refused to remove such items.
The most striking example is Washington Avenue, which has houses on both sides of the street. Even with garages, most families have two or more vehicles.
Recently, borough public works department personnel plows were able to move snow piles.
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) course at Colonel John Siegried Elementary School and Good Shepherd Parchial School has a new curriculum.
The Northampton Police Department, partnering with the borough and Northampton Area School District, holds the 10-week course for sixth-grade students.
The program, in its 15th year, was started by retired Police Sgt. Anthony Lopsonzski Sr. For the last several years the program has been headed by Police Chief Ron Morey, who also works as the instructor.
Trinity United Church of Christ, Coplay, will hold a craft and vendor show this Sunday at the American Club of Coplay Pavilion, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More than 30 crafters will be on display along with direct sales vendors.
Food and refreshments will be available for purchase.
The program last year moved to the American Club site to accommodate more vendors and crafters.
Longtime borough public works employee and Supervisor Rick Bundra completed his last day of work last Friday.
This year's harsh, unrelenting winter season has taken a toll not only on Northampton Borough streets, but on the 2014 borough budget.
The costs associated with combating winter storms has led Northampton borough Manager Gene Zarayko to reconsider the street resurfacing and improvement projects in this year's budget.
The borough administration indicated it will review and crunch the numbers to determine how the winter has affected the budget to date.
"We did, however, order 78,000 tons of repaving materials," Zarayko said at the Feb. 20 borough council meeting.
Assistant Northampton Borough Fire Department Chief Keith Piescienski, a veteran firefighter with more than four-decades of service, was recognized for his service during an awards banquet at the Northampton Memorial Community Center last Saturday evening.
Fire Chief Robert Solderich said Piescienski, who joined the fire department July 1968, will continue to serve the borough as an active firefighter.
"Keith is a role model," Edward Pany said in remarks to the large crowd.
The Northampton Borough Council discussed the revenue generated from TV cable fees recently.
The fees play a major role in paying for the borough's operations.
At the Feb. 27 meeting, Borough Manager Gene Zarayko said the 2013 check from RCN took a slight dip and was hardly a blip on the ledger sheets.
"We received our annual commission check from RCN in the amount of $145,963. This is down $276 from 2012," Zarayko said.
"On a positive side, we received our quarterly commission check from Service Electric Cable TV in the amount of $4,800."