|Hanover Tp Manager Jay Finnigan Chairs Gaming Board|
At this meeting, the following officers were elected: Jay Finnigan - Chair; Joe Kelly - Vice Chair; John Dally - Secretary; and Tom Nolan - Treasurer. All votes were unanimous. In addition, members unanimously agreed to appoint Northampton County Economic Development Analyst Karen Collis as their Executor Director. She replaces Alicia Karner, who resigned to take over Bethlehem's Department of Community and Economic Development.
|Karen Collis new Exec Director for gaming Board|
According to Treasurer Tom Nolan, the Gaming Authority is currently sitting on $354,223.26 in "restricted" funds, i.e. set aside for grants in process. There is also $446,403.27 in uncommitted funds.
Freemansburg Mayor Gerald Yob, who also sits on the Gaming Board, complained that his borough had to borrow money to pay for two police cars because the grant process is split into quarterly payments. Finningan and Kelly both told Yob that his grant was based on anticipated revenue that has not yet arrived from the casino.
"You can't write a check if the money's not there," explained Finnigan.
Volunteer firefighter Kevin Kalman, who is associated with volunteer fire companies in both Freemansburg and Bethlehem, complained that the Board shows a "heavy slant toward the police departments," and a "less than proportionate representation of the fire companies." Mayor Yob disputed Kalman's contention, noting that it is more difficult for fire companies to show they've been impacted by the casino. He added that a grant was recently obtained for defibrillators, which were then distributed to fire companies.
Chairman Finnigan sided with Yob, adding that Hanover Township was able to get a vehicle for its volunteer firefighters through a gaming grant.
Volunteer fire companies must apply for these grants through the affected municipality, cautioned Vice Chair Joe Kelly.
As a final item of business, Solicitor Scott Allinson told the Board that the terms of office have expired for members Timm Tenges and Tom Nolan. But he explained that, under the Municipalities Planning Code, a board member whose term has expired may continue to serve until he is re-appointed or replaced.