During their meeting on Monday, January 7, members of the Borough of Bath Council applauded the Borough of Bath Volunteer Fire Department for their response to a fast-moving fire on New Year’s Day.
“They did such a great job battling that blaze,” said Council President Mark Saginario. “[It was] one of the biggest we have had here.”
The fire broke out at 616 E. Main Street, moving quickly to three other homes and displacing six families. Fire departments from multiple municipalities responded. The only fatality was a family dog. Three Bath firefighters were injured.
The fire resulted in a hazmat situation when oil in one of the homes leaked. However, first responders were able to prevent the oil from leaking into the Monocacy Creek. Bath firefighters lost $25,000 in equipment while battling the blaze.
However, it is clear that much more could have very well been lost.
“[We] cannot thank them enough for risking their lives,” Saginario said on behalf of council. “For everything they do.”
In other news, during their January 7 meeting, council granted preliminary final approval to wastewater treatment plant updates. The Bath Water Authority will be completing upgrades to its existing plant, which was constructed in 1965.
Two treatment tanks will be replaced, while an office control facility, garage, and headworks building will be constructed. The project will include the possibility for future construction and oversized piping to accommodate for increased service if needed.
George Gasper, chairman of the water authority, said planning for the project began in 2009, but the previous engineer caused delays.
“They did not come through with what they were supposed to,” he said.
With a new engineer on board and approvals from DEP, Gasper anticipates bids for construction to go out in February, with the plant in full operation by December 2020.
The modern plant, Gasper said, will be more computerized.
Gasper acknowledges that these improvements will mean either a surcharge or rate increase.
“We do not know that until bids come in,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jay Mills was appointed to the water authority for a five year term.
Council also discussed traffic improvements and roadwork during their meeting. Borough manager Brad Flynn will be reaching out to engineers from PennDOT in regards to the stalled Route 248 re-alignment project.
“Everything kind of became iced over,” he said.
Flynn also said he attended a Lehigh Valley Planning Commission meeting about federal funding for transportation. His attendance at the meeting made the borough eligible for possible funding.
“It is another avenue,” he said. “We are covering everything.”
Finally, Mayor Fiorella Mirabito distributed a six-month Pennsylvania State Police report. The report listed incidents in the borough July 1 until December 19. In total, there were 460 incidents during that time. Most prominent were thefts, crashes, and traffic citations (which include truck incidents).