Bath Council Proud That Year 2012 Ended With Funds Surplus

By BILL HALBFOERSTER

The Home News

More revenue came into Bath’s coffers in 2012 than in 2011, it was reported at Bor- ough Council meeting on Monday. And to achieve this surplus, the amount of which was not disclosed at the meet- ing, Council attributed this to better management of the budget.

These repairs will prevent further deterioration of our streets.
-Robert Fields

Council President Robert Fields noted that in past years Council has always had to rely on January through March tax receipts to pay the borough’s bills. Not so this year, he said.  Enough funds are already available so the bills can be paid on time.

A small tax increase was imposed for 2013, but this is intended to repair some of the borough’s streets, which are in a sad state of disrepair, Fields said last month. There is $53,000 in the budget for roadwork, which could in- clude micro-surfacing, crack sealing, and other work to make the streets in better condition. Borough Manager Tom Petrucci said it might not cost as much as budget- ed, so that money could be put toward equipment. At any rate, Fields said, “These repairs will prevent further deterioration of our streets.” A road survey was done to determine where the greatest need is.

Tax collector compensation for the next four years, beginning in 2014, was also discussed. It has been set at $2,850 for this year, and to bring the rate of compensation closer to other municipalities, Petrucci recom- mended that the pay go as high as $4,000. Council went along with a 2.5% increase, which will be advertised next week to make it effective.

Other Matters

• Phillip J. Shunk, Sr. was appointed to the Bath Borough Authority board of di- rectors, whose chairman, George Gasper, recommend- ed, saying that Shunk would be able to vote on all mat- ters except finances. He has served on the authority for 28 years.

• Council approved an ordinance amending the Borough Code with regard to regulations for parking lots, as advertised.

• Although recommended by the Bath Business & Com- munity Partnership to move a swing set away from the Key- stone Park gazebo that was constructed last year, Coun- cil offered other opinions and the matter was tabled. Councilwoman Carol Bear- Heckman said to let it stay for another year; others said the old swings could either be repaired, or a new set pur- chased to put at another lo- cation, and there is high foot traffic at the gazebo. Petrucci will get prices on repair/replacement, the latter of which he estimated to cost $4,500.

Catherine Zakos asked if the park pavilion will be finished in time for a small class reunion. Petrucci said that it will be done by early sum- mer. The storm-damaged pavilion will be torn down, and a pre-fab structure built, using funds allocated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

• Council okayed the BBCP’s date of May 11 for the annual Revitalization 5K racing run event.

• A resolution was ap- proved appointing France, Basile & Co., CPA’s, to con- duct the Dec. 31, 2012 audit of funds.

• The agenda called for Barbara Atkinson to be re- appointed to a 3-year term on the property maintenance code appeals board, but a citizen alleged that there are issues with her and said she should not be named again. The matter was tabled for further discussion in an ex- ecutive session.

• James Pasquariello presented a Bath Fire Hall social club check to Fire Chief Ed Demchak for the Bath Fire Fighters. He also complained that patrons of the nearby fitness court are parking on the social hall lot. They could have their cars towed and face a towing expense. There are signs that parking is for members only.

• Mrs. Heckman reported that a Bath business brochure is being printed again, with churches and non-prof- its free to use.

• Petrucci said the Christmas street lighting would be taken down this Tuesday. He reported that the borough took delivery of a new dump truck on Friday from the 2012 round of funding from the Sands Casino in Bethlehem.

• Council discussed pos- sible dissolution of the shade tree commission since it has not met in four years and only has one member instead of the required seven. Petrucci will write an ordinance concerning that committee and the parks and recreation committee. Shade tree com- missions usually determine where trees can be planted or removed.

• Council approved putting the Siegfried Log Cabin on the National Register of Historic Places. Mrs. Heckman said should there be any fu- ture plans for a highway clo- verleaf, that land could not be touched with federal funds if on the register.

• There is a grant available from DEP for natural gas ve- hicles, and Petrucci will see if Bath could coordinate with other municipalities to join in securing a total of five trucks.

• Fields reported that CRPD is still interested in talking with the Nazareth Police Department on a merger.

• Dunkin Donuts could make a proposal to the Bath Planning Commission at their Feb. 18 meeting, but Councilmen John Kearns and Mark Saginario said they have been frustrated in the company’s planning and could reject what they have until they come up with revised plans.

• Fire Chief Demchak’s De- cember report showed these man-hours: fire calls, 55; EMS calls, 49; drills, 102; school, 24; administration, 240; equip- ment repairs, 25; meetings, 57; work detail, 42. There were 8firecallsinBathand7in Moore Township.

 

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