During their first meeting of 2022, the Bath Borough Council spent some time looking back at what was accomplished in 2021 but quickly moved full-steam ahead to work on improvements for borough residents and businesses in 2022.
The PA State Police were present during the meeting to report on incidents in 2021. There were 744 total incidents in the borough last year. They included 39 disorderly conduct incidents (ex: loud noises or disturbances), 31 minor assault incidents like pushing and shoving, three aggravated assaults, 72 motor vehicle crashes, 289 calls for help (ex: landlord disputes, 911 hang-ups, welfare checks), 58 property crimes (ex: criminal mischief), six identity theft cases, and 196 miscellaneous calls (ex: road hazards, lost items, found items).
One regulatory checkpoint was also set up as a traffic stop in the borough, resulting in 12 investigations and four DUI arrests.
While police did not notice an upward trend in one particular crime, they did say that identity theft cases are rising across the area. Most of these cases involve unemployment claims.
“I think the state police are doing a wonderful job patrolling our street,” said resident Roseann Ombati.
Mayor Fiorella Mirabito echoed these sentiments and thanked the police for their service. To residents, she reiterated that if they “see something, say something.” Calling the police for instances like park vandalism is the only way for an investigation to be opened.
Meanwhile, the borough’s volunteer fire department gave their 2021 report. In total, there were 295 calls for the year.
Other than safety, parking will also be a big focus for the borough in the New Year. Reports from 2021 show an income of $4,000 from the borough’s parking meters, an increase from the $1,000 in parking fees collected in 2020. Councilman Frank Hesch believes the borough is on the right track and will break even with the cost of installing the meters.
However, council also acknowledged issues with parking availability in the winter. There is limited parking available during snow emergencies. This year, the public safety committee will be reviewing the current list of snow emergency roads and exploring options for an additional parking lot where residents can move their cars during these snow events.
Jan. 1, 2022, also marked the start of the borough’s rental inspection registry. Rental property owners have until the end of March to register their units. Existing properties then have three years to complete their inspection.
“We are looking forward to applications and questions as they come in,” said Borough Manager Brad Flynn. He encouraged residents to use this time to get registered. He added that landlords should expect more information arriving soon, but an early interest from some property owners “has been good to see.”
Finally, council approved an ordinance for advertisement. This first ordinance of the year will limit the placement of billboards to specific zones in the borough and apply different regulations. For example, billboards will not be permitted in residential zones, but will be allowed in manufacturing zones. Hesch said he is hopeful that this ordinance will help improve the appearance of the borough.