At last, meetings resume virtually
The Mayor’s South Side Task Force resumed monthly meetings March 23 for the first time since October 2020, though by necessity they will be virtual until restrictions are lifted.
While encountering difficulty with the GoToMeeting platform, Chairman Roger Hudak phoned in his participation. He announced the Steelworkers’ Archives will resume group tours beginning April 10. These will be held Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. at the National Museum of Industrial History plaza. Tickets and information can be found on the ArtsQuest website.
Hudak expressed concern that the planned Polk Street garage project may be further delayed by maintenance issues at the Walnut Street Garage being addressed first.
Mayor’s office representative and meeting host Stephanie Augello said Mayor Bob Donchez was in agreement with the Parking Authority’s recommendations to hire a new consulting company to assess the condition of the Walnut Street Garage. “If the Walnut Street Garage is in bad condition, we may have to put off the Polk Street Garage for two years,” she said.
According to Augello, the city will receive approximately $33.7 million in stimulus funding, but will need to plan out how to allocate the monies and learn if any of it can be applied to city parking garage work.
Donna Taggart, President of Taggart Associates, mentioned the Miller-Keystone Blood Center is in critical need of blood donors.
Janine Santoro from the Bethlehem Area Public Library Southside branch brought up the news about Ahart’s Market at 410 Montclair Ave. closing down on April 30.
Augello replied the city is seeking to attract another grocer to the site. Bethlehem is also collaborating with the Kellyn Foundation to increase Southside residents’ access to fresh food.
The Mayor’s South Side Task Force meets again virtually on April 27, the last Tuesday of the month.