The Northampton Borough Council met Wednesday, October 19 to discuss 2022 Tucker’s Toy Run, advertisements, a Northampton Area Food Bank request, resignations, livestreaming, and a Civil Service Commission request.
Reverend Jerry Mraz, retired pastor of Holy Trinity Slovak Lutheran Church, presented a request to borough council regarding Canal Street Park to create a beautification committee that would supplement and assist the Public Works Department with the 68 individuals that have shown interest in being involved.
Reverend Mraz also presented that he would like to place one or more Monarch Waystations along the Delaware and Lehigh Trail that would have approximately $600 worth of perennial flowers planted and an aluminum plaque in memory of his wife and granddaughter, which would cost approximately $902 that Revered Mraz would like to make a donation for. Reverend Mraz explained there would be a display case with caterpillars that people could watch turn into butterflies to symbolize Christian faith and resurrection.
Council member Lopsonzski Sr. expressed that Reverend Mraz’s project will bring people to a point where they stop, look and wonder, and infuse enthusiasm in other people. Lopsonzski shared that he would like to see if the borough can get more of the Monarch Waystations throughout the trails of Northampton’s parks.
“I think this is a totally worthwhile project. I would really like to see it expanded,” Lopsonzski Sr. said.
Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst shared his concern that once it is built, it will have to be maintained.
“We don’t have the time or the personnel to take care of things, so this is a very forward-thinking idea,” Brobst said.
In other business, Mayor Anthony Pristash announced that Private First Class Edward J. Reiter of Northampton who passed away on July 7, 1950 at the age of 17 courageously fighting for our country during the Korean War has finally returned home after his remains were recently identified.
Under new business, council members unanimously approved the request of Lehigh Valley Community Benefit with traffic control for the 12th Annual Tucker’s Toy Run motorcycle ride, which is scheduled for Saturday, November 5 at noon with a rain date of Sunday, November 6. The ride will begin at Tri-Boro, travel south on Canal Street to Laubach Avenue, then turn left and continue onto Route 329.
Next, council members unanimously approved the advertisement of an ordinance amending the Non-Uniformed Defined Contribution Pension Plan. The current collective bargaining agreement council agreed to is a borough contribution of four percent from three percent and requires members to contribute a minimum of four percent. The amendment will appear on the November 3 agenda, and it will be effective Jan. 1, 2023.
Council also unanimously approved permission to advertise an ordinance establishing a one-mill fire tax draft that has been prepared by Borough Solicitor Brian Panella.
Following, council unanimously approved the request of the Northampton Area Food Bank for permission to conduct their annual walk-a-thon on Saturday, October 29 rain or shine at 1601 Canal St. at 9 a.m. with assistance from the fire and police departments for traffic control.
Next, council unanimously approved the resignations of Stephen Kramer from the Zoning Hearing Board and Cynthia Carmen Kramer from the Planning Commission, both effective Oct. 31, 2022.
In other news, council approved the livestreaming proposal with a 5:3 vote, however residents will not be able to participate during the livestream. Vice President Julia Kutzler and council members Anthony S. Lopsonzski Sr. and Trevor Stone voted against the decision.
Last, council approved the request of the Civil Service Commission for permission to vacate the current Civil Service Eligibility List and to authorize the Civil Service Commission to create a new eligibility list.
During reports, multiple council members thanked Reverend Mraz for his hard work and devotion to the borough and the projects he is working on.
Vice President Kutzler shared that for the month of September, the Northampton Police Department had 593 dispatches with 120 traffic citations, five non-traffic citations, four non-traffic disorderly and harassment, 144 parking tickets, five arrests for DUI, one arrest for criminal mischief, one arrest for loitering and prowling, one arrest for simple assault, one arrest for possession of an altered title, and one arrest for possession of a controlled substance. Additionally, there were a total of 38 emergency 911 calls for the month of September as well.
“Our police department is pretty busy,” Kutzler noted.
Trick-or-treat night is set for Monday, October 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. throughout the borough.
The next borough council meeting will be Thursday, November 3 at 7 p.m. at the Northampton Borough Municipal Building, located at 1401 Laubach Ave.