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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, June 05, 2014

NorCo Council To Decide on Municipal Park Grants

Once the Nevin Park Fountain, this is called the beehive
Yesterday, I was critical of two open space proposals. But there are many more i like, especially park improvements. At tonight's meeting, Northampton County Council will consider municipal park grant requests from Easton, Bethlehem Tp, Moore Tp and Bushkill Tp. These requests sailed through the Open Space Committee on Tuesday. The funding comes from a half mill real estate tax approved nearly nine years ago for farmland preservation, environmentally sensitive land and parks.

Easton's Hugh Moore Park. - The County will pay half of the $450,000 cost for improvements that will include an improved entrance, 8' wide walking path, new playground, outdoor classroom, tree plantings and wayfinding signage. The other half is coming from the Hugh Moore Park Charitable Trust.

Easton's Nevin Park Fountain. - The County will pay $35,000 of the $146,400 cost for a new fountain to replace the original cast iron fountain that was erected in Easton's Centre Square in 1865 as a livestock watering site. This fountain was dismantled and move to Nevin Park in 1899 to make way for Easton's Civil War monument. During WWII, it was melted down to support the war effort. This fountain is the dream of Easton's College Hill Neighborhood Ass'n, which is contributing 25% of the cost.

Bethlehem Tp Municipal Park Fitness Trail. - The County will pay half the $48,000 cost to replace 20 fitness stations at the 1.3 mile paved walking and running trail. Those fitness stations were first installed in 1992.

Moore Tp Community Park Improvements. - The County will pay half the $114,000 cost for the following: two dugouts to protect players during baseball games at McCandless Field ($28,897.50); a 2047' long, 4' wide walkway that parallels a roadway in the park ($40,136.25); completion of the perimeter trail by connecting parking lots with existing trail ($27,460.50); and double seal coating of the roadway ($18,000).

Bushkill Tp Ballas Tract Improvements at Kromer and Jacobsburg Roads. - The County will spend $137,336.00, or 35% of the cost to extend multi-use trails to Kromer Road. Open Space Administrator Bryan Cope has called Bushkill Tp a leader in the area of open space preservation. This money will also help fund a timber truss pavilion, gravel parking lot and add erosion and stormwater control enhancements.


Anonymous said...

There was never a specific "half mill" of tax approved for "land preservation. Stoffa pitched the idea and council agreed and voted for the increase in RE taxes tax.

It is illegal to target any part of county real estate tax for a specific purpose.

So the misnomer that voters voted for a "half mill" of tax for land preservation is a myth.

Any executive and any council can use the tax revenues for anything they want.

That is the reality, not the myth.

Anonymous said...

I support trails and parks 100%, however, I have never seen fitness stations being used. Seems like a big expense for rare usage. In general, I think spending money on trail access and safe crossing is a much better use.

Bernie O'Hare said...

4:28 is on la la land. Although this tax is not set aside and goes into the general fund, it has been used for open space. Stoffa sought the tax for that purpose . Idiots like McClure and Dertinger opposed it. They lost. Move on.

Anonymous said...

I give 4:28 credit for accuracy. You and even the Press still make the misstatement that the "people voted for a half mill" for open space. that is incorrect. While they did for a candidate who said he would use a half mill for that, there may be many reasons they voted for him other then the tax.

So both the newspapers and you are in fact misleading people with the half mill tax scam.

Anonymous said...

Was there not a non binding referendum in 2002 supporting open space passed by a majority of voters?

Bernie O'Hare said...

You're quoting me is making a statement that I never made

Matt Miles said...

These passed unanimously tonight.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks very much, Matt.