Bath Borough Council met Monday, June 10 to discuss the purchase of a dump truck, a public meeting for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System updates, traffic signal issues and the accumulation of fees associated with Right-to-Know requests.

During the meeting, Manager Bradford T. Flynn revealed that the borough applied for three separate grants for the purchase of a new Public Works Department dump truck, which would replace the current 2013 vehicle that has become worn down by increased road repairs in recent years. Only one of the grants has been approved so far; one grant is pending until winter 2025 and one of the grants has been denied.

Approximate costs for a new 10-ton single axel dump truck estimate $277,180 for the vehicle purchase, which is a 14% increase in price since last year. Although the approved grant would reimburse the borough $189,970 in funds for the dump truck, that still leaves the borough short $87,210. Therefore, council approved the use of liquid fuels funds to cover the remaining balance.

Next, council unanimously approved a motion to advertise an MS4 Committee meeting to be held at the George Wolf Elementary School’s gymnasium on Monday, June 24 at 7 p.m. for the purpose of updating and soliciting public comment about the borough’s MS4 program and possible avenues of income to support the projects.

As was noted during the January 2 meeting, the borough is considering charging a utility fee for stormwater management to help fund MS4 projects. The projects must be completed by December 2027, lest the borough will accrue hefty fines.

Additionally, the fee would be required by all property owners and would not exclude tax exempt entities such as churches, non-profits and schools since it will be a utility fee rather than a tax. A credit-based program was also suggested that would allow residents who perform stormwater maintenance or improvements on their property to accumulate credit towards their utility fee, which they could choose to use for themselves or apply it to organizations such as churches and non-profits.

During the MS4 meeting, the borough solicitor and engineer will be in attendance to answer any questions that residents may have and an in-depth explanation regarding the necessity of the projects and the proposed utility fee will be provided.

In other news, Solicitor James F. Kratz submitted a letter of resignation through the end of the year due to his desire to spend more time with his family. Kratz has worked as a solicitor for the borough for over 20 years and the borough expressed that they are sad to see him go but understand his reasoning.

Council approved a motion to advertise the solicitor position in the upcoming months and will likely conduct public interviews in August.

An announcement was also made about several traffic signals in the borough such as those at Northampton and Chestnut streets regarding PennDOT’s procedures for testing the traffic signals. Council requested that residents be patient as the issues are being worked on.

Council asked residents to notify the office if they witness anything problematic about the traffic signals while they are being worked on, so that the borough can alert PennDOT.

Following, a resolution was unanimously approved for an open container waiver at the Spuds and Spurs Festival, which will occur Saturday, June 15 from 1 to 6 p.m. downtown on Chestnut Street and Northampton Street.

On Saturday, June 15, there will also be an electronic recycling event at Fireman’s Field from 9 to 11 a.m.

Last, a letter from Solicitor J. Chadwick Schnee to borough resident Michael Long was read aloud by Kratz. The letter pertained to his accumulation of Right-to-Know matters, which addressed Long’s continued use of fictitious case law citations and making duplicative legal arguments that are unsupported by cases he references.

Schnee’s letter also stated that this has forced the borough to expend funds to research the fake citations Long uses and evaluate the legal propositions he claims that the cases reference, which has clogged the dockets with duplicative filings and serves no legitimate purpose.

Last, Schnee requested that Long withdraw or amend his motion no later than July 8, and if not, the borough intends to file a motion for sanctions for Long’s “vexatious and obdurate conduct.”

Kratz then pointed out that the fees accumulated by Long in Right-to-Know matters has created a financial burden for the borough, whereas the funds for the purchase of the dump truck would not be an issue if Long would cease accumulating arduous fees and manpower in duplicative Right-to-Know matters and motions filed with the Northampton Court of Common Pleas.

As of May 31, Long has accumulated approximately $56,409 in legal fees pertaining to Right-to-Know matters and motions filed with the Court of Common Pleas this year alone, which in just five months is close to nearing the approximate $68,747 in legal fees he accumulated in 2023.

Updates on the pending motions will be provided as they are made public.

The next Bath Borough Council meeting will be held on Monday, July 8 at 6 p.m. in the borough’s office building, located at 121 S. Walnut St.


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