The Borough of Bath Council had their last public meeting of 2019 on Monday, December 2. During the meeting, council wrapped up its final tasks of 2019 and started to look forward to all that the New Year has in store.
Among the tasks council carried out was passing the borough’s 2020 budget. The budget included $1.3 million in general funds, with total funds for the year rounding out at $2.4 million. The borough predicts a closing balance of roughly $302,700 at the end of 2020. No real estate tax increase is included in the budget.
Roads will be a focus for 2020. Council President Mark Saginario said that winter weather will prevent public works from carrying out any more road projects, but council has started a list of work to be done in 2020. Parking enforcement will also become a focus in the New Year, with the borough hiring a parking enforcement officer.
Meanwhile, a new sanitation contract will start in 2020. Garbage collection will be performed by Advanced Disposal. Residents should be on the lookout for mailings with more information. Advanced is still scheduling a date for the dispersal of new garbage totes to residents.
Also starting up in January 2020, after a brief hiatus, will be the borough’s neighborhood watch group. Mayor Fiorella Mirabito asked residents to get involved and contact Pennsylvania State Police’s emergency or non-emergency numbers if they see anything of concern.
It was reported that crime in the borough was down considerably in 2019. In 2017, there were over 2,000 crimes reported in the borough. In 2019, there were roughly 1,000. Total calls to the county’s 911 center are also down, reported Mayor Mirabito.
“We do not have huge, violent crimes here,” she said. She added that the borough will continue to monitor crime in 2020, with safety for residents being a first priority.
Finally, the borough’s looking forward to an exciting new year of business, commerce, and growth. Jessica O’Donnell and Liana Marte, of the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, have taken over liaisons with the Greater Bath Area Chamber of Commerce.
They made a presentation during the December 2 meeting. They said they do not want to “reinvent the wheel” but build on the strategies that have worked in other municipalities. They’re planning to expand Spuds and Suds and start a restaurant week in the borough. They’re also going to take a “feet on the street” approach in 2020, meeting with business owners regularly to put together an itinerary of goals to accomplish.
“Together we are stronger,” said O’Donnell. “We want to showcase this community.”
Councilwoman Carol Bear-Heckman added that residents can expect three new businesses to open in the borough’s historic district, adding to the excitement of the borough’s growing downtown area.
“I’ll let you be surprised when [the businesses] open,” she told council and residents.
To councilmembers and residents alike, it was clear that Bath had a successful 2019. But Saginario is already looking ahead.
“We had a great 2019,” he said. “Let us keep the hard work going into 2020.”