During their meeting on Thursday, February 6, the Northampton Borough Council voted to grant free rec center membership to active and retired members of the borough’s clergy.
The request was made by Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski, Sr.
“I have been approached by several clerics who have asked this question,” he explained. “They take care of the people of the borough.”
However, he expressed hesitation because the borough’s police department does not currently have free membership. The fire department and non- uniformed employees, on the other hand, do. Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst said membership was part of the bargaining agreement for non-uniformed employees.
Councilman Keith Piescienski said the fire department barely uses their free passes, and that police would not use them if they had them. He said members of the police department would be heckled while exercising.
Lopsonzski, Sr. also expressed hesitation in regards to family members of the clergy. He wondered whether they should also be granted free membership. Council was against this request.
“That would add a lot of people to the list,” said Councilman Thomas Gehringer.
Borough approved the motion, with the amendment that families would have to pay for membership.
In other news, council voted to advertise Ordinance No. 1213. This ordinance would enable the borough to participate in the River Central Intermunicipal Agreement. The comprehensive plan would be carried out with four other municipalities and the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission.
The plan would cost each municipality $19,250, but grants are available.
The comprehensive plan would allow the municipalities to gather data and outline goals for large-scale improvements to infrastructure and roads. Planning would take 18 to 24 months.
Most of council was in favor of this cooperation. Brent Green, manager of East Allen Township, was on hand to answer questions. His municipality will also be participating in the plan.
“This will hopefully open up blinders [between municipalities],” said Councilman Robert McHale.
Only Councilwoman Judy Kutzler opposed the motion.
Councilman Tony Pristash, Brobst, and Planning Commission member Cynthia Carman will participate in the plan on behalf of Northampton.
Finally, two new employees were hired for the borough’s wastewater treatment plant. Michael Nagle and Michael Adams will start within the next two weeks.
“We have two totally diverse individuals,” said McHale. “One who wants to start a career…[and] one who has some operations under his belt.”
The next borough council meeting will be held on Thursday, February 20.