During their Thursday, April 19 meeting, Northampton Borough Council approved Northampton Borough Police Department’s request to hire Aaron Koehler as a part-time police officer.
Koehler was the leading candidate on the Civil Service eligibility list, and the approval was met with a unanimous decision. Immediately following, Koehler was sworn in by Mayor Anthony Pristash.
Community Planner Victor Rodite addressed council again concerning the Community Development Block Grant, grant opportunities for park surveillance cameras, the proposed River Front Garden grants, and updates for the traffic light signals at 21st and Main streets.
Rodite explained the department is currently looking for grants that would allow the borough to build a pavilion and a garden at Canal Street Park.
Rodite suggested the pavilion be used as a rest stop, for people who use the trail, as an information center that would explain the town history, and would include handicap-accessible restrooms.
The proposed structure would be halfway up Canal Street at the edge of the park’s current parking lot. This would reduce two or three parking spots, which Rodite assured is not heavily used except for big events and is not well-designed.
Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski, Sr. suggested putting the structure on the part of the park where the area is not being used.
Rodite explained, “We don’t have a fixed location at this point, but the surveyor will look at the different possibilities.”
In other news, councilwoman Julia Kutzler announced the Northampton Farmer’s Market is scheduled to open on May 3 and will be open every Tuesday from May through September from 3 to 6:30 p.m. The market will be located at Municipal Park in the borough.
Councilwoman Kutzler also gave the Northampton fire and police monthly report for the month of March, citing 11 fire calls, three motor vehicle accident assists, and 146 incidents filed for the fire department. The police department had 18 accidents and investigations completed, 83 parking tickets, 43 traffic citations, 14 non-traffic citations, 100 traffic tickets, nine arrests for accident investigation damage unattended vehicle, carrying a firearm without a license, driving while operator suspended, DUI, and theft, 14 assaults, six domestics in progress, and 88 traffic stops for a total of 517 dispatches.
Kutzler stated, “We have an issue with crime in this borough that needs to be addressed.”
Under new business, the council unanimously approved nine other agenda items including the request of Central Assembly of God to use the municipal pavilions and permanent municipal bandshell on Sunday, September 18 with fees being waived due to being a nonprofit organization, the request of the Northampton Boys Lacrosse Booster Club to hold their annual end-of-year banquet in Municipal Park “A” pavilion with the rental fee waived, the request of Nazareth Area Chamber of Commerce to utilize the portable band trailer on Saturday, July 30 for their Martin on Main festival, stipulating they pay a delivery and removal fee and provide the borough with a certificate of insurance naming the borough as additionally insured, and the request of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church to use the portable band trailer on Sunday, June 19 for their Heritage Festival under the same stipulations.
Other approved agenda items granted permission for three borough police officers to attend the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) cyclist training event May 9 through May 13 at the Allentown Police Academy, with a cost of $200 per officer, as well as permission for an additional police officer to attend the Less Lethal Munitions Instructor Course on June 13 at the Lehigh Township Police Station for a cost of $275.
Additionally, the request of Northampton Area School District Police Department for assistance from the fire police in connection with their graduation exercises scheduled for Friday, June 3, with rain dates of Saturday, June 4, or Sunday, June 5 was also unanimously approved, as was the Northampton Fire Department’s request to conduct a coin toss at the intersection of 21st and Main streets on Saturday, May 7 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Following months of negotiations with Allen Township, the borough solicitor prepared a draft agreement for inter-municipal sewer services, and during Allen Township’s last board of supervisors meeting they approved the agreement. Councilmembers unanimously approved to finalize the agreement and approval, which establishes the sewer rate between the municipalities for the next ten years.
Council members decided to table the discussion for Siegfried Elementary School’s request to suspend parking on East 17th Street near the NAA field to accommodate additional parking for parents visiting various events. The event dates are Friday, May 6 for a Parent Picnic with a rain date of Friday, May 20; Thursday and Friday, May 12 and 13 for Books on the Lawn; and Wednesday, June 1 for the Fifth Grade Moving Up Celebration. The council chose to table the discussion for the May 5 meeting to explore further options.
The Borough of Northampton will be hosting a shredding event on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Northampton Memorial Community Center, located at 1601 Laubach Ave. for all interested borough residents.
The next Northampton Borough Council meeting will be held on Thursday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Borough of Northampton municipal offices, located at 1401 Laubach Ave.