|Steve Kehs addresses planners|
At the September 20 Planning Commission meeting, Kehs and Wetzel reported that Bethlehem has done "tremendous work" since their last Blight Study in 2002. But blight still exists, predominately at Bethlehem Steel properties on the South Side. After that, the Pembroke Road corridor, which includes a portion of Stefko Boulevard, has numerous vacant and deteriorated properties.
North side neighborhood and business districts are in much better shape. The most prevalent findings of blight there are cracked sidewalks as well as some underutilized properties like the Armory Building along Prospect Avenue. Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority recently voted to purchase that historic property.
Planning Commission Chairman Jim Fiorentino wondered whether CDBG grant money is really being used to address blight, or whether it pays for "fancy street lights on Broad Street."
"I don't know how you insure it," answered City Planner Darlene Heller. Fiorentino was told that most of the funds are being spent on the City's south side.