Northampton Borough Council met on Thursday, July 2, the council’s first meeting since Northampton entered Pennsylvania’s “green” phase. All council members and residents who attended the meeting were required to wear masks.
During the meeting, it was announced that personal protection equipment (PPE) is available to borough businesses and nonprofits. These materials were provided by the county to help re-opened businesses operate safely.
The 59 kits are available at the borough office on a first come, first serve basis. Business owners can choose between kits that contain masks, gloves, and disinfectant wipes, or kits that contain masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer.
“[These] will help get you on your way,” said borough manager LeRoy Brobst.
It was also announced that all borough parks are once again open. Brobst said that restrooms, pavilions, and play equipment are being sanitized regularly.
With lessened restrictions in place, more organizations are requesting use of the borough’s parks and pavilions. One of those groups is the O’Grady Quinlan Academy of Irish Dance in Easton. They asked council for permission to use the Municipal Park bandshell on Friday, July 31 for a “Social DisDANCE” showcase.
“This will be a nice opportunity for something to happen there,” said Brobst. He added that the bandshell does not get used much, and the performance will not conflict with any other events.
Council approved the event, as long as Northampton County remains in the “green” phase.
In other business, council approved the construction of a vehicle impound lot at the rear of the Northampton Fire Department. The lot will be used by the borough’s police department in lieu of Force-1 Towing, a third-party that police currently use to store impounded vehicles.
The borough will charge for storage and cameras will be installed. Not all cars will be impounded at this location, explained Police Chief Bryan Kadingo, only specific vehicles in need of a secure location.
Finally, council wished to set the record straight and explain their reasoning for passing on the decision to allow Northampton Area High School to hold graduation.
Last month, council refused to vote on a request from the high school to waive crowd guidelines and hold graduation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, they said the decision should be made by the county or by the state. However, they received backlash from some residents.
“This board is not against high school students doing graduation” said Councilman Kenneth Hall. “[The decision] belonged to a higher power.”