Nazareth Borough Council met Monday, December 5 to announce the borough’s volunteer of the year, a new police hire, and the 2022 Christmas tree pickup schedule.
The council began the meeting by awarding and congratulating Barbara Fischl as Borough Volunteer of the Year following her receipt of the Northampton County Award as top volunteer for 2022.
Mayor Lance E. Colondo presented her the award, stating: “Barbara Fischl’s most commendable volunteer spirit has taken her leadership roles concurrently on the Borough’s Planning Commission, Library Board, and Civil Service Commission at a time when residents can scarcely be found to assume a singular role of public service…The borough may have never seen a dedicated person like Barbara Fischl who can effectively and professionally serve in three volunteer roles, all of which are crucial to our borough for both its present and its future. Remarkably, Barbara Fischl has led three borough commissions at the very same time in an age when volunteerism and public service are on the decline.”
Council members all thanked Fischl for her hard work and dedication to the borough since 2007.
Next, under public property, the borough council unanimously approved the following motions: 2023 pool rates of adults during weekdays $12, weekends and holidays $14, juniors ages 4-17 during weekdays $8, weekends and holidays $9, senior citizens ages 62 and older during weekdays $7, weekends and holidays $9, and children under 4 are free, 2023 pool pass rates for a family of four $275 and $30 for each family member above four, senior adult (18-61) pool passes will be $175, junior (5-17) pool passes will be $150, and senior citizen pool passes will be $100; free pool admission day on July 4, 2023 for all veterans and active military personnel, and $1 pool admission for everyone on Nazareth Day, Saturday, July 15, 2023; rental rates for the Borough Pavilions will be $125 for the large pavilion for each of two quadrants, $125 for the entire small pavilion, $75 for the park gazebo, $50 for the Kiwanis park pavilion, and $50 for Essroc park pavilions; and a two year lease agreement with State Representative Joe Emrick for the office at 136 S. Main St. and his office along the main corridor of 134 S. Main St. for a monthly rent of $500 in 2023 and $525 in 2024.
Under finance, council unanimously approved motions for the final 2023 Borough Operating Budget, which contains no tax increase with the borough’s real estate tax rate of 16 mills for an updated total real estate tax assessment of all properties as of Nov. 1, 2022 being $125,579,800; the enrollment of the borough in the State Unemployment Solvency Fund for 2023, which removes the borough’s obligation to pay for layoffs and reduced scheduling unemployment claims from other employers with the borough remaining responsible for its own layoffs and hourly reductions; and the resolution to retain Campell, Rappold & Yurasits LLP to provide auditing services, and specifically, an audit of modified cash basis financial statements and a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Annual Audit and Financial Report. The costs for completion of the audit and the financial statements are $15,000 in year one.
In other news, the borough council approved a handicapped parking space at 30 E. Walnut St.
Next, council approved the full-time hire of Steven Violett effective Jan. 2, 2023. Councilman Michael J. Kopach was against the new hire, stating that it is too costly to the borough to continue hiring full-time police officers.
“Sometimes you have to do more with less,” said Kopach.
Councilman Carl R. Strye Jr. voiced that he hopes the new hire will fix the amount of money the borough has been paying part-time officers in overtime.
Councilwoman Laureen Pellegrino requested that the number of monthly overtime hours appear on the monthly police report moving forward.
The monthly police report for November included a total of 270 calls, which included: 14 crimes reported and investigated, eight criminal arrests, one drug related crime, one part 1 offense, 101 traffic citations, 30 warnings issued, three reportable accidents, 14 non-reportable accidents, 343 parking enforcement officer violations, 59 officer-issued violations, and 402 total parking tickets issued. The total monthly income for fees collected in November was $17,345.75.
The monthly fire report for October included a total of 24 service calls, which accounted for: 10 fire alarms, four motor vehicle accidents, two carbon monoxide alarms, two pump details, one EMS assist, one odor investigation and four mutual aid calls for one motor vehicle accident and three commercial structure fires.
Next, the borough unanimously voted to approve the renewal of the agreement with Genetech for the surveillance camera system at an annual cost of $1,230.
Council members also voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 873 to place a no parking zone on the south side of East Prospect Street at Franklin Street and to reset fees for registration and renewal of annual residential rental licenses at $35 for application and initial registration and $20 per unit for a renewal.
Council also unanimously voted on the following schedule for Christmas tree pick-up: Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2023, and Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. Residents will also be able to drop trees off at the Sage Street parking lot at any time.
The next Nazareth Borough Council regular monthly meeting will be held on Monday, January 2 at 6 p.m.