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Northampton mayor lauds D&L Trail development

Northampton Borough Mayor Anthony Pristash lauded the Delaware and Lehigh Trail during the June 15 council meeting.

The D&L Trail is about 165 miles long stretching, when completed, from Wilkes-Barre to Bristol. The trail possesses a rich history. Visit delawareandlehigh.org for more information.

Pristash noted, as trail use has increased, safety on the trail has also increased. He said he called the police chiefs of each municipality the trail runs through - from Catasauqua to Jim Thorpe - to inquire about any crimes occurring on the trail. All the contacted chiefs said they have zero criminal episodes on the trail that runs through their communities.

“The trail use is growing, popular and safe. It is a phenomenal asset to the borough,” Pristash said.

He added one can bike, walk, jog, run or just enjoy passive recreation in a beautiful, serene environment.

A ribbon cutting is planned later this summer in Northampton County, as the D&L Trail continues to develop.

“The trail is working for the [Northampton] business community,” Pristash added.

He noted he has received reports from business owners that they have had folks on bikes arrive at their businesses.

Even as a borough councilman, Pristash had a focus on the parks and trails in Northampton. He is a driving force of improving the beauty and safety of Canal Street Park, such as working to develop flower gardens and a monarch butterfly way station.

“There is just a good vibe about the [D&L] trail,” Pristash said.

In other business, council voted 6-2 to develop a plan and to possibly hire a vendor to install livestreaming of council meetings to the public.

The police pension fund was approved to provide a 3% cost of living raise for retired police officers. There was one abstention by Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski Sr., a retired police officer in the borough.

Kelly Milisits, a longtime active Northampton volunteer, was appointed to the Civil Service Commission.

The retirement committee of the 6th Battalion 68th Armor Division requested and received permission to hold its sixth annual picnic Sept. 24 at Municipal Park. The rental fee was waived by council.

Covenant United Methodist Church, of Moore Township, requested and was granted permission to use the borough’s portable band trailer Aug. 28. The rental fee was waived. The church is responsible for the delivery and pickup fee and is required to produce a certificate of insurance to the borough.

Lehigh Township Fire Company requested and received council permission for Northampton Fire Department Fire Police to assist the Back the Blue bike ride planned for July 30.

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ requested and received permission to close a portion of East 19th Street between Ridge Alley and Lincoln Avenue two times for a planned event. The first day is July 31 and then Aug. 21 between 10:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

An effort to cancel the council workshop meeting for July and August was defeated by a 5-3 vote. Advocates for the cancellation felt the meetings are not necessary as activities reduce during those months.

Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst said there are nine applications for the position of assistant borough manager.

He further noted planning for Northampton Community Days, scheduled for July 6-9, is moving forward.

Brobst also reported the random drug screenings of police and public works employees are going as planned.

Councilman Trevor Stone raised the issue and stimulated a discussion about noise complaints in the borough, suggesting the ordinance might be amended to include a time of 7-10 p.m. It was suggested people with noise complaints throughout the day call the police to investigate the complaint.

Solicitor Brian Panella noted he will look into the matter regarding any ordinance or ordinance change.

The next Northampton Borough Council meeting will be 7:30 p.m. July 7 at the municipal building, 1401 Laubach Ave. It is an in-person meeting only.