During the Northampton Borough Council meeting on Thursday, June 2, council approved a pay increase for pool staff. This follows a previous rate increase approved in May, which raised the hourly rate for lifeguards from $9.75 to $10. The new rate reflects a 19.22% increase and will cost the borough $9,450.
Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst spoke to pool employees personally about the raise.
“Everyone seemed pleased,” he said. He added that the borough is still looking for several certified lifeguards, but hopes this pay increase will “entice employees.”
“All [municipalities] are struggling,” said Councilman Kenneth Hall, citing nearby townships and boroughs forced to close their pools because of staff shortages. “It is something we have to do.”
“[This] will greatly improve the attitude and morale of our workers,” added Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski, Sr.
When asked whether there are enough lifeguards to keep the pool running, Brobst said the borough is prepared to “give it our best shot.”
In other news, the police department’s bicycle patrol is now operational throughout the borough.
“We anticipate this will provide a good opportunity for one-on-one contact with our police officers,” said Brobst.
Several members of the community have reached out to the department to praise this new program.
Lopsonzski, Sr. requested that the bike patrol keep an eye on the parks, especially as the weather grows warmer.
“This police department is doing a hell of a job,” he added. “Our job here is to give them every tool and program they need to function.”
Lopsonzski, Sr. also said that he would like to see an additional police officer hired in the borough, something several other members of council agreed with. This would bring the department’s total to 16 officers.
Other items discussed during the June 2 meeting included the Fourth Annual Firefighters Parade. Council approved the parade for Saturday, July 9, in conjunction with Community Days.
Council also discussed the new position of assistant to the borough manager. Applications can be found online and will be accepted until Friday, June 10, at 4 p.m. Brobst said several individuals have expressed interest in the position.
Finally, starting in September, council meetings will begin at 7 p.m. Traditionally, meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. The request to move the time came from Councilman Ronald Glassic. He said that a late start time works well in the summer because of busy schedules and extended daylight. However, he wondered whether it would be more beneficial to start the meetings earlier in the evening once fall starts.
Council approved this request. The new start time will be in effect for “several meetings” as part of a trial run.
The next borough council meeting will be on Thursday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m.