Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Centralized Human Services Bldg Gets Green Light

Planner Kenn Edinger worries about safety at mid-block crosswalk
At their March 25 meeting, Bethlehem Township Planning Commission unanimously endorsed a revised land plan for a centralized human services building at 2801 Emrick Boulevard. In February, Northampton County Council signed off on a 15-year lease for a 3-story, 66,375 sq ft building on 5.36 acres, with 256 parking places, at a cost of about a million dollars a year in rent. Because the plan previously approved by planners contemplated a medical office building, it had to be revised for human services. The plan must also be endorsed by the Board of Commissioners.

Planners are concerned, however, about a new bus stop being proposed by LANTA at the site. It includes a mid-block cross-walk. "We already got a problem at the Community College," complained resident Barry Roth, referring to a mid-bloc pedestrian crossing there. "Somebody's gonna' get hurt. It's not going to look good on the front page of the newspaper."

Roth's concerns were shared by Planner Kenn Edinger, who suggested that safety concerns be addressed. "I like the idea," he added. Project manager Jim Gentile assured planners that the safety concerns will be addressed.

This project, which is imminent, will result in 100 construction jobs at prevailing wages.

In other business, planner considered a Coordinate Health proposal for a 3-story, 49,000 sq ft medical facility contiguous to Outback Steakhouse. Attorney Tom Stitt, representing the Outback, urged planners, "Don't just rush this through." He complained he had concerns about drainage, parking and access.

Lee Snover worries about overcrowding at Coordinated Health
Although he's been a patient at Coordinated Health, Stitt told planners, "I don't want to be the first patient whose car gets towed." Chairperson Lee Snover noted that Coordinated Health does get crowded at other sites. "They get their foot in the door, and then explode in the building," she observed. Edinger added that Coordinated Health has a "bad track record" as a result of "overbooking."

Coordinated Health's Erin Kintzer, however, told planners that "this facility is different." She noted it is an out-patient facility, not a hospital.

Planner James Daley told Stitt, "Nothing goes zipping through here."

And it didn't. The plan is under review by township officials and engineers. "The bottom line is they gotta' meet with what the Ordinance say," noted Daley. "If our Ordinance is deficient, feel free to bring it up with the Board of Commissioners."

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

So once again people were lied to when they were told the centralized Human Services buoldign "had been apporived by planners". Not the enitre turth. How easy it has become for this crew to lie.

By the way those prevailing wage jobs may not be union jobs.
Gotta love it!

Bernie O'Hare said...

There was no lie. County Council was told planners would be approached for the change in use and were told it would be perfunctory, and it was.

When a project is built for the government, the people who do it deserve a living wage. Maybe you'd prefer illegal immigrants.

Anonymous said...

People who voted for it were told it would be union jobs but it would appear they were hoodwinked.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Nobody was hoodwinked, They will be prevailing wage, and likely union.

Anonymous said...

You do have to give this Administration credit. Stoffa, Mohr and Gentile pulled the wool over this silly council, and are laughing all the way to the bank. The mness they leave behind will be up to the new Administration and council to clean up.

Bernie O'Hare said...

How is Stoffa laughing all the way to the bank? Do you have any evidence at all that he has enriched himself? If you can't produce that evidence, and can't even identify yourself, you should crawl back under the rock from where you came.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Stoffa a "lame duck"? Yet he continues to spend spend and spend.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Stoffa is County Exec until December and has a Council that, for once, is willing to work with him. So he will try to get a few things done. Perhaps you would like our bridges and Gracedale to crumble.

Anonymous said...

Why not, he let the Wolf Bulding and Bechtel crumble and this county council gave him a new building for his name. Seems Stoffa's poor management works out to his advantage.