During their July 6 meeting, the Borough of Bath Council discussed grant opportunities for signage across the borough. Last month, the borough’s Economic Development Committee proposed adding directional signage for parking as well as historic district signs around the borough’s downtown to encourage more visitors and enhance their experience.
There are several grants available, including Northampton County’s Hotel Tax Grant, that could be used to pay for the signs. Their design and placement were proposed to council during the evening’s meeting.
Council gave borough manager Brad Flynn permission to apply for the grant.
“This is something that a lot of municipalities have that we do not,” said Council President Mark Saginario.
This presentation, he added, would only help improve the borough.
Councilman Frank Hesch said that the committee is also looking for ways to enhance residential areas as well.
Councilwoman Carol Bear-Heckman thanked the committee for looking at the borough’s strengths and building off them.
The Monocacy Creek Watershed Association and member Jose DeJesus also highlighted one of the borough’s strengths: its location along the Monocacy Creek.
DeJesus announced during the meeting that the association will be holding a creek clean up in the borough on Saturday, August 15 from 9 a.m. until noon at Keystone Park. Any and all volunteers are welcome to attend to help clean up litter along the creek and its surrounding areas. Refreshments, trash bags, and gloves will be provided.
It will be an opportunity, DeJesus said, for volunteers to see the Monocacy Creek in Bath and realize that it extends beyond just Bethlehem.
“It is really needed,” said Councilman Barry Fenstermaker. “We did something like that a few years ago and I was surprised by the things we pulled out of the creek.”
To register, volunteers can visit the Monocacy Creek Watershed Association Facebook page.
Finally, council discussed the borough’s landscaping contract. This year, the borough chose to outsource landscaping rather than hire part-time public works employees.
The decision was a financial one, explained Flynn. Even hiring part-time workers brings with it annual personnel and equipment costs, while outsourcing to a professional landscaper for half the year would save the borough thousands of dollars.
Outsourcing to a full crew of landscapers also helps improve public works’ efficiency by allowing them to focus on other jobs throughout the borough, he explained. This also helped prevent layoffs.
“Going into COVID…we took aggressive measures to make sure we were not running into layoffs,” Flynn added.
The landscaper is providing lawn care services on a weekly basis until the end of October at nine borough parks and fields (a total of 32 acres). The company provides all materials, equipment, and personnel.