The Bath Borough Council met Monday, March 6 to discuss upcoming events including “Spuds Lite” and had a lengthy public comment section.
First, Mayor Fiorella Mirabito began with a moment of silence to honor two borough residents that recently passed: Margie Rehrig, a longtime resident and one of three founding members of the Bath Museum, and Don Remaly, who donated a year of his life to helping Bath renovate the municipal building including all of the electrical work. Mayor Mirabito shared a heartfelt poem and extended her sincerest condolences to their families.
Next, Mayor Mirabito and Vice President Frank Hesch commemorated Eagle Scout David M. Heintzelman with a certificate of recognition for his exemplary work in upgrading the Borough of Bath signage with dedication and commitment. Heintzelman not only worked on cleaning up the signage and restoring it, but also illuminating the signage and improving the landscaping around it.
During public comment, several residents voiced concerns regarding two unsightly trash problems in the borough. Resident Darrin Heckman spearheaded the discussion, pointing out that the downtown area along West Main Street has garbage cans, boxes of trash, furniture, and other debris on the sidewalks in public view.
Additionally, Heckman and other residents also voiced concern regarding the two bright red trash bins that are in Monocacy Creek Park. Heckman explained there are two permanent trash receptacles in the park and that he has picked up the two bins multiple times because they have blown over since there was barely anything in them. Heckman and other residents expressed that the red bins are unsightly and that the borough should get rid of them.
President Michele Ehrgott replied that the red bins are for the Public Works Department and suggested possibly switching out the red bins for green ones and placing them in areas that are not so visible.
Next, developer of the Bath View Condos, Justin Huratiak, voiced concerns regarding a recent request for a temporary code official inspection of the shell of the building, which was scheduled for the previous Friday, but was canceled by the Bath code official.
Huratiak expressed that he is under a time crunch because he is less than 60 days from what he stated is an achievable date with eight tentative tenants who are ready to move in on May 1.
Although some items to complete the condos are on backorder and have caused multiple setbacks, the eight units that will be occupied and the leasing office will be ready for inspection by that time. Therefore, Huratiak is requesting a temporary occupancy permit for the parts of the building that are completed and code compliant.
Solicitor James F. Kratz stated that he would reach out to the code official to explain what Huratiak is requesting and ask him about why he canceled the inspection.
Following, Jennifer George reiterated her concerns regarding the recent shooting on February 3, stating that the borough does not need a study to figure out if a police presence is needed.
George expressed that she was woken up at 1:45 a.m. to the gunshots and that the police did not arrive until 2:04 a.m., which was not a three-minute response time that the borough claims.
However, Mayor Mirabito explained that the response time was in relation to when the state police received the call about the incident.
Councilman Manny Mirabito added that even if the borough had their own police department, if no one called them, they would not have gotten there any sooner than the state police did.
President Ehrgott stated: “We hear your frustration, we know how you feel, and we will take it into consideration, but we’re not going to be making a decision anytime soon. It took us three years to get out of Colonial Regional. Do you know how long it will take us to go back in? It’s not going to be tomorrow or next week if council decides to go back to any type of police, it’s going to take years.”
Councilman Mirabito shared that the borough is currently looking into some of the things that the borough could do regarding conducting a police study to look into the benefits of different police services.
Next, council announced that there will be an electronics recycling event on Saturday, June 24 from 9 to 11 a.m. and an annual creek cleanup event on Earth Day, which is Saturday, April 22. Residents that would like to help out at the cleanup should meet at the Borough Hall at 9 a.m. and bring proper attire such as gloves.
Terry DeGroot from Spuds and Suds announced that the name of the event has been changed to “Spuds Lite” and that they are in the early planning stages, but are going to hold the event this year on Saturday, June 24 tentatively from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Ciff Cowling Field. DeGroot added that they are looking into having pony rides for the kids this year, have booked the Brian Dean Moore Band, and encouraged businesses to participate with Bath Borough businesses being exempt from transient vendor fees.
Last, Mayor Mirabito shared that the Pennsylvania State Police will be at the April council meeting, so borough residents should come out and voice their concerns with them at the meeting.
The next Bath Borough Council meeting will be held Monday, April 3 at 6 p.m. in the borough’s office building, located at 121 S. Walnut St.