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Borough appoints junior council

Northampton Borough Council appointed the junior council member for the next two years at its Sept. 7 meeting. Mason Smolenak was recently interviewed by an ad hoc committee of council members and Northampton Mayor Anthony Pristash.

The committee said it was impressed with Smolenak and recommended he be approved by council as junior council member.

Smolenak replaces Ryleigh Tillotson, who graduated from Northampton Area High School in 2023.

Smolenak, a Northampton resident and NAHS junior, received a unanimous council vote. He was welcomed with enthusiasm. Pristash promptly administered the oath of office to Smolenak, who took his seat with council.

“I am thankful to be here and look forward to working with council,” Smolenak said.

In other news, council approved Resolution 8-23, allowing Northampton Fire Department to apply for a Lehigh-Northampton counties Local Share Account grant in the amount of $52,000 to purchase Panasonic Tough Books for the fire apparatus. No matching funds are required.

Resolution 9-23 allows a police officer to apply for a Monroe County LSA grant in the amount of $89,000 to purchase two vehicles for the detectives to use. Matching funds are also not required.

In grant parlance, “matching funds” are dollars a grant applicant, such as a borough, has to add to the grant request to be considered for a grant award.

Northampton Area Chamber of Commerce requested and received council permission to use the borough’s portable band trailer and the portable restroom for the Uptown Northampton Street Fair, which was held Sept. 9. The items were approved at no cost to the Chamber.

Upper Macungie Township requested and received permission to use the borough’s portable band trailer Oct. 14. There is a $150 fee and proof of insurance that provides the borough with insurance coverage.

Councilman Kenneth Hall said Northampton County is sponsoring a household hazardous waste collection, set for Sept. 30, at Northampton Community College, and drop-off will be by appointment only. Contact information is on the borough’s website.

Councilwoman Judy Haldeman noted the municipal swimming pool closed for the 2023 season Aug. 19. She said everyone seemed to feel the 2023 season was one of the more successful ones.

Haldeman also reported the equinox festival previously approved for Sept. 23 was canceled by the festival sponsors. The group plans to hold a spring equinox festival in Northampton in March 2024.

Councilwoman Bonnie Almond reported the borough’s 1999 Freightliner fire apparatus was sold for $70,000 to Brewster, Minn.

Council Vice President Ronald Glassic noted Deibert Alley was reconstructed and paved during late August. He added there was a collapsed storm sewer pipe in the area of Anthony Drive that was being repaired by public works.

Pristash applauded the efforts of the organizers and Northampton Area Chamber of Commerce for their hard work preparing for the street fair. He added he recently became a Lehigh Valley ambassador. He encouraged interested council members to attend a brief training and become an ambassador to promote the Lehigh Valley and Northampton Borough.

The next borough council meeting is 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at the municipal building, 1401 Laubach Ave. It is a hybrid meeting, with both in-person and virtual options. Visit YouTube and type Northampton Council into the search bar to access the meeting.

PRESS PHOTO BY BILL LEINER JR. Northampton Mayor Tony Pristash swears in Mason Smolenak as the new junior council member at the Sept. 7 Northampton Borough Council meeting.