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Wanted: Input to make town better

Published November 23. 2012 05:02PM

A member of Lehighton Borough Council wants suggestions from the public for improving the community.

Councilman George Kogut has scheduled two meetings - one for youths and the other for business people.

Kogut said the meeting for youths in the community, with council members, will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6, in the borough hall.

He said the second "economic summit" for business people of the town will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, also in the borough hall.

Kogut will moderate both sessions. Both are open to the general public.

"We want to engage the youth of the community," he said, adding the council wants to find out what the council can do to provide more resources and opportunities for young people.

He added that the youth session is being coordinated by Pastor Keith House, who has invited numerous churches to have representation.

Kogut, who is the chairman of the public works and recreation committee of the council, has been pushing for the upgrading of recreational facilities in the borough such as Baer Memorial Park and the Community Grove. He has been advocating the installation of lights at Baer Memorial Park for the possibility of night baseball and is hoping to have basketball courts installed there.

At the Community Grove, he has been exploring the potential for more use of the basketball courts including advocating the creation of a summer league.

This will be the second "economic summit" scheduled by Kogut. The first one, held earlier this month, had 16 businesses represented. Kogut said he is hoping for an even larger attendance.

At the first summit, business owners discussed a variety of topics including downtown parking, commercial electric rates, the poor exterior appearance of some buildings in the downtown section of the borough, and snow removal in the downtown area.

In other matters of the borough council:

• It was announced there will be free parking at meters in the downtown area from Thanksgiving to Jan. 2.

• Two budget meetings of the council have been scheduled, one at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 27 and the other at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 4. Nicole Beckett, borough manager, said it is anticipated to have the budget ready for the regular monthly meeting of the council, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 17.

• Discussion was held on turning the annual Bike Night over to an independent committee. Action was tabled on the matter.

The borough has been a co-sponsor of the Bike Night, held each August, since it was founded 14 years ago. This year the Bike Night was co-sponsored by the borough and the Lehighton Downtown Initiative Committee.

• Chief of Police Neal Ebbert said the police department hosted an inspection regulation class for police officers on Nov. 7 and 9.

He said 21 police officers - municipal and state police officers - from as far away as Dunmore attended.

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