During their meeting on Thursday, July 21, the Northampton Borough Council unanimously voted to hire Officer Aaron Koehler of Palmerton to a full-time position. Before this appointment, Koehler served the borough as a part-time police officer.
Mayor Tony Pristash swore in Koehler before members of the board, the public, Koehler’s family, Police Chief Bryan Kadingo, and current members of the police force.
“They are proud of each other, and they help each other,” Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski, Sr. said of the borough’s police force. A former officer himself, he applauded the department’s show of support. “We have some outstanding, great people, and they need to be recognized.”
In other news, council approved Wheels on the Canal for Saturday, May 20, 2023, at Canal Street Park. The event, held for several years, benefits Mission 22 and Blue Star Mothers – Lehigh Valley Chapter #201.
Meanwhile, council rejected a request from Holy Trinity Slovak Lutheran Church for a “Church Parking Only” sign. The church requested the sign for the south side of 14th Street between Washington Avenue and Line Alley.
The restriction would have only been in effect on the third Sunday of every month when the congregation meets. However, council members voiced concern over the limited street parking currently available. The church does have a parking lot. Councilmembers Lopsonzski, Sr., Kenneth Hall, Anthony Lopsonzski, Jr., and Ronald Glassic voted for the sign. Councilmembers Bonnie Almond, Judy Haldeman, Trevor Stone, and Judy Kutzler voted against it. Mayor Pristash, who voted against, broke the tie.
During the meeting, council also voted to allow Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst to enter into a discussion regarding an inter-municipal sewer agreement with East Allen and Allen Townships and the Northampton Area School District. The school district has requested 13 EDUs for their new school facility at Route 329 and Seemsville Road.
No decision will be made during the discussion, and any agreement would have to be approved by council.
“You cannot say yes or no without the information,” said Hall, who voted in favor of the motion.
Only council members Kutzler, Almond, and Haldeman voted against.
Finally, council members voiced disappointment in the public pool closure scheduled for July 23 and 24 due to a lifeguard shortage. It was the first occasion the pool had to be closed, and the borough does not foresee any further closures until the pool season ends on August 20.
“I sure wish we could have come up with a better plan,” said Haldeman. She suggested reaching out to neighboring municipalities to see whether they have lifeguards.
Glassic asked whether the pool could be open even for a short time during one of the hottest weekends of the year. While swimming is allowed without lifeguards in water up to three feet, Brobst said opening the pool without lifeguards leaves the borough subject to too much liability.
The next council meeting will be Thursday, August 4, at 7:30 p.m.