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Fall activities abound

The transition of summer into fall won’t cool off community fun in Hellertown, as the proposal of several festive events was on the agenda of the Oct. 4 Hellertown Council meeting. The familiar faces of Jessica O’Donnell and Lauren Bertucci of the Hellertown-Lower Saucon Chamber of COmmerce joined to propose two future events for approval, as well as promote other upcoming borough happenings.

In highly-anticipated news, the borough’s annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, Light Up Night, will be returning in-person on its usual date, the Friday evening after Thanksgiving, Nov. 26. Like many popular holiday gatherings, it was forced to go virtual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking further out, Dine in Dimmick [Park] – a new food truck-oriented daytime affair – was proposed for June 2022, with live music and alcohol sales to be among its attractions. “[Dimmick Park] is such an ideal park to hold these community events,” O’Donnell said, pointing to the success of warmer weather events like Music in the Park and Movies in the Park and their appeal in “bringing the community together.”

Bertucci also took the opportunity to promote the Chamber’s upcoming Small Business and Community Roundtable at Black River Farms, to be held the evening of Oct. 13. She said the purpose of the meeting is to address the challenges local businesses are facing as they recover from the worst of the COVID-19 pandmeic, particularly the much-maligned staffing shortages being seen, especially in retail and service industries.

Borough Manager Cathy Hartranft referred to approximately $500,000 in federal aid which O’Donnell and Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure have helped secure for recovering borough businesses thus far. O’Donnell encouraged those which have yet to receive funds, or had in 2020 under the CARES Act with nothing else since, to reach out to the Chamber to learn more about additional funding.

Bertucci further encouraged Hellertown residents to participate in its Dine and Donate program at the local McDonald’s Oct. 27 from 4 to 8 p.m.. Twenty percent of the sales during that time frame will be donated to the Chamber’s newly-revived scholarship fund, she said.

Finally, O’Donnell and Bertucci’s last order of business was the presentation of an $810 check raised for the Hellertown Police Department from the previous weekend’s Pints for a Purpose charity event at Lost Tavern Brewing. The total donation haul of $1,620 was split evenly between the borough’s and Lower Saucon police departments.

In other news, council held a vote on whether to advertise an ordinance on the previously-discussed request from car dealership owner Clete Landis of Star Pre-Owned of Hellertown for the borough to vacate a block with two roads behind his business, Oak Alley and Hemlock Street. Only council President Thomas Rieger voted against the motion, citing concerns over traffic flow.

Payments were also authorized to two firms who worked on the pedestrian-friendly Main Street Safety Project in the borough. A payment of $11,899.50 to Traffic Planning and Design and another payment of $37,196.80 to Marino Corp. were authorized to pay for services related to the improvements, which thus far have included a series of crosswalk signs with flashers, bus stop renovations and more.

Press photo by Chris Haring The Hellertown-Lower Saucon Chamber's Jessica O'Donnell (right) and Lauren Bertucci (at podium) joined the meeting to discuss several upcoming community events.