The Northampton Borough Council approved the 2021 budget at their December 17 meeting held via Zoom. Two council members voted against the motion to approve the budget. One of those members was councilman Robert McHale; he expressed that he wanted to soften the tax increase for borough residents by removing or postponing non-discretionary budget items. Councilwoman Judy Kutzler agreed with the idea of reducing expenses, but would rather go after more expensive items, which would have more of an impact.
Borough Solicitor Steven Goudsouzian recommended that council make a motion to advertise for a hearing for the one-way designations on West and Station Alley; these designations are a part of the housing development to be built behind the CVS on West 21st Street. The motion was passed and the hearing will take place at council’s January 21 meeting.
The Lafayette College Technology Clinic team presented solutions pertaining to economic development and sport within Northampton Borough at the December 9 planning commission meeting. After considering the team’s ideas, the planning commission recommended that they focus on supporting the borough’s online presence and celebrating a Northampton Borough identity. Borough council approved the planning commission’s recommendation and allowed the Lafayette College team to move forward with their project.
A meeting was held on December 11 to discuss the feral cat situation. The borough health officer, animal control officer, and both code enforcement officers were present at the meeting, as well as borough manager LeRoy Brobst and councilwoman Kutzler. The Trap, Neuter, and Release (TNR) program suggested by Sal Zangari will be the main method to control the problem. There is also an ordinance that says anyone caught feeding feral cats will be cited.
Council made a decision on two handicap parking zone requests. The first, at 1367 Main St. was rejected, at police chief Bryan Kandingo’s suggestion; this is because there is a garage at the back of the property. The second request was for 637 Washington Ave., which was accepted at Kadingo’s suggestion.
The borough’s four cemeteries will now be billed for their garbage services, as decided by council. The three smaller cemeteries will have a fee of $340, and the larger cemetery’s fee will be $680. Finally, many council members expressed their overwhelming support for the great job the public works team did plowing the roads following the snowfall on Wednesday.
The next Northampton Borough Council meeting will be held on Thursday, January 7 at 7:30 p.m.; the meeting may be virtual depending on the Coronavirus pandemic.