City Council


2015 Annual Report

City Council adopted 50 Ordinances and 292 Resolutions, and conducted 16 Committee meetings.

Some of the Ordinances adopted by City Council include:

Revisions to Article 112, Campaign Finance Reports, to include that elected official and campaign committees are to provide copies of their Campaign Finance Reports to the City Clerk’s Office. In addition to candidates, respective committees are required to provide to the City Clerk’s Office notification required to be filed with the Counties if $500 or more in contributions is received within a week before the election

Revisions to Article 117, Recreation Commission, changing the name to Recreation Board and appointments are now made by the Mayor.

Council amended Article 117, Officers and Employees to reflect that members of the Environmental Advisory Council and the Library Board are appointed by City Council.  Members of the Bethlehem Human Relations Commission are appointed by the Mayor and City Council.

An Intermunicipal Government Agreement with Northampton Borough Municipal Authority to delineate the respective rights of the City of Bethlehem and the Northampton Borough Municipal Authority to provide water service to an area encompassed within the territorial boundaries of Allen Township and Hanover Township.

An Intermunicipal Government Agreement with Lower Nazareth Township to provide Sewer Service to Lower Nazareth Township .

City Council approved a Street Vacation for a portion of Durham and a portion of Orchard Street that was petitioned by Moravian College for the construction of a Health Science Building.

City Council adopted various Zoning Amendment Ordinances dealing tree conservation, impervious coverage, SALDO Recreation Fees, parking, solar devices, the rezoning of a parcel of property on Main Street owned by Moravian College from High Residential (RS) to Institutional (I) for a new Health Science building, and rezoning the Martin Tower property from Landmark Conservation and Traditional Neighborhood Overlay District (CM-LTN) to Office Mixed Use District (OMU)

In the area of Finance, an Ordinance was adopted authorizing and directing the issuance of 2015 General Obligation Bonds to refund a portion of the remaining outstanding 2010 General Obligation Bonds and provide funding for the City’s Capital Improvement projects.  In addition, an Ordinance was adopted authorizing the Parking Authority Guaranteed Revenue Bonds.

City Council authorized Intermunicipal Agreements with Allentown and Easton for the Regional Expansion of the Shared Lane Markings Network.

Among Resolutions approved by City Council in 2015 were:

A Resolution authorizing an Inter-municipal Liquor License transfer to 1402-1412 Center Street

The Members of Council interviewed candidates and passed a Resolution naming George Yasso as City Controller, following the death of City Controller David DiGiacinto.

In March, Council declared its support for the specific recommendations stated in a letter addressed to the FERC, dated February 25, 2015 and prepared by Mayor Donchez, which are designed to mitigate certain risks posed by the proposed route, design, and construction of the Pipeline .  Council also stated its opposition to the proposed route, design, and construction of the PennEast Pipeline that would pass through environmentally sensitive Bethlehem Watershed land and in the area of the City’s water transmission.

A Resolution requesting State legislators to restore language to Title 35 that would allow Bethlehem and Allentown to receive funding and maintain control of  their  respective 9-1-1 Centers was adopted in April.  The funding was restored and in August Council adopted a Resolution authorizing receipt of funds from the State 911 Fund for the City’s 9-1-1 Center.

The Bethlehem Area Public Library submitted contracts for approval for the Phase III of the Bethlehem Area Public Library’s Room to Grow project and were authorized by Resolutions.

A Resolution was adopted that approved the grant application to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to replace the Monocacy Creek Bridge.

In October a Sublease agreement between the City of Bethlehem and The Appalachian Mountain Club for use of the Illick’s Mill building was authorized by Resolution.

City Council adopted a Resolution authorizing the sale of Raven, Bethlehem Police Mounted Unit horse, upon retirement from the Unit.

Authorization was given for several Use Permit Agreements throughout the year for events such as the Women’s World Cup Viewing Party, Vegfest, Star of Bethlehem Pop Up Bar Event, Runner’s World Half Marathon and Festival, Papal Visit Viewing Event, Oktoberfest, to name a few.


J. William Reynolds
President of Council

January 4, 2016