A year after an unofficial access point to the Nor-Bath Trail was closed off, residents are wondering when a new public access point will be established. They approached Northampton Borough Council on Thursday, August 18, to voice their concerns.
Residents of McKeever Lane had previously used a neighboring private property to access the trail. However, a new property owner placed “No Trespassing” signs on their land in response to safety and liability concerns.
“We are a little frustrated,” said Linda Homishak, a resident of McKeever Lane. She said the next closest access point to the more “natural” part of the trail is too far away.
“That trail is there for us to use,” she continued.
The borough had attempted to establish an easement with another property owner. Trees were cleared while construction began on the access point. However, the property owner changed their mind. The borough is now closing off the entrance out of safety concerns and restoring the property to its natural state. Orange fencing is installed to prevent trespassers.
Homishak and other residents in attendance asked whether the borough could purchase the private property and remove the orange fencing, which they said is an eyesore as well as a safety hazard because children may potentially use the unfinished area to access the trail.
“It is unfortunate that one person has created such a problem,” said neighbor Lori Novogratz.
“One person has just as much right to their property as you do,” Brobst responded.
Councilman Ronald Glassic agreed. “They pay taxes just like you do,” he said.
Brobst said the borough will try to make a cash offer to the property owner but does not know how successful the request will be.
In other news, Andrew Laub, former pool manager, has been hired as a full-time public works employee. Brobst and members of council were impressed with how Laub managed his responsibilities this past summer.
“I have heard nothing but good things about the pool,” said Councilwoman Judith Haldeman.
“If your past is your future, I hope you live up to it,” added Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski, Sr. “I believe you will.”
The pool season ended on August 20. Receipts came in slightly behind last year. Brobst believes this is because Northampton’s pool was one of the only public pools open in 2021. The Department of Health visited the pool on August 11 for a routine inspection. It was the first inspection conducted since 2012 due to staff shortages. The pool passed. Next summer, it will be sandblasted and repainted.
The next borough council meeting will be on Thursday, September 1, at 7 p.m.