The Borough of Bath council meeting on Monday, June 3 was a busy one. Council discussed parking permits, rental inspection ordinances, rezoning requests, and took some time to recognize a Borough employee. The sale of the old municipal building on 215 E. Main St. was also finalized.
Parking is one the largest issues facing the borough and its downtown area. Borough Manager Brad Flynn admitted that there have been issues with enforcing two-hour parking.
To provide ample parking in the borough’s downtown and replace the two hour limit, Flynn said that the borough is currently looking at 46 coin-operated parking meters, as well as a possible mobile pay site. Meters are proposed for one side of Chestnut Street, and both sides of East and West Main Street, among other areas.
Residents will be able to buy a permit.
“This town should have had metered parking years ago,” said Councilman Tony Kovalovsky.
“We have to look toward the future, not back,” said Mayor Fiorella Mirabito.
Council President Mark Saginario asked council to review current and past parking studies and come to July’s meeting prepared to discuss options.
The borough’s proposed rental inspection ordinance was also discussed. The proposed ordinance is still in the planning stages and being drafted by a committee.
However, Mayor Mirabito asked council to not delay the ordinance.
“We need this rental inspection ordinance more than we need anything else,” she said. “We are going to start losing good families [and] it will be worse than ever.”
She cited families moving out of the Old Forge Drive area because of issues with rental properties owned by Grist Mill Development.
“We have a huge issue here,” she said.
Saginario agreed, but cautioned council on rushing the ordinance, having witnessed the mistakes other Northampton County boroughs have made.
Council also heard a rezoning request for 303 W. Main St. The empty lot is currently zoned for manufacturing and industrial use; however, developer Anthony Maula would like to purchase the property and have it rezoned for apartments.
Maula has developed hundreds of units across the area, many of them in East Stroudsburg and the Poconos area.
Maula is proposing three, 24-unit apartment buildings on the property. The apartments would be two bedrooms and 1,000 square feet. He said they would be marketed more toward newlyweds, young professionals, and seniors who are downsizing.
Maula says his company builds the apartments, owns the apartments, and manages them.
Maula is requesting the zoning change because apartments are not permitted in manufacturing districts. He also said that the land’s steep slope makes it impossible for industry or manufacturing companies to build there.
Maula asked council whether they think there would be demand for such apartments. While council said they are not opposed to the project, they would like to hear more. Maula will return before council during their July workshop meeting.
In other news, Mayor Mirabito and members of council recognized Marena Rasmus, the borough’s office administrator. Rasmus was awarded Bath Borough Employee of the Year and Outstanding Municipal Employee from RCN. She was also honored by Congresswoman Susan Wild for her “outstanding and invaluable service to the community,” and by state representatives and senators.
“Miss Rasmus has adhered to the highest standard of service,” said the citation, signed by Rep. Marcia Hahn, Rep. Zach Mako, Senator Mario Scavello, and Rep. Joe Emerick.
“[Rasmus] took on roles she was not originally hired for,” said Flynn. “[She is] a credit to herself and to the borough.”
In other news:
- The sale of 215 E. Main St., the borough’s old municipal building, was awarded to Thomas Kishbaugh. His bid of $403,000 was the highest out of six bids.
- A reception celebrating one year with the Pennsylvania State Police will be held on July 8 at 5 p.m. Residents are encouraged to attend, meet state troopers, and ask questions.
- The borough is looking for Block Captains to join its neighborhood watch group. Contact Mayor Mirabito if interested.