It has been more than a year since Joe Delfoe died at the age of 89, but the longtime Hellertown resident’s legacy of civic-mindedness lives on in the local landmarks he had a hand in developing.
An electrician by trade, Delfoe is perhaps best known for helping spearhead the effort to build the iconic clock tower in the borough’s Detwiller Plaza in the late 1980s, but over the years he assisted with many other projects, such as restoring the tiered stone fountain in Borough Authority Park.
Another project he conceived of now overlooks the fountain, where it will shelter to visitors to the leafy park, which is located on Durham Street next to the Hellertown Pool.
Delfoe first pitched the idea to build a gazebo in the park to Hellertown Borough Council in February 2020, when he committed to helping raise the money that would be needed to construct it.
Borough manager Cathy Hartranft said the Covid pandemic put the project on hold for a couple of years, but officials were determined to see it through to completion and pursued funding for it.
Hartranft said a $1,200 grant from the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Foundation was used to purchase the gazebo, as was nearly $4,000 in donations collected in Delfoe’s memory.
With that money, the gazebo was recently purchased from Green Acres Outdoor Living.
Hartranft noted that the borough’s public works department did the landscaping around the gazebo, which will be added to in the coming years.
“It’s a great addition to that park!” she said.
If borough council votes to allow it, the gazebo may also be available to small groups to rent in the future, she added.
There is currently a $50 rental fee for the use of Borough Authority Park for small weddings and other events attended by up to 25 people. The rental application for the park may be found here.
More information about Hellertown parks and recreation facilities may be found on the borough’s website.