Published on February 09, 2022 at 09:56

At the February 3 Northampton Borough Council meeting, Borough Superintendent Leroy Brobst noted that tax preparers associated with AARP travel to the Northampton Recreation Center, 1 Lerchenmiller Drive, to prepare tax returns for 2021 income of residents.

Tax preparers will begin preparing taxes within a week. Brobst emphasized that these tax preparation services are by appointment only. The number to call to arrange service is 484-282-0767.

Brobst felt there were a limited number of appointment slots, so he urged those interested to call as soon as possible to make an appointment. Customers responsible for preparing returns will not be permitted to congregate in the leisure center lobby. They will be invited into the building when it is their turn to do their taxes.

AARP is the Association of American Retirees. However, this tax service is open to everyone regardless of age.

Joseph Britt, from Coplay, was sworn in by Mayor Tony Pristash as a full-time Northampton Borough police officer. A request for a part-time Code Enforcement Officer has been tabled at an upcoming meeting.

Resolution 2022-4 will be prepared to codify a settlement to a Northampton police officer injured in the line of duty. He is unable to resume his role as a policeman. His salary and medical expenses are currently covered by the borough’s heart and lung policy.

The Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act provides salaries and medical benefits for paid police officers and firefighters who are temporarily disabled due to injury in the line of duty, to be paid for by the municipality. In order to receive the proposed settlement, the injured officer had to be removed from the borough’s heart and lung policy. The board voted unanimously to delete it.

Councilor Kenneth Hall said he noticed a number of sidewalks had not been cleaned by residents. It was pointed out that the police are called if a resident does not shovel their sidewalks.

Pristash said he plans to meet with Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure and State Senator Lisa Boscola, D-18th, about grant funding and available state resources for the borough.

Pristash also reported meeting with students from Good Shepherd Catholic School to talk about what a mayor does and the borough in general. He was impressed by the questions the children asked him.

A first year student allegedly asked Pristash, “Where is the White House in Northampton?” Pristash, usually never at a loss for words, lacked an answer.

Junior council member Ryleigh Tillotson requested and was granted permission to explore developing an Instagram page for the borough. Brobst asked Tillotson to stop by his office to discuss the case and setting up the page.

Anthony Lopsonzski Jr., chairman of the board, publicly thanked Republic Sanitation Services for the vastly improved garbage collection efforts in the borough. He noted that Republic came up with a plan after the borough received numerous complaints about missed garbage pickups.

“It’s a job well done,” said Lopsonzski Jr.

“We have fewer complaints from residents,” acknowledged Chief Administrative Officer Meghan Case.

Councilor Judy Kutzler implored residents to contribute to the Northampton Fire Department’s annual fundraiser. She noted that the borough contributes about 67% of the department’s funds.

“They need to increase their budget balance, which is a lot,” Kutzler said. “Please place a check in the fundraising envelope that all households received.”

Councilor Ron Glassic asked council to consider allowing residents to have a hearing of those present on the agenda at the end of the meeting. Currently, there is no hearing of those present on the agenda until the start of the meeting. Glassic also asked the board to consider changing the board meeting start time to 7:00 p.m. from the current 7:30 p.m.

No decision has been made by the board.

Anthony Lopsonzski Sr. asked the board to consider hiring more police, “even if it means raising taxes.” A retired police officer with three decades of experience, he said the additional policing will improve community and officer safety.

Lopsonzski Sr. also revisited the idea of ​​a parking deck in the commercial section west of Main Street.

“Let’s at least take a look,” he asked.

Lopsonzski Sr. asked Tillotson to consider when a parade for Northampton Area High School’s highly successful 2021 football team might take place. She noted that she will be looking at a parade for the football team.

Northampton Borough Council’s next meeting will be February 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Borough Municipal Building, 1401 Laubach Ave.

PRESS PHOTO BY BILL LEINER JR. Northampton Mayor Tony Pristash administers the oath of office to newly approved police officer Joseph Britt during the Northampton Borough Council meeting on February 3.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Leaders of the Borough of Northampton, including Council, Mayor, Borough Manager, Solicitor, Office Administrator and Junior Council Member, pose for the official photo of the borough of 2022, taken by Fella Studios.