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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bethlehem Township To Pay Workers on Active Military Duty

In the lobby outside the meeting room at Bethlehem Township's municipal building, there's all kinds of historical arrowheads and tools once used by native Americans. They're all under glass, but on the coffee table, there are numerous copies of something else. Comic books. "The New Avengers," with Marvel characters like Captain America, Thor and Iron Man, saluting the "real heroes, the men and women of the US military."

"Take one" offered Manager Howard Kutzler, explaining that a township employee who does double duty as a Reservist, brings in things like that for the kids.

At their February 21 meeting, Commissioners said thanks to this Reservist by unanimously adopting a resolution, sponsored by Jerry Batcha, to compensate Township employees activated by the military. Commissioners will pay the difference between a worker's military pay and what he or she would have received from the Township, for twelve months.

A similar resolution was in place for eight years for the now ended "Operation Iraqi Freedom," but Batch noted "we still have several Township employees who are in the military, and at any given time, can be activated."

After the motion passed, everyone resisted the temptation to shout, "Avengers assemble!"

In other business, Manager Kutzler reported that, with a recent $8,729.42 expenditure for road salt, Bethlehem Township has now exhausted its budget on that line item for the year. He will use liquid fuel tax proceeds for additional purchases if bad weather continues.

Commissioners ended their meeting with a discussion of a 55-acre property, west of Route 191, devised by the late Janet Johnston Housenick to Bethlehem Township for use as a public park in 2005. A mansion on this property was built by her grandfather, Archibald Johnston, a president of Bethlehem Iron Works and Bethlehem's first Mayor.

Although the park is unlikely to open officially until later this year or perhaps even next, Commissioner Michael Hudak reported that many people are already using it to walk their dogs and even build campfires. "It's turning into a dog park," he complained, asking for signs to be placed at the entrance.

Right next to this park is another 36-acre tract that Housenick donated to Northampton County as a park in 1986. Township officials have asked Solicitor James Broughal to continue his efforts to acquire that tract. "I have not received any indication they will not consider this," he reported, but cautioned that a property transfer would have to be approved by County Council.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Socialism. Nice gesture, very nice. Socialism is still socialism.