During the Borough of Northampton Council meeting on Thursday, June 6, resident Brian King returned with many of his neighbors living on or near Buckingham Drive. Together, they presented council with a petition signed by residents in the area, asking for action on train traffic disturbances.
“It is annoying that the train sits and idles 25 yards away [from our homes],” said King.
King and neighbors said that the train, owned by Horwith Trucking, idles for up to one hour in the early mornings, sometimes as early as 3 a.m. or 4 a.m.
When King approached residents to sign the petition, only three individuals declined.
“Most [residents] had a story for me regarding the train,” he said.
Residents complained not only of the train’s noise, but of foundation cracks from the rumbling and of the smell of diesel.
“Many comments were about the stench in the train cars,” he said.
Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst said he sent a letter to Horwith Trucking and even called owner Adam Horwith. He asked Horwith about the contents inside the train cars, but received no answer.
King and neighbors worry that the trains may be carrying hazardous waste.
Councilman Robert McHale wondered aloud whether the recent rise in the train’s disturbances may have something to do with a change in the rail car pattern, perhaps caused by Ninth Street bridge construction.
Solicitor Steven Goudsouzian thanked residents for the petition, but warned them that “boroughs and towns are often powerless when it comes to railroads.” Most railroads are under federal jurisdiction.
Despite this, the residents who shared their complaints remain “hopeful” that council can find a resolution.
In other news, Police Chief Bryan Kadingo presented two Northampton Area High School students with scholarships from the recent fishing derby. The scholarships were given to Piper Malehorn and Andriana Andrews, who both would like to study criminal justice in college.
Council also received an update on Wheels on the Canal, a car show held on May 18. Over $3,390 was raised. Proceeds will be donated to Mission 22 and the Blue Star Mothers of America Lehigh Valley. A similar event is already planned for May 16, 2020.
Finally, council also praised another popular borough event, Paw Prints on the Canal.
McHale estimates that there were over 170 vendors present.
“Hats off to that entire organization,” he said.
“Anybody who missed [the event] is missing something out of this world,” said Mayor Thomas Reenock. “That is what can be done in the borough.”
Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski, Sr. agreed.
“[The event] offers people on the outside of our town [a look]. Come see what we have.”