The Nazareth Borough Council met Monday, November 6 where they discussed the borough’s proposed 2024 operating budget and the job listing of a public works position.
Under public property, council unanimously approved a resolution to honor Huth Insurance Company of 16 Belvidere St. on the occasion of their 125th anniversary of continuous business in the borough.
Council also approved the following public property agenda items: direction for the secretary to advertise the yearly closing of the skate park on Sunday, December 3 with a scheduled reopening on April 1; a resolution certifying the borough’s submission of the Nazareth Regional Ambulance Corps’ grant initiative proposal for a statewide LSA grant seeking funding for a digital sign for their headquarters; the request of the Nazareth Area Youth Baseball and Softball Association for the 2024 spring, summer and fall use of both Bill Gold fields, Veterans Memorial Square Field, Holy Family Field, the Holy Family Forest Drive Field and the main field in the Nazareth Borough Park with the understanding that the Legion and the middle school team receive preference; the purchase and installation of four post covers for the new basketball standards in the park at a cost of $450 each plus two additional benches at a cost of $750 each using borough recreation fees; and recognition of the $500 contribution for the purchase of the borough’s downtown Christmas trees by Carole Bowers.
Under finance, council approved their 2024 operating budget with a one mill tax increase, which is the borough’s first tax increase in six years.
Additionally, council unanimously approved the following finance items: the payment of $84,622 divided into quarterly payments as the borough’s share of 2024 library support; prohibiting last minute “blitz spending” during the final 45 days of 2023 by all department heads with all expenditures not previously approved in the 2023 budget requiring full council approval; receipt of the borough’s annual public utility tax reimbursement for the Verizon property on North Whitfield Street; an amendment to the 2024 police pension budget adopted at the September business meeting, which will be remitted to the borough’s actuary, Conrad Siegel Inc., so the bi-annual Act 205 report can be filed; formal appointment of Conrad Siegel Inc. in actuaries as the plan accountant and third party filing designee for the borough’s non-uniformed pension plan; and advertisement for an ordinance which establishes salaries for all borough employees and public officials for 2024 and lists a 2024 borough real estate tax rate of 17 mills, which will be known as the Annual Tax and Levy Ordinance.
Under police, council unanimously approved site adjustments to the handicapped parking space on Whitfield Street due to the location causing problems with a resident’s yard and driveway entrance, as well as the request of the Nazareth Area and Lehigh Valley Chambers of Commerce and downtown manager, Lisa Borick, for free downtown parking on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
During the month of October, the police department received 330 total police activity/calls for service with 26 crimes reported and investigated, 17 criminal arrests, five drug-related crimes, five Part 1 offenses, 96 traffic violation citations issued, 74 warnings issued, 10 reportable accidents and nine non-reportable accidents. Additionally, parking enforcement had 195 parking enforcement officer violations throughout October, 70 officer-issued violations and 265 total parking tickets issued for the month.
Under law, council unanimously approved the following motions: an ordinance permitting dogs in the borough’s parks that are on a leash; advertisement of an ordinance correcting the Parking Ordinance and adding “no parking” on the south side of West Walnut Street and the north side of East Walnut Street; and cancellation of the regularly scheduled borough workshop meeting that was scheduled to be held on December 28 with direction for the secretary to advertise the cancellation of the workshop meeting in a general circulation newspaper.
Next, under environmental steering and lighting, council approved four motions: direction for the secretary to advertise the Sunday, December 3 closing of the yard waste facility for the season with a planned reopening on Tuesday, March 26; a resolution to approve the bid of J. P. Mascaro & Sons for the Borough of Nazareth 2024 solid waste and recyclables contract for a three-year term for $3,261,027 with two separate potential option years in the amounts of $1,166,857 for option year one and $1,221,330 for option year two; a resolution that authorizes the borough to charge fees for refuse and recycling collection, effective January 1; and an ordinance amending Chapter 20: Solid Waste, which deals with the wrong day of collection of refuse and recycle collection and the fees for that service.
Under technology, council unanimously approved the NEDC’s initiative to pursue Federal Home Loan Blueprint Community status and provide the NEDC with a letter of support, as well as the appointment of Mayor Lance Colondo to serve as the council representative for the NEDC sponsored Blueprint Communities Initiative.
Last, under public works, council unanimously approved direction for the secretary to place ads seeking a full-time Public Works employee with an application deadline date of November 30.
The next regular monthly Nazareth Borough Council meeting will be held on Monday, December 4 at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers.