During the Northampton Borough Council meeting on January 21, borough manager LeRoy Brobst told council members they should start looking ahead to the summer. Although 2021 has only just begun, Brobst said other municipalities are already making decisions as to whether or not they should open their public swimming pools.
After talking to fellow managers, Brobst said it is “about a 50-50 split” between those who will open their pools and those who will keep them closed for another year as a precaution against COVID-19.
While he did not expect a decision during the meeting, Brobst told supervisors to start thinking “early.” Preparing the pool to open can take a month or more.
“The swimming pool should be open and there should be no question,” said Councilwoman Judy Kutzler. “I don’t understand why we shut it down [in 2020]. There are chemicals we use to clean the pool,” she added.
Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski, Sr. agreed. He said opening the pool could “ease some of the stress” parents and children are feeling.
There was no word from council on when an official vote will be taken.
In other news, council took public comments on a proposed ordinance that would designate portions of Station Alley and West Alley as one-way streets. West Alley will be one-way north from 21st Street to Station Alley. Station Alley will be one-way east from West Alley to Main Street.
“This would be the best traffic flow for that area without having major congestion both on Main Street and [Route] 329,” said Councilman Robert McHale, also a member of the Planning Commission.
This move is in preparation for a new townhouse development behind the Redner’s Quick Shoppe. Approximately 40 homes are planned.
No members of council or the public spoke out against the change. As a result, the ordinance has been added to council’s February 4 agenda for an official vote.
Finally, the borough is looking for ways to help lower insurance costs for the Northampton Community Center, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Insurance for the center has increased to over $6,000, although it has been closed since the shutdown.
“To make the place close to profitable…it needs bigger events like weddings,” said Brobst.
Brobst discussed the possibility of adding the building to the borough’s insurance policy to save the Community Center money. The center would then reimburse the borough. Supervisors were on board with the suggestion, open to any way they can help relieve the community center’s struggle.