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Garbage, Cameras, and Trucks at Forefront of Newbie Borough Discussions

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 @ 12:05 AM

Posted by Blane Gold

New Bethlehem Boro BuildingNEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT) – New Bethlehem Borough council members brainstormed to creatively find ways to solve the problem of unsightly garbage in the borough at their regular meeting on Tuesday.

Last month, residents and businesses along Broad Street were notified of a new policy stating that garbage needed to be placed at the back of their respective buildings for garbage collection on Wednesdays. In a letter sent to those affected, borough council members explained that this was being done in order to remove the unsightly appearance of garbage along Broad Street on the day before garbage collection. Highlighting the idea that if garbage were to be placed at the back of properties, it would not be visible to the traffic that flows along Broad Street.

Council member Stewart Bain inquired as to why it was not possible to just ask all businesses to not place their garbage out until the morning of garbage collection. Mateer, and Streets Department supervisor Roger Hilliard, explained that the garbage is collected along Broad Street at 6:00 AM on Wednesdays in order to avoid the heavy traffic that comes along later in the morning. Hilliard explained that by collecting garbage at 6:00 AM he is able to drive the garbage truck through the parking spaces without blocking any traffic that is flowing along Broad Street. If the garbage were not to be collected until 9:00 a.m., Hilliard explained that driving through the parking spots would not be an option because they would be filled which would require him to stop traffic in order to pick up the garbage along Broad Street.

Hilliard also noted increased cooperation among those affected by this policy as many have been placing their garbage at the back of their properties.

Following much discussion and accepting that there are some extenuating circumstances that prevent some residents and businesses from placing their garbage at the back portion of their properties, the council made a motion to return to their old policy concerning garbage along Broad Street. Residents would be asked to place their garbage outside no earlier than 4:00 p.m. on the day prior to collection. The motion carried unanimously.

Much discussion was also devoted to installing cameras at the basketball court area located between the dam and Gumtown Park. Bain stressed the importance of monitoring this area to protect borough assets and also to ensure mischief is not taking place after hours. Council members went back and forth on whether to install one 360-degree camera or one to two one-directional cameras at opposite ends of the court. Mateer noted that the council had already allotted $1,100.10 for installation of a camera at the court. A motion was made to authorize $1,000 in spending on completing the installation of a camera or cameras. The motion passed unanimously, and the council encouraged Police Chief, Scott Ryan, to research options and then take his findings to fellow council member, Gordon Barrows.

Later in the meeting, Bain outlined his findings in securing a grant for a new garbage truck and regular cab truck for the Streets Department. He explained that he had researched the cost of 2017, 2018, and 2019 models of a Ford F-650 garbage truck and a Ford F-250 regular cab truck.

“At this point, I would like to move forward with the grant application using the 2019 models for each.” Bain elaborated, “I say this because I am weary of going through the application process with the grant and then the 2017 and 2018 models being sold out from underneath us.”

Bain further explained that getting approval to move forward does not mean that the purchase would be set in stone, but rather the borough would be able to discover if they would be approved for the grant to then use those funds to make the purchase.

Following discussion, a motion was made to apply for grant funding for both vehicles using the information from the 2019 models for each. The motion carried unanimously.

Other items:

  • Unanimously approval was given to the police department to use grant money to purchase female ballistic body armor.

The next regular meeting of the New Bethlehem Borough Council is slated for Tuesday, June 19 at 7:00 p.m.

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