On Thursday, June 18, the Northampton Borough Council resumed in-person meetings, with the option for residents to call in to the meeting via telephone. During the meeting, Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst announced that the Northampton Area School District had asked the borough to waive social distancing limitations for their July 24 high school graduation ceremony. It was a decision that the council wanted no part in making.
“I do not want that liability,” said Councilwoman Judy Kutzler. She said such a request should go through the county or the state.
Under state law, even in the “Green Phase” crowds are limited to no more than 250 individuals.
The school said it would only allow two guests per graduate and follow all CDC guidelines. The district added that it would limit the number of people entering Al Erdosy Stadium in order to stay below the threshold, but no other details were given.
Council unanimously agreed to defer the decision to the county or to the state.
In addition, council also unanimously agreed to defer rent payments from the Northampton Memorial Community Center. The center normally pays $5,000/month in rent to the borough, which owns the community center building. However, the center has been closed since March.
Brobst stressed that the center is not asking for the rent to be forgiven, but deferred to a later date. The rent goes into the borough’s recreation fund.
Finally, Council voted to hold two meetings per month in July and in August. Normally, council votes to hold only one public meeting in the summer, but the ever-changing rules and regulations presented by COVID-19, and the decisions that need to be made as a result, prompted council to make the decision to meet more regularly. The next public meeting will be held on Thursday, July 2.