Ordinance 1153, which pertains to providing the regulation of medical marijuana facilities in the borough, passed its final reading with a 7-0 vote at the Feb. 6 Emmaus Borough Council meeting.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania adopted a law April 17, 2016 which “legally removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a signed recommendation from their physician stating that marijuana ‘may mitigate’ his or her debilitating medical symptoms.”
Mike Gibson spoke before the Emmaus Borough Council Jan. 16, to discuss new parking signs throughout the borough.
The Emmaus Main Street Partners were awarded a $1,500 grant from the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce for parking signs to be put into public and private lots. These signs are designed to help residents better locate these lots.
Gibson said they “went out to the businesses and made the initiative with them to volunteer their parking areas during business hours or off business hours to other patrons or other businesses throughout the borough.”
The Emmaus Borough Council approved a 6.8 percent tax increase as well as a new sewer fee of $49 a year at the Dec. 19 council meeting.
Borough Manager Shane Pepe reiterated from the previous council meeting the tax increase is being generated from the $750,000 of increases in salaries, benefits and pensions from the new increase in borough staff.
Areas where staff were increased included the ambulance corps, a full-time public works employee and the police department which is now fully staffed for the first time in several years.
Emmaus Borough council voted 7-0 in favor of a first reading to raise taxes for the fiscal year of 2017.
The proposed ordinance will raise taxes by 5.5065 mills. A mill is a $1 tax on every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value. The 5.5065 mills will be split between a general tax fund of 4.8754 mills and a fire fund tax of 0.6311 mills.
Councilman Nathan Brown stated immediately the tax increase was not due in part to the purchase of the new borough offices.
Emmaus Borough Council held a brief meeting Nov. 21.
The decision on the heating oil, kerosene, diesel and unleaded fuel bids were discussed.
Council voted 7-0 in favor of awarding Lehigh Fuels with the heating oil and kerosene bids and a new company called Talley Petroleum was awarded the unleaded and diesel fuel bids. The heating oil will cost $1.65 per gallon, kerosene $2.19 per gallon, unleaded fuel $1.70 per gallon and diesel fuel at $1.68 per gallon.
There was a public hearing dealing with the Keystone Community Façade Grant held at Emmaus Borough Council chambers Nov. 7 before the regularly schedule council meeting.
The idea of the Keystone Community Grant is to improve the exterior looks of businesses downtown.
The Emmaus Borough Council conditionally approved the preliminary and final land development plan for the Emmaus Public Library expansion project at the council meeting held Oct. 17.
Krista Pegnetter, the library’s director, said they have been working on this project for 10 years.
“We hit a couple hurdles along the way, the recession hit, the depression hit, it got worse, but also FEMA declared the property a flood plain,” Pegnetter said.
“As the world turns, Chief [Charles] Palmer would like to hire former Chief [David] Faust as a part-time employee,” Borough Manager Shane Pepe announced at the Emmaus Borough Council meeting Sept. 19.
Faust, who retired in March after being the Emmaus Borough Police Chief for 16 years, would be hired as a part-time police officer at $20.16 an hour. Pepe said he would mainly be working the Emmaus High School sporting events.
At the Aug. 15 Emmaus Borough Council, Mayor Winfield Iobst announced the Emmaus Halloween Parade will be held Oct. 15 while Trick-or-Treat night will be held 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 28
In other business at the council meeting, Resolution 2016-31 was passed which will allow Borough Manager Shane Pepe to apply for the Charlie Stemer Intern Grant. This grant will give the borough money to hire interns.
Councilman Nathan Brown said at the Aug. 15 council meeting, the borough received official notice it is in quarantine in regard to the Spotted Lanternfly.
The insect is an inch-long black, red and white spotted insect which attacks pines, grapes and fruit trees.