The City of Bethlehem uses an independent third party tool to provide automated language translation. As with any machine translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not fully translate text into its intended meaning. Therefore, the City of Bethlehem does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text and it should not be relied upon for anything other than informational purposes. We recommend that if you experience difficulty, or doubt the accuracy of the translation, you contact the proper City of Bethlehem department for the information you seek. Please note that some applications and or services may not work as expected when translated.
BETHLEHEM CITY COUNCIL MEETING
10 East Church Street – Town Hall
Tuesday, July 5, 2011 – 7:00 PM
2. PLEDGE TO THE FLAG
3. ROLL CALL
President Robert J. Donchez called the meeting to order. The Reverend Monsignor William F. Baver, of Saints Simon and Jude Church, offered the invocation which was followed by the pledge to the flag. Present were Karen Dolan, Eric R. Evans, Gordon B. Mowrer, J. William Reynolds, and Robert J. Donchez, 5. Mrs. Belinski and Mr. DiGiacinto were absent, 2.
Honoring Stuart J. Bedics
President Donchez presented a Citation to Stuart J. Bedics, former Police Commissioner, on the occasion of his retirement after 24 years of service in the Police Department.
The Members of Council applauded former Police Commissioner Bedics and wished him well in his retirement.
2011 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)
Prior to the consideration of the regular Agenda items, President Donchez called to order a Public Hearing to review and accept public comment on the proposed use of funds to be received under the 2011 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) in the amount of $45,404, of which $27,851 is allocated to the City of Bethlehem. The remaining $17,553 is allocated to the City of Easton for whom the City of Bethlehem serves as fiscal agent as required by federal guidelines. For serving as fiscal agent, the City of Bethlehem will receive an administrative fee of $1,775, which represents 10% of the City of Easton’s JAG funding.
7 A. Police Department – 2011 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)
The Clerk read a letter dated June 29, 2011 from Lt. Donald Hoffman, Professional Standards Division, regarding the Police Department’s application for the 2011 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) in the amount of $45,404. Of that amount, the City’s allocation of $27,851 is to be used to purchase computer hardware and software.
Craig Finnerty, Acting Deputy Police Commissioner, stated as part of the application process this Public Hearing is required and the Police Department would like to use the funds to replace cruiser equipment, computers, keyboards, mounts, modems, etc.
There was no public comment on the matter of the Public Hearing.
President Donchez stated that Resolution 11 A is listed on this evening’s agenda.
The Public Hearing was adjourned at 7:10 p.m.
4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
President Donchez noted that the Minutes of the June 21, 2011 City Council Meeting will be provided for approval at the next City Council Meeting.
5. COURTESY OF THE FLOOR
6. OLD BUSINESS.
A. Old Business – Members of Council
B. Tabled Items
C. Unfinished Business
1. Establishing Article 1716 – Landmarks and Properties of Historical Interest
(Assigned to Preservation Plan Task Force)
B. City Solicitor – Right of Way Grant Agreement – UGI – Long and E. Raspberry Streets
The Clerk read a memorandum dated June 30, 2011 from John F. Spirk, Jr., Esq., City Solicitor, to which was attached a proposed Resolution and associated Right of Way Grant Agreement with UGI Utilities, Inc., for the purpose of granting permission to construct, maintain, operate, extend, replace, change the size of and remove pipeline, service laterals, transfer station, and any and all related aboveground and underground facilities, including but not limited to a gated and fenced-in station, for the conveyance, transmission and distribution of gas on, in, over and across certain property of the City of Bethlehem at Long Street and East Raspberry Street in accordance with the Agreement.
President Donchez stated that the Resolution will be listed on the July 19 Agenda.
A. President of Council
1. Administrative Order – Jason D. Schiffer – Police Commissioner
Mayor Callahan appointed Jason D. Schiffer as Police Commissioner,
effective July 8, 2011.
Resolution No. 2011-107, sponsored by Mr. Evans and Mr. Mowrer, confirmed the appointment.
Voting AYE: Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 5. The Resolution passed.
2. Administrative Order – Craig S. Finnerty – Deputy Police Commissioner
Mayor Callahan appointed Craig S. Finnerty as Deputy Police Commissioner, effective July 8, 2011. Resolution No. 2011-108, sponsored by Mr. Evans and Mr. Mowrer, confirmed the appointment.
Voting AYE: Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 5. The Resolution passed.
Fireworks Traffic – South Bethlehem
Mayor Callahan noted that his office and Members of Council
have received phone calls and emails concerning the post fireworks
traffic congestion and gridlock in South Bethlehem on July
4. Expressing that he appreciates the calls and emails, Mayor
Callahan said he witnessed it first hand and was stuck in
traffic for over a half hour himself. He pointed out that
overall the Levitt Pavilion weekend opening at ArtsQuest on
the South Side was an enormous success and something to be
proud of. He noted it was estimated that there was twice the
typical attendance from past 4th of July weekends in Bethlehem
which is a good thing. Much of the additional attendees were
in South Bethlehem and on the SteelStacks Campus at ArtsQuest.
He said since attendance on Payrow Plaza was down by about
25 percent, the North Side did not experience the typical
traffic congestion, but on the South Side there was unacceptable
congestion and gridlock. Commenting there were some unusual
circumstances that were unique to this particular event, Mayor
Callahan pointed out that typical Musikfest events in South
Bethlehem will not have nearly the volume of cars on the parking
lots and campuses as there was for the 4th of July because
much of that area will be closed off to cars. It is anticipated
it will be different for people going to Musikfest, particularly
on the South Side, than for the 4th of July. Mayor Callahan
explained that some of the unique issues were related to the
movement of cars on the ArtsQuest campus on the South Side
and the difficulties of getting people off the campus and
onto Third Street or First Street. He continued on to say
some of the ongoing traffic issues on the South Side are related
to roadway construction issues. In particular, the North-South
connectors between Third and Fourth Streets are closed right
now because of construction of the Greenway that is anticipated
to be completed by the end of July. The continued ramp construction
at Third and Brodhead will take place through the end of the
year. Mayor Callahan advised the Administration will be meeting
with ArtsQuest on Thursday, July 7 to go over an operational
plan for Musikfest and do the final touches to make sure the
City is up to speed and prepared for the changes of the new
footprint of Musikfest going into this year’s festival.
There will also be a review of last night to better prepare
for next year’s July 4 activities. Mayor Callahan commented
that, obviously, a root cause analysis needs to done on what
took place last evening to come up with a better plan for
moving people in and out of the South Side, in the short term
while the construction is ongoing, and to be better prepared
for next year. Mayor Callahan advised similar exercises have
been done with the Sands Casino earlier on when it opened.
He said there was similar gridlock and congestion issues,
particularly with the Sands special event giveaways. Mayor
Callahan explained that, as was done with the Sands, the City
will work together with ArtsQuest to come up with a plan to
better address these issues and to react better when they
do come about. Mayor Callahan noted the City has had a great
deal of success in dealing with traffic issues in South Bethlehem
over the years. Observing it is a double-edged sword, Mayor
Callahan communicated the good thing is that there is a lot
more activity and more people visiting South Bethlehem but
there have also been some growing pains along the way. Mayor
Callahan acknowledged it has been recognized that last night
was unacceptable, the City will do better next 4th of July,
and be up to speed for Musikfest this year.
C. Finance Committee
Mr. Reynolds, Chairman of the Finance Committee, presented an oral report of the meeting held June 27, 2011 at 7:00 PM in the Mayor’s Conference Room on the following: Transfer of Funds – General Fund – Bach Choir – September 11 Commemoration that was not approved by the Committee; The items of Temporary Increase in Firefighters; PennVest Application – Sewer System Improvements; Amending Ordinance 2010-49 – EMS Facility and Fire Pumper; and Amending Section 121.08 – Gaming Local Share Account were unanimously approved by the Committee.
D. Community Development Committee
Karen Dolan, Chairwoman of the Community Development Committee, gave an oral report of the Committee meeting held on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 7:00 PM in Town Hall on the Historic Preservation Plan. The Committee unanimously recommended that City Council adopt a Resolution for the Historic Preservation Plan with revisions.
9. ORDINANCES FOR FINAL PASSAGE
10. NEW ORDINANCES
A. Bill No. 17 – 2011 – Amending Ordinance 2010-49 – EMS Facility and Fire Pumper – Separate Bank Account
The Clerk read Bill No. 17 – 2011 – Amending Ordinance 2010-49 – EMS Facility and Fire Pumper – Separate Bank Account, sponsored by Ms. Dolan and Mr. Mowrer, and titled:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BETHLEHEM,
COUNTIES OF LEHIGH AND NORTHAMPTON,
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, AMENDING
THE TAX ORDINACE FOR THE YEAR 2011.
The Clerk stated that a memorandum was received today from Attorney Spadoni advising and confirming that this is scheduled for First Reading this evening. In the memo it was noted that Councilman DiGiacinto may propose another amendment that the City Administration shall immediately deposit these sums upon receipt into the referenced accounts, and this memorandum is applicable to both Bills 17 and 18.
Ms. Dolan questioned whether the motion is being considered tonight. President Donchez replied no. Attorney Spadoni stated he received the information this afternoon that although Mr. DiGiacinto would not be at the Meeting tonight he wanted to note that he may have an amendment. Attorney Spadoni explained that he notified the Members of Council as soon as he found out. Ms. Dolan observed the amendment could be made on Final Reading. President Donchez replied that is correct. Ms. Dolan said she would appreciate if the Finance Committee members could explain why this is important. Mr. Reynolds, Chairman of the Finance Committee, responded that he would defer to Council President Donchez as it was his suggestion. President Donchez explained that, when the Auditors began the audit, they reviewed Ordinance 2010-49, for the 2011 Tax Rate, adopted last December. In the 2011 Tax Rate Ordinance, the amount of .75 mills was dedicated to be used for the purpose of the construction of an EMS Facility and a Fire Pumper. President Donchez received a call from the Auditor saying she knew the intent of the Ordinance but felt that it should be phrased differently. President Donchez advised that he then asked Attorney Spadoni to call the Auditor. Attorney Spadoni had a conversation with her and it was a joint effort to draft the amendment to the Ordinance that had been passed last December, and the amendment was reviewed at the Finance Committee meeting.
Chairman Reynolds noted that, in discussing the matter at the Finance Committee meeting with Dennis Reichard, Business Administrator, language was added to not only place the .75 mills into a separate bank but to also state that the funds in the separate bank account are to be controlled by City Council under a line item in City Council’s Budget separated and segregated from all other monies. Mr. Reynolds said that was the suggestion that came up in an answer that Mr. Reichard had given to a question at the Finance Committee Meeting. Mr. DiGiacinto, Member of the Finance Committee, endorsed that language as well, he offered the amendment, and the Finance Committee voted on it. Bill No. 17 – 2011 contains the language change approved by the Finance Committee. Mr. Reynolds noted that was the only change from President Donchez’s original amendment. President Donchez expressed his agreement with the language.
Ms. Dolan asked if this creates a precedent. President Donchez noted the dedicated revenue from the 2011 Tax Ordinance passed last December is in a separate line item account. Mr. Reichard affirmed it is in the Non-Utility Capital Fund. Ms. Dolan observed that, under Bill No. 17 – 2011, the money is going to be taken out of the Non-Utility Capital Budget and put into City Council’s budget. President Donchez, responding that is correct, confirmed it would be a new line item under the control of City Council. Ms. Dolan, stating she understands the purpose of it, asked if it creates some type of precedent by Council putting City dollars into City Council’s budget because Council feels it has to in order to make sure the will of Council and what was promised in terms of the use of tax revenue increases, etc., is followed through. She wondered if this is a good time to set precedent, or if this has been done before. President Donchez said he was not aware that it has been done before but felt the concern of the Auditor was that she knew the intent of Council and the debate but she felt it was not airtight. The Auditor’s recommendation was to move the money into a separate bank account. President Donchez continued on to say, as Mr. Reynolds had explained, during the discussion at the Finance Committee meeting the matter of moving the dedicated tax revenue into City Council’s budget came up, setting up a new line item, and transferring the money when appropriate. Mr. Reynolds added that one of the questions that came up that might be connected to Ms. Dolan’s question concerning a precedent was whether or not there would be other costs incurred by doing this. Mark Sivak, Director of Budget and Finance, had informed the Committee it may be about $100 for maintenance fees having to do with a new bank account. Mr. Reynolds said he does think it is important, as far as taking the step that went beyond President Donchez’s original suggestion, to note that, as part of the conversation between Mr. Reichard and Mr. DiGiacinto at the Finance Committee meeting, Mr. Reichard communicated it does not matter to him or other members of the Administration if the money is put into City Council’s budget. It had been indicated that, if it makes Mr. DiGiacinto more comfortable with the matter, Mr. Reichard was fine with that. Subsequently, Mr. DiGiacinto said he would make that amendment to have the money put into a separate line item in City Council’s budget. Mr. Reynolds said the point was made that if the City were going to spend this money or if something else were going to happen with it, it would have to come to City Council anyway. Ms. Dolan, affirming that Council is going to have to vote on this again on Final Reading, said she will vote on this with prejudice because she thinks what the Auditor wanted was locking in the direct promise to the taxpayers as to where this raise in tax revenues is going; i.e., taxpayers are paying more money but it is going to several things that specifically includes an EMS facility and a fire pumper. Ms. Dolan commented that is a good instinct but putting it under City Council’s budget is just bad accounting. Ms. Dolan communicated that looking at the books she would ask why is there a fire pumper under City Council’s budget. President Donchez commented that was the Auditor’s recommendation. Ms. Dolan said she would hope by the next Meeting this could come into line with general accounting practices, perhaps by not passing the amendment. President Donchez confirmed that in moving the Bill forward tonight for Final Reading at the July 19 Council Meeting it could certainly be amended if it is the will of Council to keep it as is, or move it to a separate bank account, or put it under City Council’s line item. Highlighting the fact that Ordinance 2010-49 already states it shall not be co-mingled with any other monies, Ms. Dolan pointed out it already says that, and thought it is overkill. Ms. Dolan stated she would pass it forward with respect for her colleagues. Mr. Reynolds, saying he knows President Donchez suggested this after his conversation with the Auditor, asked if the Auditor was aware of this latest language change having to do with the City Council budget. President Donchez said he does not believe she is, he has not spoken to her this week, but he could certainly send it to her. Mr. Reynolds noted it could be sent to the Auditor to see that it is consistent with accounting practices.
Voting AYE: Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 5. Bill No. 17 – 2011 passed on First Reading.
B. Bill No. 18 – 2011 – Amending Article 121 – Section 121.08 – Gaming Local Share Account – Separate Bank Account
The Clerk read Bill No. 18 – 2011 – Amending Article 121 – Section 121.08 – Gaming Local Share Account, sponsored by Ms. Dolan and Mr. Mowrer, and titled:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BETHLEHEM,
COUNTIES OF LEHIGH AND NORTHAMPTON,
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, AMENDING
SECTION 121.08(d) IN ARTICLE 121, ENTITED FINANCE,
OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF
President Donchez commented this is very similar to Bill No. 17 – 2011 that was just moved on for Final Reading. President Donchez said he would have the Auditor also review Bill 18. Ms. Dolan asked if the Auditor commented on this Bill also and asked if this came from the Auditor’s suggestion. President Donchez said he did not have any discussions with her on this Bill, but only on Ordinance 2010-49 that Council passed. Mr. Reynolds stated, for Ms. Dolan’s interest since she was not at the Finance Committee meeting, this Bill 18 pertains to the unappropriated funds in the Gaming account, not the Host Fee money that is included in the Budget. Ms. Dolan, advising she will vote no on Bill 18, said a lot of effort was put into the Ordinance. Ms. Dolan continued on to say she feels Council got it right, and Ordinance 2010-49 stated exactly what Council wanted that is any and all monies received under pursuant to the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act 2004-71 as amended shall be deposited in a separate account entitled the Gaming Local Share Account. No transfers of unappropriated funds shall be made from the Gaming Local Share Account without prior notice to and approval of City Council. Ms. Dolan thought that, when extra threatening language is layered on, the power of what is there already is diminished. Ms. Dolan communicated if the problem is that Council is not getting reports to know where this money is going that requires Council to take action, but not to say Council wants to put this extra money that was locked up very tightly in Council’s own budget. Observing that Council’s budget is very small, Mr. Dolan stressed it is inappropriate to take something out of where it should be in a budget. She thought in this case it is totally arbitrary to put it in a place where it does not belong. Ms. Dolan, stating that in good conscience she cannot vote on this Bill, commented if the Auditor says something different she will listen.
Voting AYE: Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 4. Voting NAY: Ms. Dolan, 1. Bill No. 18 – 2011 passed on First Reading.
A. Authorizing 2011 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)
Mr. Evans and Mr. Mowrer sponsored Resolution 2011-109 that authorized the execution of grant award documents for funds received under the 2011 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) in the amount of $45,404, of which $27,851 is allocated to the City of Bethlehem to be used by the Police Department to purchase computer hardware and software.
Voting AYE: Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mower, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 5. The Resolution passed.
Motion – Considering Resolutions 11 B through 11 F as a Group
Mr. Evans and Mr. Reynolds moved to consider Resolutions 11 B through 11 F as a group. Voting AYE: Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 5. The motion passed.
B. Certificate of Appropriateness – 521 East Fourth Street
Mr. Evans and Ms. Dolan sponsored Resolution 2011-110 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to add an elevator shaft and renovate the rear (Evans Street) façade at 521 East Fourth Street.
C. Certificate of Appropriateness – 700 Evans Street
Mr. Evans and Ms. Dolan sponsored Resolution 2011-111 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to install signs, repair the rear porch and replace windows at 700 Evans Street.
D. Certificate of Appropriateness – 310 East Polk Street
Mr. Evans and Ms. Dolan sponsored Resolution 2011-112 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to install vinyl window lettering at 310 East Polk Street.
E. Certificate of Appropriateness – 746 East Fourth Street
Mr. Evans and Ms. Dolan sponsored Resolution 2011-113 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to install a non-illuminated sign at 746 East Fourth Street.
F. Certificate of Appropriateness – 116 Graham Place
Mr. Evans and Ms. Dolan sponsored Resolution 2011-114 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to restore the façade of existing three-car garage at 116 Graham Place.
Voting AYE on Resolutions 11 B through 11 F: Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 5. The Resolutions passed.
Motion – Considering Resolutions 11 G through 11 J as a Group
Ms. Dolan and Mr. Mowrer moved to consider Resolutions 11 G through 11 J as a group. Voting AYE: Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 5. The motion passed.
G. Authorizing Records Destruction – Controller’s Office
Ms. Dolan and Mr. Evans sponsored Resolution No. 2011-115 that authorized the disposition of the public records from the Controller’s Office as listed in Exhibit A, according to schedules and procedures for the disposition of records as set forth in the Municipal Records Manual approved on December 16, 2008 and Resolution 2010-6.
H. Authorizing Records Destruction – Fire Department
Ms. Dolan and Mr. Evans sponsored Resolution No. 2011-116 that authorized the disposition of the public records from the Fire Department as listed in Exhibit A, according to schedules and procedures for the disposition of records as set forth in the Municipal Records Manual approved on December 16, 2008 and Resolution 2010-6.
I. Authorizing Records Destruction – Health Bureau
Ms. Dolan and Mr. Evans sponsored Resolution No. 2011-117 that authorized the disposition of the public records from the Health Bureau as listed in Exhibit A, according to schedules and procedures for the disposition of records as set forth in the Municipal Records Manual approved on December 16, 2008 and Resolution 2010-6.
J. Authorizing Records Destruction – Tax Bureau
Ms. Dolan and Mr. Evans sponsored Resolution No. 2011-118 that authorized the disposition of the public records from the Tax Bureau as listed in Exhibit A, according to schedules and procedures for the disposition of records as set forth in the Municipal Records Manual approved on December 16, 2008 and Resolution 2010-6.
Ms. Dolan asked if the word destruction had been used previously instead of disposition. The Clerk responded that previous Resolutions could be reviewed to see if the wording changed.
Voting AYE on Resolutions 11 G through 11 J: Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 5. The Resolutions passed.
K. Authorizing Submission of Financial Assistance – PENNVEST – Water/Sewer System
Ms. Dolan and Mr. Mowrer sponsored Resolution No. 2011-119 that authorized the application for Financial Assistance to the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) for the purpose of financing/partially financing the construction, rehabilitation and/or extension of the water/sewer system and execution of all certifications and documentation required in connection with the application.
Ms. Dolan asked if there is a figure on what is being supported at this point. Mr. Reichard, noting the amount is listed in the next Resolution, stated it is $9,429,730.
Voting AYE: Ms. Dolan, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mowrer, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Donchez, 5. The Resolution passed.
L. Declaration of Official Intent – Interim Financing – Sewer System Projects
Mr. Mower and Mr. Evans sponsored Resolution No. 2011-120 stating that the City of Bethlehem intends to use its Sewer Funds to finance on an interim basis the costs of the Digester System and Waste Activated Sludge Thickening Improvements Project which costs are reasonably expected to be reimbursed with the proceeds of debt to be incurred by the City up to the maximum principal amount of $9,429,730. The Resolution is a declaration of official intent adopted pursuant to the requirements of Treasury Regulation Section 1.150.2.
12. NEW BUSINESS.
Parks and Public Property Committee Meeting
Chairman Evans announced a Parks and Public Property Committee meeting on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 6:00 PM in Town Hall, prior to the City Council Meeting at 7:00 p.m., for a presentation from the Bethlehem Backyard for Wildlife Subcommittee of the Environmental Advisory Council.
13. COURTESY OF THE FLOOR
Wind Project – Bethlehem Authority Land
Jeff Williams, 3691 Wilhelm Road, Hellertown, said he is opposed to the wind project on the Bethlehem Authority land and believes over time more and more people will be opposed also. As a part of his effort to get the truth and information out about the wind industry and this property, Mr. Williams said he has developed a document that he distributed to the Members of Council. Mr. Williams advised that he presented this document to the Bethlehem Environmental Advisory Council (EAC), the Penn Forest Township Supervisors, and the Bethlehem Authority Board and Executive Director. Mr. Williams, stating he has a lot of respect for the Bethlehem Authority, commented they have done a great job in the past on environmental issues that are controversial and they lean toward environmental protection. Mr. Williams said the wind farm is ill conceived and his document provides information that everybody should have on both the wind industry and the property. Mr. Williams noted there are facts in the document such as the Bethlehem Authority’s consultant having stated that the Bethlehem Authority will receive at least $400,000 a year for their lease. Mr. Williams advised that, if one researches what is generally paid, the average is $3,300 per turbine per year and on the high side $4,000 is just about as much as anybody gets paid for their lease. Mr. Williams pointed out that equates to $110,000, not $400,000. Mr. Williams thought it is important that City Council knows these facts, and added there are countless items like this. Mr. Williams remarked that the project will cost over $110 million based on $4,000,000 per turbine and that is conservative. He observed it will produce only three permanent jobs, and that is all it takes. Mr. Williams informed the Members that Bear Creek Wind Farm requires two people, and Locust Ridge Wind Farm requires five or six employees to run it. Mr. Williams communicated that this property is off the radar screen, it is not like all other properties because it is not public, it is not like a state park or forest, it is not a well known environmental location, and it is private. He continued on to note that nobody markets this property and there are no facilities at all on this property. Mr. Williams commented that that the property is also patrolled which is good and has restricted access to the reservoirs. The Bethlehem Authority does allow recreation, hunting, hiking, mountain biking, and birding. Mr. Williams informed the Members that, of the people he interviewed, the experts on the environment familiar with this property feel this is one of the most valuable environmental habitats in eastern Pennsylvania. It is well known for its warbler population, and unlike Hawk Mountain, these are not migrating birds, these are resident birds. There is a substantial population of rattlesnakes, bobcats, and for many years eagles have nested here. Highlighting the fact that the water is pure, Mr. Williams stressed it is going to require at least 15 miles of roads to be cut through the forest to provide access to the wind turbines and to the electric source. Mr. Williams advised that the document he is going to present has five maps, some of which were presented by the Bethlehem Authority’s consultant.
Dana Grubb, 2420 Henderson Place, focusing on Communication 7 B, the UGI right of way, pointed out that the intersection listed on the Resolution is Long Street and West Raspberry Street and that Long Street is to the east of New Street that is the divider from west to east. Mr. Grubb thought the Resolution should state Long Street and East Raspberry Street. Mr. Grubb told the assembly he was in the traffic on the 4th of July and is glad the Mayor is going to be taking a look at the problem. Mr. Grubb said he shudders to think what it would be like after a headline concert at Musikfest. Mr. Grubb cited one of the problems being traffic stacking up in the left hand turn lane to go into the Casino that blocked the left turn lane heading east. He also mentioned that traffic was in two lanes in the area heading west toward Polk Street, an ambulance from Easton was trying to come down Third Street, and the traffic had no where to go. Mr. Grubb thought if this is not reviewed it will only get worse during Musikfest, and expressed the hope that some of these issues will be resolved. Mr. Grubb said it was very disconcerting when someone reported to him that a female employee brought a handgun into work, a number of employees thought it was loaded, and the Department head was notified. He said two employees reported that to the best of their knowledge there was no action taken. Mr. Grubb remarked that in his opinion he thinks this should be reviewed and should have been reported to the Police. Mr. Grubb added that he thinks the City’s employee policies address this issue, but if not it is needed. Mr. Grubb observed there are situations that have taken place and the employees and the public are at risk. Mr. Grubb hoped the Administration takes the matter seriously because the employees were very concerned.
Mayor Callahan stated there have been other workplace violence incidents in the City, they were taken very seriously, and actually led to some improvements in the City’s workplace violence handbook and additional training for employees. Mayor Callahan affirmed there was a thorough investigation after the last major incident and the proper actions were taken as a result of the incident. The Mayor said this is the first he is hearing of this and will certainly look into it and conduct a similar investigation if need be.
Stephen Antalics, 737 Ridge Street, said when he reflects on the South Side traffic the only word he can come up with is afterthought. Mr. Antalics related that he tried to cross Fourth Street to get onto the Fahy Bridge to go to City Hall and the Library. He found that some of the cross streets were closed off and he could not find a route to get across to go to the Library. Mr. Antalics said he would expect the light at Webster and Fourth Streets to reflect the traffic flow. Asserting there is no planning, Mr. Antalics expressed the hope that the City looks into details that would affect those who live on the South Side and may have occasions to cross to the North Side.
Mayor Callahan explained that there is an actuator on Webster Street at Third and Fourth Streets so that if there is a car there it lets the car go, but then the traffic on Third and Fourth Streets are delayed because they have to stop at the lights, so it is a balance. Mayor Callahan denoted that as part of the 412 TSM improvements there have been enormous investments in traffic flow throughout Third and Fourth Streets. Coupled with the $16 million of improvements that the Sands has made on Daly Avenue, the Mayor said it is probably one of the most modern thoroughfares in the City and is getting better as the $80 million of improvements on Route 412 continue. Mayor Callahan noted the side streets that run north and south are closed temporarily because of the $6.5 million public improvements for the Greenway. Mayor Callahan, communicating he does not think anybody driving on Third or Fourth Streets could look at the South Side and think that it was anybody’s afterthought, said it has been the focus of quite a lot of investment. Mayor Callahan pointed out the whole reason there is traffic on the South Side versus a wasteland is because of those investments.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.