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HELLERTOWN Council approves outdoor summer performance

An historic snow storm would not disrupt the virtual Hellertown Council meeting on the evening of Feb. 1. The storm – which brought a widespread dumping of 20-30 inches of snow to Hellertown and the entire surrounding area – and its cleanup efforts were a hot topic from the top of the meeting. It was noted that usual attendee, director Barry Yonney of the borough’s public works department, would be absent due to ongoing snow removal.

Council President Thomas J. Rieger addressed the crippling, long-duration storm and praised the efforts of Yonney and his staff, and asked for patience and cooperation from borough residents. “If everybody works together, we’ll get through it,” he said. “I can’t remember the last time we had this much snow come over a storm (lasting) this long.”

Rieger specifically asked residents to be mindful of how they approach the big dig. “Please do your best to not throw snow back into the road. There is nowhere to go with it, but it’ll just cause more problems” for plow trucks, he said.

Discussion later turned to warmer, sunnier times when Chad Miller, Saucon Valley High School music teacher and choral director, joined the meeting to discuss his idea to hold a youth musical theater performance at Dimmick Park this summer. “One of my biggest concerns is to do something for the high school students who have been affected through COVID, not being able to do a standard performance,” he said.

For some students, this will be their second year being unable to hold their spring show in a traditional fashion. “COVID’s just been pretty devastating to our department,” Miller added. The department is currently scheduled to hold a modified, fully-masked show in April, with Miller noting that due to current restrictions, attendance would be limited to 150 folks indoors “if (we) are even able to do that.”

He indicated that the musical, if approved, would be presented free-of-charge to the public, with donations accepted to recoup expenses for production costs such as lighting and sound. The performances would be tentatively scheduled for the weekend of June 18-20, with Godspell being the show of choice. “I know I’m going to have enough interest from the students to do it and from the community to come see it,” Miller added.

Rieger, council members and Mayor David Heintzelman were strongly supportive of Miller’s plan and vision, with only some small concerns being raised regarding potential parking and traffic flow issues, which the mayor assured would be taken care of. Heintzelman said of Miller, “I’m just glad that you have come to the plate to give these kids an opportunity.” He pledged full support for the show, adding “whatever (Miller) needs, he will have from the community… I applaud you.”

In other borough business, the council heard from firefighter Randy Yardumian, who provided council with an update on the department’s new truck, initially approved for purchase in December 2019. Despite the disruptions produced by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year, the truck, which has been undergoing assembly in Michigan, is on schedule to arrive later this year, in line with original projections.

Yardumian indicated that members of the department would travel to conduct the final inspection of the vehicle in mid-March, with subsequent final touches and training expected to take several weeks. He said he expects the truck to join the department’s fleet in full service “no later than (the) middle of May, early June.”

Press photo by Chris Haring Saucon Valley HS music teacher Chad Miller pitches his idea to hold a youth musical theater show this summer.