Nazareth Explores Banning Bamboo From Properties

Members of Nazareth Borough Council expressed interest in banning bamboo from borough properties at their June 29 workshop meeting, after a borough resident expressed concern over the plant’s invasive nature and provided council with pictures of its existence on her property.

Resident Diane Paine purchased an additional borough property on South New Street in May, and was not alerted of the bamboo’s existence until after the sale was final, she said. Since then, it has taken siding off of her house, and can prove damaging to the house’s foundation if not properly managed.

Making things worse, according to Paine, is that the “running bamboo” was not planted by the previously seller, but by the owner of the neighboring property.

“It is running into my yard from the neighboring property,” she said.

Paine said she conducted a lot of research on bamboo and its different types, and said she was “floored” at what she found. “I had no idea what it could do, how it could spread, and how it could grow,” she said.

Paine said she never would have bought the second property if she was aware of the bamboo beforehand, and cautioned council to take action before bamboo sprouts damage borough roads, sidewalks and driveways.

“If I had known, I would have never purchased this property,” she said.

She provided council with an ordinance from the City of Bethlehem, which bans “running bamboo” within the township. Running bamboo is the same type that Paine has identified in her yard. Paine said many neighboring municipalities have banned bamboo, including Forks Township, Upper Nazareth Township, and Bethlehem Township.

Bethlehem Township’s ordinance lists it as a type of prohibited “noxious vegetation” in the township’s ordinance regulating weeds and banned vegetation.

Council was receptive to Paine’s concerns. Councilman Charles Donello supported the idea of banning it, to prevent any new bamboo from being planted in the future. Councilman Lance Colondo said that the borough’s law committee could draft up an ordinance to prevent future cases of bamboo planting.

“We can certainly draw up an ordinance to ban it,” Colondo said.

In other business, council preceded their workshop meeting with a short public business meeting to grant permanent full-time status to two police officers.

Council unanimously approved motions to make Randall Pompei and Tyler Ferri permanent full-time officers. The two haved served just about a year with the Nazareth Police Department, as they were both sworn in as officers in June 2016.

The move to permanently hire Pompei and Ferri brought praise from council, who lauded the police department and its officers for bringing drastic, positive changes to the force.

Mayor John Samus was quick to praise the two officers. “They’re a good group of men. They’re young, eager to learn, well-organized, can’t say enough about them. We should all be proud,” he said.

Samus also credited Commissioner Randall Miller for the department’s improvement.

“This department has gone 180 degrees,” said Samus. “It all stems back here to our Commissioner Randy Miller. He’s turned this ship around.”

Miller pitched in to commend the two as well, praising their character and commitment to the borough.

“I’ve never worked with finer men than the two we just hired,” Miller said.

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