The Northampton Borough Council met on Thursday, April 15 to continue discussing the potential of creating a stormwater management fee program and approve requests.
During the March 18 council meeting, councilman Robert McHale presented council with some preliminary information on the creation of a stormwater management fee program. The stormwater fee would be based on the amount of impervious land on a property; one way to calculate it would be to take the amount of revenue needed and divide it by the amount of impervious land in the borough. All properties would have to pay the stormwater fee, even if they are tax-exempt. In most cases, borough residents would be saving money compared to increasing the budget.
Most council members seemed in agreement to move forward in the research and development process. They approved a motion to add an agenda item to the next meeting for the creation of a subcommittee that would do more in-depth research to make a rough outline of the potential project and a presentation for the public; once there is sufficient research done, a public hearing will be held to allow borough residents to express their opinions.
In other news, council approved many requests from different organizations.
One of these requests was from the Northampton Memorial Community Center. The community center’s financial secretary was present at the meeting to request a waiver of their rent for 2020 and 2021 until they are fully operational again. The center functions mainly as a bingo facility and banquet hall, and has been completely shut down since the start of the pandemic last year. In addition, the community center has provided the borough money over the years for recreation. Council approved their request and discussed the potential of using some of the funds from American Rescue Plan Act to help the community center.
The First Baptist Church of Allenton will be using two of the pavilions at the Municipal Park on September 12 for their Rally Days event. Council also approved a request from South Whitehall Township to use the portable trailer on three dates: June 11, June 25, and July 23; they will take care of delivery and set-up for each occasion. Council also approved a request from Becky’s Drive-In to use the trailer on October 3 for their annual “Dream Come True” event.
Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst provided an update on the lifeguard situation: at the time of the meeting, they had ten applicants and are still accepting more applications. Council also addressed the road conditions on Main Street from UGI’s projects. The public works crew is filling in some of the holes created, but the responsibility should fall on UGI to fix the situation. Councilman Thomas Gehringer explained that UGI outsources road work to Great Western and is most likely waiting for the entire project to be completed before that would happen.
The next Northampton Borough Council meeting will be held on Thursday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal building.