After several years of planning and discussion, Bath Borough Council unanimously passed the borough’s new rental inspection ordinance on September 8. This ordinance, said members of council, has been something they and residents of the borough have wanted for a long time.
The ordinance will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. The goal of the ordinance is to protect the health and safety of residents by ensuring property owners and managers maintain units to local, state, and federal standards. It will also require landlords to evict residents who are disturbing the borough’s quality of life or violating drug laws.
After the ordinance goes into effect, owners will have 60 days to fully complete rental license applications for each unit. The proposed fee is $80 per unit per calendar year, though this rate is subject to change. Renewal of the rental license will be required by December 31. After the first year, units will be inspected every three years; however an inspection can be performed if requested by the occupant.
The borough will use the fall to educate residents and landlords. An in-depth video about the ordinance has already been released on the borough’s Facebook page.
In other news, borough council and the Community and Economic Development Committee are planning for Old Home Week 2022. Last held in Bath in 1912 and a popular event among other small communities across the nation, Old Home Week welcomes former residents to return to their hometown for a week of activities and celebrations with current residents.
Says Councilman Frank Hesch, every night of the week will feature a different event. 2022’s celebration is proposed for Sunday, August 14 through Saturday, August 20. Activities will be spread throughout the borough, starting with a picnic and softball or kickball game. Events also include a bicycle parade on Holiday Hill, a bonfire at Fireman’s Field, an outdoor movie night at Keystone Park, shopping and dining downtown, and a borough dance, before ending on the day of Spuds and Suds.
Anyone who would like to help plan these activities is encouraged to reach out to the borough.
Also discussed during the September 8 meeting was parking on Old Forge Drive. Several residents have recently received tickets for blocking the sidewalks with their vehicles. However, some residents say their driveways are too short and their vehicles cannot help but hang over the sidewalks.
Council sympathized with this issue and discussed different solutions that could be implemented. Some portions of Old Forge Drive have an inner sidewalk and an outer sidewalk broken up by sporadic grassy areas. Council discussed potentially marking the inner sidewalk for parking and using the outer sidewalk for walking by filling in the grass. Council will be sending the issue on to engineering for further recommendations and asked residents to “bear with” them as they look for a solution.
Council also voiced their displeasure with the road work done on Penn Street, Independence Avenue, and Easter Terrace. The contractor has been notified and a special engineer has been appointed to inspect the work and help guide the borough on next steps. While no definitive timeline has been announced, residents with concerns are encouraged to call the borough for periodic status reports.
Finally, several events will be occurring in the borough throughout the fall. They were announced at the September 8 meeting and include:
- Bath Blues & Brews on September 18 (downtown Bath, rain or shine)
- Coffee with a Cop on October 19 (9 to 11 a.m.)
- Bath Town Cleanup on October 23 (9 a.m. to noon, meeting at borough building)
- Treats with a Trooper on October 31 (at the borough building)
- Electronic Recycling and Document Shredding on November 13 (9 a.m. to noon, Bath residents only, at Fireman’s Field)
The next regular Bath Borough Council meeting will be held on Monday, October 4 at 6:30 p.m.