Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Bethlehem Tp Approves $10 Million Line of Credit For Big Ticket Needs

At their April 7 meeting, Bethlehem Township Commissioners unanimously approved a 5-year line of credit for big ticket items in the upcoming years. These include a $1.2 million aerial fire truck, other fire vehicles and roadway improvements. Finance Director Andrew Freda told Commissioners that the credit line would only be drawn on as needed over the next five years, with a very favorable 2.6% fixed interest rate.

Approximately half of the funding for the new firetruck - $550,000 - is included in a grant application to the Northampton County Gaming Board.

"It's a $10 million line of credit, not a $10 million loan," cautioned Comm'r Michael Hudak. President Tom Nolan agreed, noting that the certification for the fire truck is set to expire. "These are issues that we can't ignore for too long before we get in trouble."

There was no objection or questions from members of the public.

In other business, Commissioners decided against requesting the Parks and Recreation Board to consider relaxing rules to permit dogs at Housenick Park, as well a wine and cheese party that a local State Representative wanted to host.

A big part of the problem, at least in the mind of Comm'r Phil Barnard, is whether they've ever really decided how this park, part of the Archibald Johnston estate, should be used. "I don't know if we truly defined what we're going to do there," he wondered.

Hudak noted that alcohol is permitted by permit in part of the community park, but it's in the open, under supervision and near rest facilities. Housenick, he noted, is a more secluded area.

Comm'r Marty Zawarski thinks the idea is premature. "I'm not in favor of going down that road and allowing alcohol," he reasoned, noting he might change his thinking as the park is developed.

The request to allow dogs into Housenick Park came from Karen Berry, who told Commissioners that many people stay away because they are unable to bring their dogs. She, herself, owns no dog. "I don't have a dog in this race she laughed."

Noting he had been down this road many times before, Hudak gave a detailed explanation why he opposes dogs in Township parks, based on what he sees during walks along the Lehigh River towpath. "There's constantly dog feces there," he complained. "It's not just the solid waste of the dog. It's the liquid waste that's just as destructive," he argued, noting most parents would be disgusted to see their children rolling around on grass where had just urinated.

So for now, dogs, are completely banned at Housenick. State Representatives are OK, but must leave the wine and cheese in Harrisburg.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

You named the person who wanted the dogs in the park, who was the state Representative who wanted the booze in the park?

Bernie O'Hare said...

The person was identified as a state representative. I believe I heard the name, but not clearly, so I am reluctant to name the person without being more certain. I am 90% certain. But not certain. Someone who may have heard the name is more than welcome to add it. It's no great sin for a state rep to want to host a wine and cheese party.

Anonymous said...

I think it is important. The civilian who wanted to allow dogs was identified but no the state Representative. It sends a bad message of a double standard for people in power.

We don't want or need that in this country.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is simply a matter of hearing. I know the young lady who asked about the dogs. I sat next to Ms. Berry, and joked with her and her husband. I may have joked too much bc I did not hear the name of the state rep for sure. The state rep was not there. I did not think to ask about it bc it made no difference. If someone who attended knows for sure, they can name the person. Also, Comm'rs said no to both. They acted consistently. You can say I did not, but that is bc the name was only mentioned once. I don't think it's a big deal, and am trying to report what I know, not what I am pretty sure I know.

Anonymous said...

What a money pit that park is. On the poop note doesn't Hudak realize that park is loaded with Deer? The Deer poop and piss all over the place out there. The evidence is obvious. I wouldn't want my kid rolling around out there period. Whether its deer or dog poop, what's the difference? That Township Board is so lost and can't get out of its own way. And don't get me started on its crazy borrowing. It would be interesting to see the press report on why a growing town like that needs to borrow so much when others around it are not? Did they not just hire a new cutting edge Manager?

Anonymous said...

6:10,
You obviously know little about Bethlehem Township's finances. Most departments that are not under a CBA have had their budgets cut to the bone. The borrowing will benefit long lasting capital improvements, like the fire trucks. Unlike police cars, fire trucks only need to be replaced every 15-25 years. To be fair to Ms. Shafer, she has been on the job for about a month. If someone could make notable changes in 30 days, it would be a miracle. There is no rampant waste in BT. The public safety budget accounts for nearly 49% of the municipal budget, and nearly 80% of that is for the police department. There is only one money pit, and that's the community center.

Anonymous said...

There is a disproportionate amount of Gaming candy being distributed in the Lehigh Valley. Time to spread that wealth to other communities.

Anonymous said...

Bernie
Pretty soon dogs won't be allowed anywhere. Emmaus bans them in their parks as well as lots of other towns.

Anonymous said...

Most dog owners are like most cigarette smokers, insensitive to those around them.

Anonymous said...

Hudak is a moron. Go to Trexler Park in Allentown or any portion of the parkway and see how "destructive" urine is. Those parks are light years above anything in the pathetic township system.

What kind of an IDIOT obsesses about kids "rolling in dog urine" - it sounds like a form of obsessive compulsive disorder or a phobia to germs. Hudak, here's a secret, LOTS of other animals urinate and defecate on the grass.

Anonymous said...

Most dog owners are like most cigarette smokers, insensitive to those around them.

Give it a rest. If "most" dog owners left their shit laying around, there would be mountains of shit everywhere.

I never thought there'd be an equal to the whining anti-smoking asses. Don't get me wrong, smoke and dog shit, aren't great but neither is the smell of cow manure I have to live with in the township or plumes of exhaust wafting off Route 33.

Ed Rendell was right. We are a nation of wusses. The guy who wrote the comment above is one of them.

Stop the complaining and the constant whining. Christ, these people want to live in an antiseptic bubble buying cheap Chinese crap and holing up in their houses never to even use the park system they so carefully protect.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Why does your blog not mention anything about the borrowing to include upgrading the new community center? Express times mentioned it, what upgrade are they referring too?

Anonymous said...

8:34, let me guess, you're a Jersey transplant, cigarette smoking dog owner who thinks your shit don't stink, own several assault rifles and a closet homosexual to boot that speculates the comment was made by a male. Move away from 33 and the cow shit smell, we'll all be happier.

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:05, improvements to the community center are included. Don't know what they are.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"There is a disproportionate amount of Gaming candy being distributed in the Lehigh Valley."

Since that is where the impact is felt, the lion's share of the money should be spent there.

Anonymous said...

""There's constantly dog feces there," he complained. "It's not just the solid waste of the dog. It's the liquid waste that's just as destructive," he argued, noting most parents would be disgusted to see their children rolling around on grass where had just urinated."

In other news, fish poop in the water they swim in. It's why humans should stay out of the ocean. This dog owner agrees with 7:49 about how irresponsible many are. It doesn't take many turds to upset an entire community. Just ask the NoCo Bulldog. A wussy (like Ed Rendell, a man who gets professional manicures) isn't afraid to tell butt-flicking, irresponsible dog owners to pick up their shit.

Anonymous said...

10:35 AM Except for Bethlehem and maybe Hellertown, Gaming Impact is a loose definition.

Morning Call 10/23/12
Jay Finnigan, Hanover Township manager and chairman of the Northampton County Gaming Revenue and Economic Development Authority, made the remark Monday after the authority awarded nearly $270,000 in grants.

"If you look at the applications that we approved tonight and if you look through the paperwork, I challenge you to find where impact has been proved on any of them," Finnigan said.

In 2013 Sen Boscola announced $1.675 million in state gaming Grants for Northampton County Municipalities from MONROE COUNTY! That is about $1.1 Million MORE than the Legislation designates for Lehigh municipalities beyond Allentown since gaming was initiated.

When you consider some communities have not recieved any benefit from gaming, others have benefited multiple times.

May 2011 - Bethlehem Township for two new police cars ($70,000), a new ambulance and new medical rescue equipment ($113,000)

May 2012 Bethlehem Township for two mobile video units ($36,533), tasers ($4,939), Two Police vehicles ($87,500).

October 2012 Bethlehem Township for two police motorcycles ($63,000)

April 2013 Bethlehem Township for purchase and outfit two police vehicles ($95,000)
April 2014 (Request)

Bethlehem Township towards an aerial fire truck ($550,000) seeking $99,181 for two police cruisers. In addition, they are seeking $7,049 for a polygraph.

AND

In 2013 Monroe County share provides Bethlehem Township a check for $100,000 to renovate and expand the Nancy Run Fire Company and bring the facilities up to date.

That’s heck of a lot of impact from Monroe County.

Anonymous said...

"Since that is where the impact is felt, the lion's share of the money should be spent there"

The real impact is Human Services were the money was supposed to be spent but even that was screwed up in order to turn it into a vote getting grab bag.

Anonymous said...

9:21 AM - No, I'm a lifelong LV resident. And NOT a homophobe. Time to pitch some hay, Gomer.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Pay attention,do not go into debt! This venue is were I was once a young man and my parents still survive at almost 85 yrs. old. and I came back to here after Vietnam and 27 other need places the U.S.Marine Corps sent me tax free.Now however , BT has two fire departments and the term fire department is a misnomer. It should be called the all encompassing hazard department. They do a great job and there stuff wears out early because of short trips and a lot of use,along with drag in technology of new units. They can save your life on Thanksgiving Day this year for example, they need the tools.

Peter J.Cochran said...

I will get a new keyboard, sorry typos missing keys because Im so CHEAP to buy new stuff. My wonderful bride of now 25 yrs might kill me because of my cheap stuff I do. Sorry --Their and use is ----Sorry ,I cheap, ask any one.

Peter J.Cochran said...

OK I'm going to stick my neck out in a general direction. POLICE CARS should not costs what they are charged. They typically have no rugs or leather interior. BUY TOYOTA TRUCKS got to Milham or Bennett and see them and drive them 250,000 miles not 120,000 miles.How can a ford Chrysler or Chevy be this much money with a cage and a radio? Toyota's are made here in America by the UAW and they hold up in Afghanistan the hardiest environment on this planet that humans live on.Tis is why the Taliban drives them ----and the U.S.Special Forces !

Anonymous said...

5:59,
Bethlehem Township has two fire companies, not two fire departments. They work together with a common set of guidelines adopted by both companies and the Township. Can you be a little more specific in calling them the "all encompassing hazard department"? If you refer to NRFC's decision to render mutual aid to anyone, anywhere, that is not the philosophy of both fire companies. Choose your words carefully.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Anon 5;59 Yes, See, today fire departments handle issues like heart attacks or CVA's and shooting support issues along with Carbon Monoxide alarms to vehicle wrecks. This brings bleeding people and insufficient airways to their lungs and away we go!They are trained to deal with your house fires and not flood everything you own-and school bus accidents that have your kid on it along with smoke in your church on Monday 4am .See this business of fire protection has gone farther in the last 5 years than it went in the past 25 years. It's acceleration, accedes other industry .Palmer, and Easton ,Wilson and Bethlehem city -same thing.You may obtain this information at each municipality free. It is a fact of life or death.

Guy Williams said...

Hudack is a goofball. Does he have any idea how many squirrels,bunnys,birds,groundhogs urinate in a park. The park is a toilet for animals for God sake. Then theres the bugs and bug droppings,call out the national guard for Christ sake and save our youth from rolling around in all the filth. Then theres the God awful curse of poison ivy. The threats of township liability is causing taxpayers to go bonkers. Politics the game of champions.

Anonymous said...

Hudak has a valid point. Any moron who compares wild animal feces, deer, rabbits ,bugs ! Etc. as being the same as dor crap obviously knows nothing about nature and has never stepped in dog crap. Wild animals feces is 100% organic. Therefore it breaks down and is recycled into the soil in just a couple of days.. Dogs on the other hand are scavengers by nature. Their food consist of meat product ranging from tounge to intestine. Their digestive acids are so powerful they can actually dissolve pure bone. This combination is why you KNOW when you stepped in dog crap instead of rabbit poop. If you think it's no big deal then please provide your address so I can tell all my friends where to go and shit their dog and not have to worry about cleaning it up. If you don't like someone else dogs pissing and shitting in your yard then you have to agree with hudaks position plain and simple.
FYI, I have two dogs and I agree that they don't belong in that park.