Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Housenick Park Trails To Be Built This Spring

Pat Breslin
At their March 2 meeting, Bethlehem Township Commissioners voted unanimously to finally start work on the Housenick Park's Trails. It's a long time coming," noted Michael Hudak. "I'm glad to see it's finally moving forward." Commissioners awarded a $471,000 contract to NIMARIS Construction to complete the trails and build a driveway and parking lot. The funding for this is coming from a DCNR grant, matched by funds from the Housenick Park Trust. Construction is expected to start this Spring.

Commissioners also voted to advertise a new ordinance that will allow firearms in township parks. This change is the result of a recent state law that authorizes organizations like the NRA or the tea party to challenge any attempt by a municipality to regulate the possession or transportation of a firearm. Under the changes proposed, it will still be illegal to discharge a firearm while inside a township park.

Police cruisers and their equipment will soon have a roof over their head, thanks to the Weiss Construction Co. Paul Weiss, a former Commissioner, was the low bidder, at $139,024 for a police carport. This was a sealed bid.The Township had budgeted $150,000 for the work.

Commissioners also decided it's time to teak the Township's Comprehensive Plan, and hired Thomas Committa to help Planning Director Nathan Jones. "We know the credentials of Mr. Committa," observed Tom Nolan. Committa will be paid up to $50,000 over nine months.

Finally, Commissioners revisited their PTO (paid time off) policy for the township's 17 non-union workers. On February 16, they deadlocked on a slight adjustment upward, favored by Phil Barnard and Tom Nolan. Michael Hudak suggested a compromise, a slight increase in the number of sick days. Though Pat Breslin voted to support the slight increase, he grumbled that "this is why government has an all-time poor approval rating. He complained that the people he helps shovel out of snow after church on Sunday "pay for all of this."

This vote was resented by some non-union workers in the audience, who complained after the meeting that the PTO policy pales in comparison to what the unions will be getting when their new contracts are approved. Those contracts are still in negotiation and unavailable for public review.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Though Pat Breslin voted to support the slight increase, he grumbled that "this is why government has an all-time poor approval rating. He complained that the people he helps shovel out of snow after church on Sunday "pay for all of this." "

Wow.. flip flop Pat. The guy is on WAEB telling the whole Valley what is wrong with Bethlehem Township and how he is making change and now votes to sweeten the pot for the public employees. A true politician at work here!

Anonymous said...

"Commissioners also decided it's time to teak the Township's Comprehensive Plan, and hired Thomas Committa to help Planning Director Nathan Jones. "We know the credentials of Mr. Committa," observed Tom Nolan. Committa will be paid up to $50,000 over nine months. "

More spending by Bethlehem Township for something that is absolutely not necessary. They cut their managerial employees in favor of sweet union contracts and turn around and spend 50 grand for not needed Comp Plan update. The community is grown out for gawd sakes. Administer what is on the books and be done with it. Stop wasting hard earned tax dollars! You would think that Democrats are running that place. Last I remember there is a Republican majority!!

Anonymous said...

6:36 You nailed it! These clowns spend $50K of tax payer money and don't blink an eye. Where is your concern for the tax payer commissioners? Paul Weiss who was complaining at the last meeting about wasting tax payer money on staff, behind the scenes is in line to grab $139K for a project he shouldn't even be allowed to do! Then the unions.... another story in itself, lets see the commissioners roll over for them, but stick it to the Non Union Staff!

Anonymous said...

Breslin, you douchebag, don't come to my house ever again looking for a vote.

Yes, WE pay for "all of this" and I for one am happy to pay our police officers fairly. You? I guess not, you are too busy with your church "reality".

Anonymous said...

8:09 - Oh please. You pay 1% in payroll tax. Give it a break.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"More spending by Bethlehem Township for something that is absolutely not necessary."

Actually, I believe the MPC requires a ten-year review. I am not sure why a consultant needs to be hired when the township has a planner. I'd like to see that justified.

Anonymous said...

They are spending unbelievable and the shit has not rolled down hill yet. The huge tax increases will come in the next couple years, but the board will cook those books. The tea party people vote for spending and tax increases all the time. We saw with Breslin, county council and Lehigh Twp. They are the biggest phonies and a cult.

Anonymous said...

Stop crying already. We've been paying peanuts for years. A tax increase is not the end of the world. Stop spending so much money on lottery tickets, gramps.

Lighthouse said...

6:29, 6:36, 8:09, 10:17,

I will be the last to defend Tea Party politicians, nor carpetbaggers, however, your "flip-flop" criticism of NorCo and municipal officials who claim to be TPs might be an observation that once some folks are "on the other side of the dais" they fully see their responsibilities and how they have to pay for them... unless you are willing to shut the place down, which I know some so blinded by ideology would love to do. Actually BT has only had one small tax increase since the mid-1990s.

Personally, I am glad work is finally beginning on Housenick with DCNR and Housenick Trust funds.

Also, I see nothing wrong with treating OUR employees (union and non-union) with respect and compensating fairly and within reason.

Carport has been requested for years. With tight budgets, pros and cons have always been debatable.

Comp Plan... it has been 10 years (2004). I understand 6:36's statement that the Twp is largely built out. However, the previous one considered the Wagner tract (now Madison Farms) and envisioned a Forest City lifestyle center akin to Promenade across from Southmont. Even with some current BOC alliances with with a developer who was partially behind a challenge to the long planned Wagner tract development, there is still alot of potential development: St. Luke's (both sides of 33, including above referenced former Forest City site), Chrin property at Wm Penn interchange (already proposals), property north of PennDOT park and ride (Pektor had eyes on), the PPL tract off farmersville (that Pektor was going to development at one time), tract north of 22, etc ... point is, naysayers might agree revisiting/tweaking Comp Plan is reasonable if they fully appreciated how these help guide the character of future development. I would suggest that anyone (pro or anti development) participate in the public dialog on it rather than complain, or challenge, after the fact.

Lighthouse said...

By the way, just re-reading your original post... I was not at the meeting, could you clarify: did they vote "a slight increase in the number of sick days" or with Breslin there, to a slight increase in PTO?