City Council

Bethlehem Council MInutes

10 East Church Street – Town Hall
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 – 7:00 PM



Pastor Melvin Tatem, of Grace Deliverance Church, offered the Invocation which was followed by the pledge to the flag.


President Eric R. Evans called the meeting to order. Present were Jean Belinski, David T. DiGiacinto, Karen Dolan, Robert J. Donchez, Michael D. Recchiuti, J. William Reynolds, and Eric R. Evans, 7.


President Evans read a Citation in honor of Dean Badman on the occasion of his retirement from the Police Department after 21 years of service. The Members of Council applauded Mr. Badman and wished him well in his retirement.

President Evans stated that the Citations for Andrew Kehm on the occasion of his retirement from the Police Department, and Cheryl A. Motko on the occasion of her retirement from the Financial Services Bureau, will be mailed to them since they were unable to attend the meeting.


President Evans called to order a Public Hearing on the Proposed 2014 CDBG and HOME Programs.

Joseph Kelly, Director of Community and Economic Development, affirmed that the Proposed 2014 CDBG and HOME Programs were discussed at the Community Development Committee meeting last week on October 9. Mr. Kelly advised that the City’s allocation is a 20% reduction that is roughly how it has been for the last 3 or 4 years. Mr. Kelly observed the anticipated 2014 allocation takes the City probably below the 1990’s funding levels. Mr. Kelly added that most Members of Council know how instrumental these dollars are in augmenting the services offered to non-profit programs. Mr. Kelly pointed out that the 2014 CDBG Program has some returning programs including the South Side Recreation Coordinator, the South Side Parks and Playgrounds, and Street Overlays. Denoting that one of the new programs for the City is Curb Ramps, Mr. Kelly advised that about 8 years ago the City had an aggressive curb ramp replacement program using CDBG funding. However, PennDot changed the regulations, and the City has to restart the curb ramp program and incrementally replace the ramps, the funding for which will have to built into the CDBG budget. Continuing on to say that engineering costs are associated with both the curb ramps and the Lynn Avenue Bridge, Mr. Kelly pointed out that the Lynn Avenue Bridge is scheduled to go under construction sometime in 2014. Mr. Kelly advised that the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) has been a provider for homeowner counseling for the City of Bethlehem and has been a great partner. The 2014 CDBG list also includes the Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem that services the starting business classes in South Bethlehem, the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living, Embrace Your Dreams, and Share Care. Mr. Kelly noted that the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living and Embrace Your Dreams are repeat programs. Mr. Kelly explained that Embrace Your Dreams is one of the programs that really touches the Marvine/Pembroke area, has been in place since about 2007, and has been a very valuable program because it teaches children through athletic programming. Mr. Kelly stated that Share Care is a fairly new program that helps seniors stay in their homes. For seniors who have a difficult time getting around, the program picks them up and takes them out to stores, and helps with daily errands, so it allows them to stay in their homes longer, which is a benefit for the City of Bethlehem as well. The Health Bureau Dental program and the YWCA are repeat programs. The latter is focused on female entrepreneurship in the technology area, services for the Bethlehem Area School District students, and is run for the most part out of the Fowler Family Center. Mr. Kelly stated that Rising Tide is a program that administers the City’s small business loan fund and has been a successful partner with the City. The Boys and Girls Club is a new program. Advising that the funding will help restore a basketball floor in the Pembroke Club that dates back to the 1960’s, Mr. Kelly expressed that the City is happy to be able to fund that need. Mr. Kelly noted that Community Policing is a program that augments the General Fund. He further affirmed that NHS of the Lehigh Valley administers the City’s HOOP program, and the Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority administers the predecessor to the small business loan fund acting as a collection agent for the City. Standard programs include Housing Rehab Grants and Loans, Housing Rehab Staff/Delivery, Program Administration, North Penn Legal Services, and Community Development Consulting. Mr. Kelly advised that a new program is the Bethlehem Trail Feasibility Study and is part of a regional study that several communities are undertaking to look at what will be needed to interconnect many trails that exist in the Lehigh Valley.

President Evans affirmed that he attended the Community Development Committee meeting last week and his questions were addressed. President Evans thought the proposal is a mix of great programs and projects. He added it is difficult to allocate based on the number of great opportunities with shrinking dollars each year.

Ms. Dolan expressed that she feels comfortable with the proposed 2014 CDBG and HOME budget as presented. Ms. Dolan asked President Evans if it would be possible to put Resolution 2008-205 on a future agenda to give all Council Members a chance to potentially reconsider the Resolution. Ms. Dolan, referring to the memo dated October 15, 2013 from Joseph Kelly, Director of Community and Economic Development, to Chairman DiGiacinto, commented this really explains her issue with Resolution 2008-205 that contains the regulations for use of CDBG funds. Ms. Dolan stated that the Resolution is unnecessarily restrictive when HUD is already restrictive. Ms. Dolan observed it is actually out of date in the sense that the Resolution restricts the use of CDBG funds by non-profit organizations for bricks and mortar projects, and non-profits do not have the money right now to do bricks and mortar projects. Ms. Dolan added that the Resolution lists all the different caveats for which CDBG funds can be used, creates unnecessary calculations, and is outdated. Ms. Dolan, communicating that at the time she thought it was punitive, said now it is an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy for an already well run program. Ms. Dolan asked that Resolution 2008-205 be placed on a future City Council Agenda.

Mr. Reynolds stated that in the past the City has seen these CDBG dollars decrease, sees on a regular basis what occurs at the State and Federal levels, and City officials feel that CDBG is a program that works. Mr. Reynolds stressed it is sad that the amount of money anticipated for next year may be around or below what was received in 1990. He remarked it is unfortunate that there are programs and non-profits in the area that are struggling because of this. Mr. Reynolds pointed out that, while there is solace in the fact that the money is being spent wisely, the original goal of the program is facing some challenges in the coming years. He added this needs to be remembered by City Council and citizens.

President Evans commented it seems that overall City Council is pleased with the allocations, and thanked Mr. Kelly for his work on the program. With regard to Ms. Dolan’s request, President Evans suggested that Resolution 2008-205 can be placed on the Council Agenda on November 6 or November 19. President Evans asked all Members of Council to consider the matter between now and then.

Public Comment

Bill Scheirer, 1890 Eaton Avenue, referring to the $170,000 allocation in the HOME program for Habitat for Humanity, said they do fine work but he is concerned about South Mountain. He pointed out that at the Community Development Committee meeting the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity with pride in her voice spoke about building homes on South Mountain. Mr. Scheirer continued on to say they got a variance from the steep slope Ordinance to do this, and he would like to think that there is other land in the City that they could use. Mr. Scheirer stressed that South Mountain is a precious resource, it does a lot for the City, and the top third at least is still wooded but bit by bit it is being lost. He said this is partly because of the Zoning Hearing Board that sometimes grants these variances. Mr. Scheirer confirmed he is not saying the City should take any money away from Habitat for Humanity because they do good work. Mr. Scheirer advised he has spoken with national headquarters and told then what is happening in Bethlehem. While it was stated that the representative will talk to the local chapter, Mr. Scheirer commented it would help if the people in this room when the opportunity arises say to these people that they do fine work but they need to find some other place to build these homes.

Amber Mirza, Empowerment Center Director at the YWCA of Bethlehem, thanked City Council for considering the YWCA’s proposal for its TechGYRLS program. Ms. Mirza provided some background about the YWCA of Bethlehem as well as the TechGYRLS program. The mission of the YWCA of Bethlehem is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The organization focuses on racial justice, women’s empowerment and girls’ empowerment programs. Ms. Mirza explained that TechGYRLS is a program that falls under the girl’s empowerment programs and it is run as an after school program in the Bethlehem Area School District. The group targets elementary and middle school girls, and encourages them to pursue the STEM fields because women are still vastly underrepresented in the STEM fields, and many times girls are intimidated to enter the science, technology, engineering and math fields because they think they cannot do it. The group works against that stereotype and participants in the program work with computer programming and robotics. They also showcase their final project in a tech expo to which their family, friends, and teachers are invited to attend. Ms. Mirza pointed out that they also take them on tech ventures which are field trips. Last year, the group went to the Lehigh University’s ATLSS Engineering Research Center, took a tour of the facility and also worked with earthquake simulators. The group also went to Air Products as well as the DaVinci Science Center. Ms. Mirza informed the assembly what they are trying to do is develop confidence in the girls, get them interested in the STEM fields, develop friendships, and bring up the next generation to go into the STEM fields and to these better paying options. Ms. Mirza explained that although the headquarters is located in Hanover Township, the outreach is throughout Bethlehem and they are in multiple schools throughout the Bethlehem Area School District.

Melissa Lauer, Resource Development Manager with Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley, stated she is at the Meeting in support of the CDBG funds for 2014 to complete construction on South Mountain. She explained the group currently has homes in process to provide affordable homeownership opportunities on South Mountain to families in the low to mid income range. The group is looking toward completion of the project on South Mountain that it is a unique experience where families are making a huge investment to be in the program where they have to put in at least 250 sweat equity hours. They are building their own home and the homes of their neighbors that creates a unique community development atmosphere.

President Evans stated that the appropriate Resolution will be placed on the Agenda for the next City Council Meeting on Wednesday, November 6, 2013.

The Public Hearing was adjourned at 7:25 p.m.


The Minutes of October 1, 2013 were approved.




A. Old Business – Members of Council


B. Tabled Items


C. Unfinished Business

1. Request for Public Hearing – Proposed Southside Bethlehem Community Benefit District


A. Director of Public Works – PennDOT Turnback Agreement – South New Street from Third Street to
Fourth Street

The Clerk read a memorandum dated September 27, 2013 from Michael Alkhal, Director of Public Works/City Engineer, requesting consideration of resolution with regard to the attached proposed Turnback Agreement with PennDOT to transfer ownership of the portion of South New Street from Third Street to Fourth Street. In consideration of the transfer, PennDOT will provide funding to improve the roadway and the City will receive liquid fuels funding for this section of road in the future. In addition, the City will have greater flexibility in regards to future improvements and development along this section of New Street.

President Evans stated that the Resolution will be listed on the November 6, 2013 Agenda.

B. Director of Budget and Finance – 2013 State Aid – Pension

The Clerk read a memorandum dated October 3, 2013 from Mark W. Sivak, Director of Budget and Finance, advising that State Pension Aid in the amount of $3,235,670.71 was received, and the proceeds have been allocated to the Police and Fire – MMO, and Reimbursement – Pension Bond Payments 5/1/13 and 11/1/13.

President Evans stated that Resolution 9 A is listed on the Agenda.

C. Director of Water and Sewer Resources – Application for Financial Assistance – PennVest –
Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Clerk read a memorandum dated October 7, 2013 from David L. Brong, Director of Water and Sewer Resources, regarding Resolution 2013-152 adopted by Council on August 20, 2013 in support of a PennVest loan application for $9,988,000 for the construction of a dedicated dewatering facility at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The dollar amount did not include $749,000 of “soft” costs including legal, administrative, and construction oversight expenses. These expenses were left out of the application and resolution amount at the direction of PennVest staff, and would have required alternate funding in order to complete this large project. The PennVest staff has since informed the City that these costs are allowable. It is requested that approval be given to include these costs on the application bringing the total application request to $10,737,000.

President Evans stated that Resolutions 9 C and 9 D are listed on the Agenda.

D. City Solicitor – Parking Authority - Amending Articles of Incorporation -Increase Term

The Clerk read a memorandum dated October 10, 2013 from John F. Spirk, Jr., Esq., City Solicitor, to which was attached a proposed Ordinance authorizing an amendment to the Articles of Incorporation of the Bethlehem Parking Authority to increase the term of the Authority by an additional 50 years.

President Evans stated the Ordinance will be listed on the November 19 Agenda.

E. City Solicitor – Highway Safety Grant Contract – Resolution

The Clerk read a memorandum dated October 10, 2013 from John F. Spirk, Jr., Esq., City Solicitor, to which was attached a proposed Resolution and Highway Safety Project Grant Contract to provide funds to address highway safety issues with intervention strategies targeting schools, community and family, health care, enforcement and industry/workplace.

President Evans stated that the Resolution will be listed on the November 6 Agenda.

President Evans asked the Clerk to read additional Communication 5 F into the record.

F. Director of Community and Economic Development – Bethlehem Revitalization and Improvement Authority

The Clerk read a memorandum dated October 13, 2013 from Joseph M. Kelly, Esq., Director of Community and Economic Development, to which was attached a draft resolution for the formation of a new Title 53 Authority to apply for a City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) designation. This new program recently enacted by the State Legislature will be a significant incentive to accelerate economic development in Bethlehem and only two third class cities will receive the designation for 2014. The Administration will be forwarding the names for the authority in advance of the November 6 City Council Meeting and the Public Hearing has been advertised in the appropriate publications.

President Evans stated that the Resolution will be listed on the November 6 Agenda.


A. President of Council


B. Mayor

1. Administrative Order – Tiana Shekari – Civil Service Board - Police

Mayor Callahan appointed Tiana Shekari to membership on the Civil Service Board - Police effective through February 2016. Mr. Recchiuti and Mr. Donchez sponsored Resolution No. 2013-180 to confirm the appointment.

Ms. Dolan expressed that changes are being made in communication related to Councilmanic Appointments and noted she appreciates what President Evans has done. Ms. Dolan, observing there will be a new Mayor next year, commented there are some plans being proposed for review of appointments, and changing the practice for Administrative Appointments at this time does not seem practical. Ms. Dolan expressed the hope that the process will be reviewed next year with the new Mayor, and perhaps City Council can have the opportunity to possibly meet the candidates.

Mayor Callahan commented if there is a need for more information the Administration would be happy to provide it, added that the request has never been made to the Administration. Mayor Callahan explaining that meeting the candidates could be arranged if Council desires, affirmed it is a requirement that a Doctor be on the Police Civil Service Board.

Ms. Dolan, affirming this is an obvious appointment, explained she is talking more about what has been a perfunctory act of City Council. Ms. Dolan added it is Council’s responsibility to request information, and it is her hope that Council does the best job it can in considering appointments.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Recchiuti, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Evans, 7. The Resolution passed.

2. Administrative Order – Alfonsas A. Bernotas, Jr. – Sister City Commission

Mayor Callahan reappointed Alfonsas A. Bernotas, Jr. to membership on the Sister City Commission effective through October 2016. Mr. Recchiuti and Mr. Donchez sponsored Resolution No. 2013-181 to confirm the appointment.

In response to Ms. Dolan, Mayor Callahan confirmed that Bethlehem has sister city relationships with Schwabisch Gmund in Germany, Murksa Sobota in Slovenia, and Corfu in Greece, in addition to the Tondabayashi Sister City relationship.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Recchiuti, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Evans, 7. The Resolution passed.

3. Administrative Order – Katherine Burd – Sister City Commission

Mayor Callahan reappointed Katherine Burd to membership on the Sister City Commission effective through October 2016. Mr. Recchiuti and Mr. Donchez sponsored Resolution No. 2013-182 to confirm the appointment.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Recchiuti, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Evans, 7. The Resolution passed.

4. Administrative Order – Mary Mulder – Fine Arts Commission

Mayor Callahan reappointed Mary Mulder to membership on the Fine Arts Commission effective through June 2016. Mr. Recchiuti and Mr. Donchez sponsored Resolution No. 2013-183 to confirm the appointment.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Recchiuti, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Evans, 7. The Resolution passed.
C. Community Development Committee

Mr. DiGiacinto, Chairman of the Community Development Committee, presented an oral report of the Committee’s meeting held on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 in Town Hall on the following subjects: Proposed 2014 CDBG and HOME Programs, and Passenger Rail Service Resolution.

D. Controller’s Report

Robert Pfenning, Controller, distributed copies of his reports. Addressing confirming purchase orders, Mr. Pfenning pointed out those are cases where City services and goods are ordered prior to getting written approval. While advising this is in violation of Codified Ordinance Article 111 and the State Optional Charter Law Section 420, Mr. Pfenning noted that progress is being made. Mr. Pfenning noted that Gene Auman, Deputy Controller, has been hard working on this with cooperation of the CI purchasing committee and the numbers have come down this year significantly but are nowhere near zero. Through the year the number of purchasing orders decrease so if the confirming orders remain constant the percentage drops in terms of performances and is what is seen in the third quarter report. Mr. Pfenning advised he thinks it is bad business practice to do it the way it has been done, and restated that improvements have been seen.

Mr. Pfenning turned to the Accounts Receivable report and confirmed that he sent a memo to Council with information contained in the September 30, 2013 outstanding bills and miscellaneous billing subsystem only. Affirming that although the report does not meet the requirements of Article 121.11 because it does not include all receivables, Mr. Pfenning thought at least he would take a look at what is in the miscellaneous billing subsystem. Mr. Pfenning stated that the miscellaneous billing subsystem is by customer or the person or entity billed. The intern worked on this and recast it in department order because the department heads are responsible for collecting their invoices so the accountability is with the department heads. Mr. Pfenning informed the Members that in the 2012 Audit there was mention of the fact that certain alarm billings are still not fully integrated in the system and that remains true today. The largest amount of outstanding receivables are under Public Works/Tree Service, the second most under Police/ Roster Duty fees, and third under Public Property/Electricity bills. The report indicates that under Tree Service, for example, there are some properties that have liens placed against them and are not taken off the system while the lien is in place. In Annual Fire Safety Inspection Fees there are a number of cases where the next year’s inspection is done and the prior year still has not been paid for.

Mr. Pfenning focused on Budget Transfers and the Budget review policy. He affirmed that he has been giving Council a report of budget transfers of $5,000 and over which do not have the approval of Council because that approval is not needed. Since there is no way in September 2013 that it can be fully known what will happen in October 2014, Mr. Pfenning denoted that changes and adjustments have to be made, and the reporting of the transfers should not be interpreted as anything other than information. Mr. Pfenning pointed out that when the Budget Ordinance is passed it is based on four major headings in the operating accounts that are Personnel, Materials and Supplies, Purchased Services, and Equipment. Those are the guidelines that the Administration must live with in terms of getting approval. Mr. Pfenning observed that if he were sitting in Council’s seats as they begin the budget review process he would be more concerned about the totals and not too much on the line items because the line items are the ones where transfers will be seen later on and Council may not have anything to do with them.

Mr. Pfenning lastly talked about the encumbrance system. Under the Third Class City Code and Codified Ordinance Article 111, the Controller’s Office is in charge of being sure that there is in place an encumbrance system. This means that when obligations are made by various departments in the City the funds in the budget that were set aside are encumbered and not spent on something else. Unfortunately, the hole in that system is the payroll system. The system goes through payroll looking at each check as it is computing. If it gets to a check that sends something over budget then the payroll system grinds to a halt. In order to process payroll the Administration has to lift all of the restrictions on encumbrances. That then lets those payroll items go through. Mr. Pfenning stated this is a major flaw in the encumbrance system and it is a major problem for the Controller’s Office to properly administer its legal duties. Mr. Pfenning added that Mark Sivak, Director of Budget and Finance, has been very prompt in taking care of this but as it gets closer to the end of the year there could be a problem. Mr. Pfenning noted it could end up like as it did at the end of last year where there were multiple accounts significantly over budget that should not happen. It is against the law as he interprets it and it certainly is not the way things should be done. Mr. Pfenning advised the only way to fix this is if the Administration decides to go to a new payroll system. Mr. Pfenning continued on to say the other problem is that there are many instances where items are encumbered in multi-year situations, including three year or four year leases, for example. The Controller’s Office is only obligated to see if there is money for this year’s payment in this year’s budget. It is the obligation of the departments to make sure that their budgets for subsequent years contain these items. There are cases also perhaps where it is a good idea to make a contractual arrangement with the vendor to lock in this year’s prices for next year’s delivery, but that cannot be encumbered because that is next year’s money. It is necessary to go through each year and make sure that in the beginning of the year things are encumbered. Mr. Pfenning noted there are discussions with the CI purchasing committee to set a City wide policy of when encumbrances have to be made. Since there is currently no requirement for anyone to do that what happens is a situation that occurred at the end of August when there was a Police vehicle lease that was up for payment and had not been encumbered. The warning notices came from Ford Motor Company but there was no money left in the budget item and it had to be taken care of. If encumbrances are not recognized money ends up being spent that had been set aside for something else. Mr. Pfenning pointed out that the incoming Administration perhaps has to concern itself with making sure that the encumbrances are properly made to avoid year end problems. In the next several weeks, Mr. Pfenning advised that he will be going through the current status of various accounts and looking at certain items which he thinks may be heading towards the same year end problem as last year. Mr. Pfenning stated he will send a memo to Dennis Reichard, Business Administrator, and Mr. Sivak with copies to Council to alert them to these impending issues.






A. Approving Allocations - 2013 Pension State Aid

Mr. Recchiuti and Mr. Reynolds sponsored Resolution No. 2013-184 that authorized the appropriate City officials to allocate $3,235,670.71 of the 2013 General Municipal Pension System State Aid among the City's pension plans as follows: Police – MMO - $163,354.11; Fire – MMO - $163,354.10; Reimbursement – Pension Bond Payment 5/1/13 - $726,981.25; and Reimbursement – Pension Bond Payment 11/1/13 - $2,181,981.25.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Recchiuti, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Evans, 7. The Resolution passed.

B. Certificate of Appropriateness – 443 High Street (Postponed-September 3, 2013 City Council Meeting)

Mr. DiGiacinto and Mrs. Belinski sponsored Resolution No. 2013-185 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to repaint the rear section of the house in Benjamin Moore Black in a Matte Sheen Finish at 443 High Street.

Mr. Reynolds inquired what has occurred since the matter was postponed at the September 3, 2013 City Council Meeting.

President Evans, confirming that the Resolution was postponed until this October 15, 2013 City Council Meeting in the event that the Historic and Architectural Review Board (HARB) wanted to reconsider the issue, advised that the HARB did not reconsider it. President Evans affirmed that the Certificate of Appropriateness stands as approved by the HARB. President Evans confirmed to Mr. Reynolds that the HARB chose not to reconsider it.

Ms. Dolan, denoting that City Council did not hear from anyone at this evening’s Meeting regarding the issue, thought that Council should consider concurring with the HARB’s recommendation. Ms. Dolan affirmed that is what she will do.

Mr. Reynolds observed the HARB ruled one way at the meeting, a few people thought they should have ruled another way, HARB decided not to reconsider it, and the matter came back to Council. President Evans noted that was the process.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Recchiuti, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Evans, 7. The Resolution passed.

C. Authorizing Submission of Financial Assistance – PennVest – Wastewater Treatment Plant

Mr. Recchiuti and Mrs. Belinski sponsored Resolution No. 2013-186 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.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Recchiuti, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Evans, 7. The Resolution passed.

D. Declaration of Official Intent – Interim Financing – Sewer System Project

Mrs. Belinski and Ms. Dolan sponsored Resolution No. 2013-187 stating that the City of Bethlehem intends to use its Sewer Funds to finance on an interim basis the costs of the Bethlehem City – Biosolids Dewatering Facility and Effluent Pump Station 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 $10,737,000. The Resolution is a declaration of official intent adopted pursuant to the requirements of Treasury Regulation Section 1.150.2.

Mr. DiGiacinto inquired whether it is planned to use Sewer Funds after the PennVest loan is approved, or whether the project will be funded with what is currently available.

David Brong, Director of Water and Sewer Resources, replied that when the project starts the City will receive invoices from the contractor, the invoices will be submitted to PennVest, and the City will be reimbursed. Mr. Brong continued on to explain that in the interim since the contractor needs to be paid, the City needs to front the money and uses available cash. Mr. Brong confirmed to Mr. DiGiacinto that the Line of Credit has been retired.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Recchiuti, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Evans, 7. The Resolution passed.

Motion – Considering Resolutions 9 E through 9 G as a Group – Certificates of Appropriateness

Mrs. Belinski and Ms. Dolan moved to consider Resolutions 9 E through 9 G as a group. Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Recchiuti, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Evans, 7. The Motion passed.

E. Certificate of Appropriateness – 29 East Market Street

Mrs. Belinski and Ms. Dolan sponsored Resolution No. 2013-188 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to cover a potting table attached to the residence at 29 East Market Street.

F. Certificate of Appropriateness – 449 Linden Street

Mrs. Belinski and Ms. Dolan sponsored Resolution No. 2013-189 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to replace the side door and storm door at 449 Linden Street.

G. Certificate of Appropriateness – 452-460 Main Street

Mrs. Belinski and Ms. Dolan sponsored Resolution No. 2013-190 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to install a “Blade” sign from existing metal bracket at 452-460 Main Street.

Voting Aye on Resolutions 9 E through 9 G: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Recchiuti, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Evans, 7. The Resolutions passed.

H. Supporting Creation of Rail Transit Authority

Ms. Dolan and Mr. Donchez sponsored Resolution No. 2013-191 that supported the creation by Ordinance of a Rail Transit Authority to be known as “Suburban-Metro Area Rail Transit, Lehigh Valley” (d/b/a SMART-LV Regional Rail) to provide rail service to the City of Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley area.

Ms. Dolan expressed that this is a watershed moment for the Lehigh Valley because Bethlehem is the third of the three metro area cities to move forward with a Resolution, the other two cities being Allentown and Easton. Ms. Dolan highlighted the fact that the proposal shows that sometimes one person who pushes forward and does not let up gets through to elected officials. Ms. Dolan wished Kirk Raup well with his idea for a rail transit agency. Ms. Dolan pointed out that passenger rail service was discontinued because of competing corporate interests to put vehicles on roads. Ms. Dolan, stressing she is happy to see the Resolution come before Council, said this is the small step needed to advance the idea.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Recchiuti, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Evans, 7. The Resolution passed.


Rescheduling First City Council Meeting in November

Mr. Reynolds and Mr. DiGiacinto moved to reschedule the first City Council Meeting in November to Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 7:00 PM in Town Hall, since Tuesday, November 5, 2013 is Election Day.

Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Mr. DiGiacinto, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Recchiuti, Mr. Reynolds, and Mr. Evans, 7. The motion passed.

Committee Meeting Announcement

Chairman Recchiuti announced a Human Resources and Environment Committee meeting on October 22, 2013 at 6:30 PM to receive updates on the Human Relations Commission and the EAC, and to consider repealing Article 112 – Campaign Finance Reports.


Flatiron Building

Stephen Antalics, 737 Ridge Street, referring to his comments at the last City Council Meeting of October 1, 2013, advised he did not realize at that time that the large solar concentrator that had been on the roof of the Flatiron Building on the South Side was removed.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.