During the Borough of Bath Council meeting on Monday, August 2, Mayor Fiorella Mirabito voiced her concerns regarding the future of Penn Street. The street will undergo a much-needed repaving project later this month. However, Mayor Mirabito says she worries that drivers will use the newly paved street as a “speedway.” She asked that council consider adding speed bumps to the street to keep residents safe from reckless drivers.
Other council members agreed with Mayor Mirabito that speed will likely be an issue on the street, but were not sure whether speed bumps would be the right solution. Councilman Tony Kovalovsky worried about the liability speed bumps could cause for the borough. He said that he would prefer to see the State Police more closely patrol the borough and enforce traffic.
Councilwoman Carol Bear-Heckman said in similar small boroughs she has seen parking on both sides of the street, along with posted speed signage, to help slow traffic. Meanwhile, Council President Michele Ehrgott said she would prefer signage as opposed to speed bumps. She worried that adding speed bumps to Penn Street would set a precedent, requiring the borough to add speed bumps to all of the streets slated for repaving later this year and next.
While no decision was made during the meeting, Mayor Mirabito asked council to consider the issue sooner rather than later.
Borough solicitor Jamie Kratz added that boroughs around the state do use speed bumps with very limited liability. They simply must get specifications from an engineer and then maintain the speed bumps to those specifications.
In other news, council will be adding a discussion item regarding the fire department’s yearly budget to their public safety agenda. Concerns were raised during the meeting by Jimmy Pasquariello, president of the Bath Fire Social Hall.
“They need help,” he said of the borough’s volunteer fire department, which relies on funding to purchase new safety equipment and renovate their fire station.
Borough Manager Brad Flynn outlined some of the funding the fire department has received over the years. Roughly $16,000 is put into a capital improvement fund for the fire department, paid for by Bethlehem Township EMS, who leases a bay in the fire station. In addition, between 2015 and 2020, Flynn says the fire department received about $140,000 in funding for workers’ compensation and insurance, in addition to $66,000 raised through the borough’s fire tax.
“[The fire department] can come to us and ask,” said Flynn. “We do not get any requests, [so we] are under the assumption that everything is fine.”
Other business discussed during the meeting included a borough cleanup. The popular
Monocacy Creek cleanup held twice per year has garnered much interest from the community. Now, Councilman Frank Hesch says a borough-wide cleanup is in the works. Like the creek cleanup, he anticipates it being held twice per year.
The Community & Economic Development Committee has also finalized uniform open signs for borough businesses. These signs will be displayed in the borough’s many small shops to let residents and visitors know they’re open for business. Business owners who may not have a storefront will also be allowed to proudly display their open status with garden flags for their front yards.
Other upcoming community events include another summer “Kool off the Kids.” The last event, held in July, allowed area children to frolic in the sprinklers at Carl Rehrig Park and cool off with some Italian ice. Mayor Mirabito thanked the Bath Water Authority and the fire department for helping with the event and hopes one more “kool off” can be held before school starts.
Finally, council approved the new rental inspection ordinance for advertisement for possible adoption in September. That meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 8. As always, the public is encouraged to attend so they can ask questions and stay informed.