|Joe Kelly discusses Bethlehem recycling facility|
Michael Prendeville, who lives on Karen Drive, urged Supervisors to complain to the PUC, adding that he intends to do so himself. "The no new tax pledge of the outgoing Mayor was just shifted to the utility board," he complained. Supervisor Steve Salveson added that he is getting numerous calls from residents. "It's good to know there are citizens who are concerned about it," noted Chairman John Diacogiannis.
Township Manager Jay Finnigan told Supervisors about several exchanges he had with Bethlehem's Water and Sewer Director, David Brong. He learned that the $1.1 million rate increase proposed by Bethlehem is the equivalent of 0.78 mills in Bethlehem taxes. Hanover will contribute $277,512 to the increase. Most of the money will come from residential customers, not businesses.
Prendeville had earlier told Supervisors that Bethlehem was paying down its deficit "on the backs of Hanover Township's people."
Bethlehem's current annual residential cost is $321.06, already the highest annual cost of the Lehigh Valley's three cities. Allentown's annual cost is just $273.32, while Easton Suburban charges $307.66. If the rate hike is granted, Bethlehem will charge residential customers $380.17.
Supervisors have until January 25, 2014, to appeal the proposed rate hike.
Ironically, Bethlehem's outgoing Director of Economic Development, Joe Kelly, was at the meeting, too. But he was there to review plans to expand the recycling facility, and left before the discussion turned to the Christmas City.
Public Works Director Vince Milite, a fixture at most meetings, was in a plow truck as a result of some last-minute squalls. Finnigan told Supervisors he just ordered 250 tons of road salt. "If you know anyone who can invoke novenas, we could use the help," he concluded.