I arrived at the tail end of the discussion, which was attended by about 15 residents. Martin W. Comer, a regular at Board meetings, noted that many seniors on fixed incomes are unable to afford this kind of increase. "Where do you think we're gonna' get the money from?" he asked. "I doubt very much we can eliminate it without cutting services," responded Tom Nolan. Craig Storrs, a Northampton County Criminal Division employee with a Master's Degree in Public Policy, called the budget "fiscally irresponsible" and asked how a 37.6% can be justified when employee raises are given across the board.
Manager Melissa Shafer thanked the public for their suggestions and invited them to call for one-on -one sessions with her to discuss ideas.on how to reduce spending.
In other business, Marty Zawarski agreed with Barry Roth's complaints about the recent dorm expansion at Northampton Community College, which almost doubled the number of students who live on campus. Roth is concerned about the safety of students crossing Green Pond Road, where the dorms and parking are located, to the main campus. He chastised Commissioners for not insisting on a traffic study or demanding an overhead bridge. He noted that the lighting is poor in that area, and the treeline makes it impossible for drivers to see students until they are crossing the street.He added that students cross at different crosswalks, and should be limited to just one. he called the situation a "disaster waiting to happen," and also indicated that police are called to the area weekly because of loitering complaints.
"The community college has to step up and accept responsibility for the situation they created," agreed Zawarski, who added that "the trees could be gone tomorrow" if the college was interested in driver and pedestrian safety.
Commissioners also approved a planning module for sewage facilities at St. Luke's Anderson campus, and also agreed to permit Old Dominion Freight to commence redevelopment of a 43,000 sq ft distribution warehouse on Broadhead Road. Bethlehem Attorney Blake Marles told Commissioners that there will be only 100 trips to and from that site on a daily basis.