Magisterial District Judge Donna Butler administered the oath of office to Lee Ann Gilbert, Roy Anders, Brent A. Labenberg and Shana Baumgartner at the Emmaus Borough Council meeting Jan. 2.
Gilbert was elected the first female mayor of Emmaus, Anders and Labenberg will start new full terms and Baumgartner is starting her first term as a council member.
Council voted to reinstate Labenberg as council president and Chris DeFrain as vice president.
Winfield Iobst, mayor of the Emmaus Borough for 20 years, attended his final council meeting in borough hall Dec. 18.
Iobst was presented with a certification of accommodation by the Emmaus Police Department for all of his work over the years.
As the police department stated, “We have a 20 man department, and somehow you’ve sworn in 23 full-time officers, eight sergeants, three chiefs, oversaw four cycles of accreditation, the building of a new police department and served under four U.S. presidents; congratulations.”
Jeffery Bonner, owner of Cave Brewing Company LLC, spoke before the Emmaus Borough Council at a public hearing Dec. 4 regarding moving his craft brewery to Emmaus.
The building Bonner is looking to rent is a 2,500-square-foot industrial building at 850 Broad St., which Bonner plans on converting into a brewery and taproom. He will be moving from his much smaller location at 1407 Seidersville Road, Bethlehem.
Council members’ main concerns for Bonner involved parking, noise and use of outside tents during the warmer months.
Emmaus Borough Council voted 7-0 in favor of a first reading to raise taxes for the fiscal year of 2018.
The proposed ordinance will raise taxes by 5.9715 mills, which is an increase of last year’s 5.5065 mills. A mill is a $1 tax on every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value. The 5.9715 mills will be split between a general tax fund of 4.8754 and a fire fund tax of 1.0961.
Residents continued to express their concerns at the Nov. 6 Emmaus Borough Council meeting over a zoning ordinance change council made at the Oct. 16 meeting.
W2B2 LLC plans on a townhome development located on the 9.85 acres of land at the intersection of Arch and Tilghman streets. At the previous borough meeting, council approved a zoning ordinance to rezone 1.6 acres from conservation residential to medium density residential.
Emmaus Borough Council approved a zoning change involving the proposed Townhouses at South Mountain at the council meeting Oct. 16.
The new proposed townhouse community will be located on the 9.85 acres located between Tilghman and Arch streets and will allow a proposed 49-unit townhouse development. The zoning change request was put forward by W2B2, LLC, who bought the property from Rodale.
Emmaus Borough Council unanimously approved the collective bargaining agreement created with the Emmaus Police Officers Association at the council meeting Oct. 2.
“It’s been a very good negotiation, it’s been very cordial,” Borough Manager Shane Pepe said. “We bent, they bent farther.”
Resident Neil Carl, who owns property on South First Street, expressed his concerns about the borough vacating part of the street, at the Emmaus Borough Council meeting Sept. 18
Mike Wilson, of Motors Plus, is requesting to have part of the dead end street by his business, which is roughly 20 feet by 40 feet.
Carl complained the borough was allowing Wilson to operate his business within a 50-foot radius of a tributary of the Little Lehigh Creek, which Carl claims is against ordinances and the State Department of Environmental Protection agency.
Emmaus Borough Council made some new guidelines to be followed at Boroline Park at the Aug. 21 meeting.
A resident has been complaining for a few years that teams are showing up for baseball and softball tournaments 7 a.m. on weekends to start practice on the field before games. In addition, games are so close together that parking “is a nightmare.”
“I’ll tell you on the weekend it [guidelines] will definitely reduce police calls, because on the weekends our police are down there at least once a day during tournaments,” Borough Manager Shane Pepe said.
At the July 17 Emmaus Borough Council meeting, resident Jason Jesmain, who is currently volunteering with the Emmaus Fire Department and the Recreation and Entertainment Commission, spoke before council regarding issues he’s been having at the community pool.
Jesmain said a lot of “out of city people are coming in and trashing the place, there’s a lot of vulgarity and people don’t watch their kids.” He says these people are from Allentown or have New Jersey license plates.