Monday, April 19, 2021

Bethlehem Mayor Donchez Hits Pause Button on 8.4% Water Rate Hike

Last year, and in the middle of a pandemic, Bethlehem imposed a five per cent tax increase.  Without flinching, the so-called Christmas City also shackled citizens with a new stormwater fee that could have waited a year or two. In addition to making the city more expensive, Bethlehem's elected representatives also voted to make it less safe. Five firefighter positions were cut from the budget. The only person who had the sense to say No to this nonsense was Council member Bryan Callahan. The rest of them, including Mayoral candidate Willie Reynolds, were quick to stick it to the ordinary Joes. No consideration was given to the very real likelihood that cities would be getting recovery money.  When that happened, schoolteacher-turned business Administrator Eric Evans gave Callahan a song-and-dance when the latter suggested that officials use that money to hire firefighters and return the tax hike. While the City drags its feet on what to do with its $33.1 million windfall from the feds, it was quick to announce on Friday that a 8.4% water hike is coming. This will be imposed on all customers using Bethlehem water. But finally, Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez has hit the pause button. 

This rate hike can be paid, at least temporarily, through the monies the city receives from The American Rescue Plan. Hopefully, he recognizes that there are no money trees in the back yards of Bethlehem residents. 


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The government of Bethlehem has been going downhill for years. It is arrogant and out of touch. It thinks it is Paris. The officials think they are above the people they govern. Sadly, Reynolds will be even worse as he is uniquely unqualified for the position of Mayor. As are some of the council people and candidates.

Bethlehem needs to step up and kick the self-appointed brahmans of Bethlehem to the curb and restore sanity to the city. No more Bethlehem teachers. Enough is enough incompetence.

Anonymous said...

It's not a fee, it's a tax.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:52, last time I checked, water was a fee based on usage.

Anonymous said...

Yes Start with transplant ne'er-do-well Page Van Wert and the whole Lehigh Valley 4 all (us)



Anonymous said...

The Rescue Plan money from the Fed can only be used to recover costs/losses directly related to the Covid pandemic. A water fee increase wouldn't apply, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Anon 832, this is the storm water tax - it's not based on usage (like your water bill), it's based on raising tax revenue to cover costs of handling storm water runoff of city property such as streets.

The very definition of a tax.

Anonymous said...

Dana Grubb is the only candidate running that agreed with Bryan Callahan. Politics makes strange bed fellows.

Anonymous said...

So they just taxed the rain that falls on my house! Whoever voted for that should be voted out of office!

Anonymous said...

All this is another reason to consider John Kachmar for Bethlehem mayor. He has thirty years of responsible fiscal management at the municipal and county level. Bethlehem needs to take off the one-party blinders for a while and restore some sound financial management to the city.

Anonymous said...

What if Mr Grubb were to be elected Mayor and he was to bring in Mr Kachmar as his Business Administrator