The Northampton Borough Council met on Thursday, October 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal building.
A few borough residents brought up concerns about feral cats and black vultures near Hokendauqua and Northampton Avenues. These cats are being fed by someone in the neighborhood, so the cats will not leave the area; they are well-fed and are hard to catch.
Further, the feral cats are urinating and defecating in peoples’ yards and surrounding areas. One borough resident at the meeting stated she is unable to open her window due to the smell of cat urine and that the feces is affecting her small dog. Additionally, the woman who is feeding the cats has flushed the cat litter down the toilet, causing the system to back up for many people in the area.
Because these cats live mostly outside, they are preyed on by black vultures when they die. The black vultures are perching on residents’ roofs; residents are concerned for their dogs as well.
Residents came to the borough council meeting because they are looking for a solution.
Many council members had stated they were aware of the feral cat issue, but did not realize cat litter was being flushed down the toilet. Councilwoman Judy Kutzler suggested the borough get animal control, code enforcement, and health and safety all involved and on the same page to resolve the issue.
Next, council discussed applying for a $1.2 million grant from PennDOT. The grant would be used to prepare an alternate route from 24th Street and Cherryville Road to Cement Haul Road, connecting to Route 329; this would keep trucks off of 21st and Main Streets. The proposed road would be 32 feet wide and 2,675 feet long to accommodate truck traffic in two directions. This entire plan, however, is contingent upon receiving the necessary land from Lafarge Cement.
After a lot of discussion about what the $1.2 million would be used for, the potential of Lafarge selling the land, and what would happen if the grant wasn’t fully funded, the motion was tabled so that council members could get more information on the plan and interactions with Lafarge. However, a request for a review letter can still be put in with the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, so that everything can be ready if and when council approves the grant application.
The Northampton Borough Council reviewed 3-year and 5-year bids for refuse collection and disposal from Waste Management, J. P. Mascaro & Sons, Advanced Disposals, and Raritan Valley Disposal. Information on these bids was passed along to solicitor Brian Panella for review; the bid will not be awarded until the October 15 council meeting.
The Northampton Fire Police will provide traffic control at two home football games on October 16 and 23. Also, council approved two updates to the Police Department Procedural Manual on the use of force and the use of handcuffs; the updates were submitted by police chief Bryan Kadingo.
The Planning Commission will meet on Wednesday, October 14 at 7 p.m. to discuss Northampton Residential LLC’s plan to develop property into 40 townhouses.
Councilman Tony Pristash discussed some COVID-19 trick-or-treating precautions. Those participating should not go in a large group, as well as wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and use hand sanitizer often. Councilwoman Kutzer added that parents should disinfect candy wrappers once their children get home. Northampton Borough’s trick-or-treat night is on Saturday, October 31 between 6 and 8 p.m.; participating residents should make sure to turn their lights on.
The next Northampton Borough Council meeting will be on Thursday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal building.