One of Hellertown’s best loved recreation landmarks is the Hellertown Pool, which has been a summertime staple in the borough for nearly 80 years. What it lacks, however, is restrooms that are compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
A section of Water Street in Hellertown is slated to receive Share the Road-style upgrades after the borough received state community and economic development grant money for a project that ultimately may include a multi-use bike lane trail with “share the road” signs, bump-outs, pavement markings and curb cuts.
A Hellertown curb ramp replacement project that was supposed to be wrapped up weeks ago should be completed this week, engineer Bryan Smith of Barry Isett and Associates told borough council Monday night. Smith said that as of Monday, three sidewalk ramps still needed to be completed. The project was drawn out because some of the handicapped-accessible ramps were not initially completed to Americans With Disabilites Act (ADA) specifications and had to be redone, zoning and codes enforcement officer Kris Russo confirmed. “The sidewalk pads that had been marked out with yellow spray paint failed and were not accepted,” Russo said in an email after speaking with Smith. “The contractor had to remove and replace (them) at his own cost.” Russo explained that “the unaccepted areas failed because of either quality of workmanship or conformance to the plans.”
It’s late August and the weather isn’t the only thing that’s heating up in Hellertown. In a letter that was read into the public record at Hellertown Borough Council’s meeting Monday night, a resident told council a 10-year-old ordinance that requires homeowners to have their sidewalks inspected when a property is sold, and brought up to code if necessary, is holding Hellertonians “hostage.” Eric Hersh requested the “immediate repeal” of the 2005 ordinance that in some cases also requires the installation of handicapped-accessible ramps at corners. Hersh said many of his neighbors are also “outraged” by the ordinance and support its repeal. He demanded refunds for residents who’ve already paid to make improvements, and questioned why handicapped ramps are lacking in the vicinity of some public buildings in town.
A degree of flexibility for incoming kindergartners that has been a tradition at Saucon Valley Elementary School could soon be a thing of the past. At the Saucon Valley School Board’s Jan. 27 meeting, the board discussed a recommendation by superintendent Dr. Monical McHale-Small that a firm cutoff date of Sept. 1 be established–meaning children who are not five years old as of Sept. 1 would not be able to enroll in kindergarten until the following school year.