LEHIGH COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
At the Sept. 11 meeting, Lehigh County Commissioners approved 8-0 the lease of the basement level of the Hamilton Financial Center, 640 Hamilton St., to law firm Davison & McCarthy, P. C.
The lease agreement is for five years and calls for a “base” or first year lease for $3,312 or $276 per month for 1,286 square feet. The lease calls for payment to increase over a four-year period.
Commissioner Brad Osborne abstained from voting citing a potential conflict of interest.
“The firm that I work for does business with this particular law firm in different areas,” Osborne said.
In other meeting business, a resolution and a bill had their first readings.
A resolution sponsored by Commissioner Dan Hartzell, extends the professional services agreement with Visiting Nurses Association of St. Luke’s Home Health and Hospice to provide hospice services to eligible residents of Cedarbrook Senior Care and Rehabilitation.
The bill approves an agreement with the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation for the formation of a review committee for the transfer of funds for the Lehigh Valley Homeless Veterans Fund.
Bill sponsor Commissioner Marc Grammes said, “Tom Applebach (director of the Veteran Affairs of Lehigh County) has been in the forefront of addressing homeless veterans in Lehigh Valley.”
“We wanted to find a way that we could get donations to address the [homeless veterans] problem,” Grammes said. “This is a much better model that [gives us] a way to reach out to the county at large. We established a line item in the 2019 budget transferring money from another fund.”
“It’s not that much of a stretch to say solving the homeless problem could be considered economic development or community development,” Hartzell said. “Sometimes the slope isn’t slippery.”
Hartzell was responding to a hypothetical argument that some might say using community development allocations to combat homelessness is not appropriate use of money.
Commissioner Amanda Holt agreed with Hartzell saying, “In my mind this certainly fits into the scope of community development.”
A final vote on the issue will likely be on the next meeting agenda.