The Bath Borough Council met Monday, December 4 for a bittersweet meeting.
First, the Bath Republican Association decided that they wanted to help the borough’s Master Park Plan after it was suggested in previous months to plant a wildflower buffer/rose garden along Fireman’s Field on Monocacy Creek where the floodplain area exists, since the borough is unable to build a permanent structure there.
To help with the project, the Bath Republican Association asked council to accept a $1,500 donation as “seed money” to kick off the beginning of the Master Park Plan implementation.
Along with council, Mayor Fiorella Mirabito thanked the Bath Republican Association for their generous contribution and expressed that never, in all the years she has lived in the borough, has any organization given as much to the borough’s park system as the Bath Republican Association.
Then, Mayor Mirabito shifted gears and extended her sincere gratitude toward Council President Pro Tem Barry Fenstermaker and Councilwoman Phyllis Andrews since it was their last official meeting as council members due to their terms ending this month.
Mayor Mirabito thanked Fenstermaker and Andrews for all of the “incredible” time that they have put into the borough as both residents and council members, and for their selflessness throughout the years as they volunteered for every event that herself and Vice President Frank Hesch organized. She then shared a poem that reminded her of both Fenstermaker and Andrews.
Mayor Mirabito and the rest of council thanked Fenstermaker and Andrews for their service to the borough and wished them and their loved ones well with continued good health.
In other business, Kathy Reph-Hayes, owner of Hayes Flowers, announced that Yuletide in Bath will have festive events all day this year, which will be on Saturday, December 16 and includes the annual Santa Run hosted by the Bath Vol. Fire Dept. from 9:30 a.m. to noon, photos with Santa at the northern portion of Ciff Cowling Field (206 E. Main St.) from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., the Bath Lions Club Candy Cane Hunt at the same location at 2 p.m., live ice sculpting at Monocacy Creek Park (241 W. Main St.) from 3 to 5 p.m., fire pits with s’mores stations also at the northern portion of Ciff Cowling Field from 1 to 3 p.m. and at Monocacy Creek Park from 3 to 5 p.m., as well as holiday specials throughout several borough businesses, with a note to stay tuned to social media for any changes due to the weather.
In continuing with the spirit of gratitude, Mayor Mirabito thanked everyone that had any part in helping with the tree lighting ceremony on Sunday, December 3, which held out through the rain and didn’t seem to dampen the holiday cheer as this year’s event turned out to be even bigger than last year’s.
Then, President Michele Ehrgott expressed thanks to all of the borough employees and council members, recognizing them for their continued dedication, and gave special thanks to Fenstermaker and Andrews for everything they have done for the borough over the years.
Switching back to formal business, council unanimously approved a motion to accept the revised Master Park Plan with the inclusion of the adjustments made to the recommendations for improvements and pending comments from DCNR and Northampton County.
In addition to a resolution for the 2024 schedule of fees, council unanimously approved an extension of time through June 30, 2024 for a land development plan proposing a three-unit apartment building at 522 E. Northampton St. due to a number of issues identified in the review letters that will need to be addressed.
In regard to the 2024 Bath Borough Council sub-committees, the following is a list of when each committee will meet: Parks & Recreation Committee will meet the first Monday of each month at 5 p.m.; the Environmental Steering committee will meet the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m.; the Bath Planning Commission meeting will be held the third Monday of each month at 6 p.m.; the Community & Economic Development Committee will meet the third Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m.; the Personnel, Finance & Administration Committee will meet the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m.; the Historic Architectural Review Board meeting will be the third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. (as needed); the MS4 Committee will meet the fourth Monday of each month at 5 p.m.; and the Public Safety Committee will meet the fourth Monday of each month at 6 p.m. at the borough’s office building.
Additionally, council will begin holding their regular monthly meetings on the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. starting Feb. 12, 2024.
Bath Borough Council will hold a special meeting on Monday, December 18 at 6 p.m. where they will consider adoption of an ordinance increasing the borough general purpose tax rate from 15.20 mills to 15.70 mills; retaining the debt servicing tax rate of 1.25 mills and retaining the fire tax rate of 0.50; and increasing the overall property tax rate for 2024 to 17.45 mills. The public is encouraged to attend.
The next regular monthly meeting will be combined with council’s biennial reorganization meeting on Tuesday, January 2 at 6 p.m. in the borough’s office building, located at 121 S. Walnut St.