Northampton Borough Planner Victor Rodite presented a report containing proposals for various projects at the May 16 council meeting.
Rodite’s submission includes several initiatives, including the implementation of a Main Street manager to spur the business and retail operations in the commercial corridor.
“I am deeply engrossed in the preparation of maps, documents and text for the 2019 Community Development Block Grant application,” he said.
Northampton Exchange Club held its Service to Youth program April 2 at Northampton Banquet & Event Center. Five Northampton Area High School seniors were recognized as Students of the Month — Grace Tepes, Girl of the Month for January; Lauren Pague, Girl of the Month for March; Lucas Troy, Boy of the Month for March; Jade Korpics, Girl of the Month for April; and John Kennedy, Boy of the Month for April.
At the March 21 meeting, Northampton Borough Council approved the request of the Rev. Jerry Mraz, retired pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Northampton, to have a linden tree and monument put in at Northampton Borough Municipal Park, Laubach Avenue and Smith Lane. The monument will be in remembrance of the Slavic forefathers who settled in Northampton and will join the Sister Cities plaza and monument, which help serve as a bond between Stegersbach, Austria and Northampton.
The May 14 opening of Northampton Farmers Market — held at the borough’s Municipal Park off Laubach Avenue and Smith Lane — created considerable comment by council members at the May 2 meeting of Northampton Borough Council.
Council discussed regulations and what role the market should play in having vendors with nonfood items, such as candles and crafts.
Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum will open for its 20th year May 12. The Northampton-based museum, with 3,000 artifacts, has attracted thousands of visitors, both local and abroad, over the two decades.
The museum features a slice of the cement industry history in the region. Its focus is on the once-thriving Atlas Cement Company and its role in the makings of industrial America.
Vacancies on the zoning board of adjustment and civil service commission in Northampton Borough were filled at the May 2 borough council meeting.
Kenneth Richard was appointed to the zoning board for a term ending Dec. 31, 2019, and to the civil service commission for a term ending Dec. 31, 2021. These vacancies were a result of the recent death of Richard Ackerman.
There was no comment made by council members regarding the appointments. Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski Sr. made the motion for Richard’s appointment.
Northampton Borough Council and borough Manager LeRoy Brobst are looking into a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to help fund a proposed community garden to benefit families in the borough.
At the April 18 council meeting, Victor Rodite, borough community planner, was given the approval to prepare the CDBG paperwork. The community garden’s future depends on being awarded the grant, Brobst said, adding he thought it likely the borough would receive the funding.
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.