NORTHAMPTON >> The Northampton Township Board of Supervisors held its reorganization meeting on Jan. 6 with a swearing in ceremony and the election of board leaders for 2020.
The Hon. Judge William Benz opened the evening by administering the oath of office to returning supervisors Adam Selisker and Barry Moore, auditor Elizabeth Youce, and tax collector Vincent Deon.
As its first order of business, the newly-organized board of supervisors voted to appoint Selisker as its president for 2020. Selisker also serves as the chief of the Northampton Township Fire Department.
“Adam, you do a fantastic job for the township, obviously with the fire company and in your role with the board of supervisors and now being chair,” said supervisor Barry Moore in passing the chairmanship gavel to Selisker. “It’s a great honor that you are going to take over as chair. I couldn’t think of a better person.”
Selisker expressed appreciation to the board for “your faith in me. It’s certainly an honor. I’ve been working with you for a little more than a year and look forward to it. And I have to say, ‘Wow. Thanks to my friends from the fire department (for showing up). There are just a lot folks here that I work with everyday in the fire department who came out. Thank you so much for coming. I’m quite moved.”
As his first duty as chairman, Selisker asked for nominations for vice chairman. Frank O’Donnell responded by nominating Eileen Silver. Her appointment received unanimous approval from the board.
The board also named Frank O’Donnell as board secretary, Dr. Kimberly Rose as treasurer and Township Manager Bob Pellegrino as assistant secretary.
Selisker thanked Moore for his leadership of the board over the past two years. “You worked hard as chair and we appreciate that,” he said.
Selisker then took a moment to look back at the township’s accomplishments over the past year and also to look forward at what the coming year will hold.
Chief among the township’s accomplishments in 2019 was the opening of the township’s brand new police station.
“It’s a great state-of-the-art facility. Our police really needed a new facility to do the great work that they do,” said Selisker. “If you get a chance stop by to see it. They are happy to show it off.”
Also in 2019, Selisker said the township received about $5 million in grants, a dollar figure which he called “extraordinary.”
The township also preserved 75 acres of open space at the Rook Farm and completed major renovations to the Civic Center on Route 332, including improvements to the athletic fields, parking lots and lighting.
“And we finished preliminary engineering for the Buck Road improvement project. Now PennDOT takes over the $9 million project, which includes the area around the Old Mill Race Inn to Old Bristol Road, including the bridge replacement. We will see that coming soon.”
Looking ahead to 2020, Selisker said the township will be moving forward with the Ironworks Creek sidewalk project near Tanyard Road.
“The township did preliminary engineering and now PennDOT takes over. This is an $800,000 project that PennDOT will do for us. This is continuing toward our goal of sidewalks throughout Richboro," he said.
Also in 2020 the township will be expanding the hours of service for its career firefighters. "We received a $900,000 grant in 2019 and that grant will be used to hire five new firefighters and expand our coverage to include seven days a week, including holidays, for 12 hours a day," said Selisker.
Also in 2020 the Jacksonville and Almshouse Roads intersection will be upgraded with traffic signal improvements designed to improve traffic flow. The intersection is a choke point for traffic in the western end.
The township provided concept plans for the work at a cost of about $40,000, according to Selisker, “And through the help of our county planning commission PennDOT is picking up the $1.5 million cost.”
The township also is moving ahead with its new road trail. “We got a $237,000 grant from the state with $40,000 matching from the township for a new trail that will run along Maureen Welsh Elementary School and ties in with our Municipal Park trail.”
And the township will see the construction of an all-inclusive playground in 2020 at Municipal Park through a partnership between the township and the Miracle League of Northampton Township. The township has received two grants totaling $325,000. The playground will be for people of all ages and abilities.
“That’s just a little hint of what is to come,” said Selisker. “I’m sure there are many other great things to come continuing to keep Northampton Township a great place to live.”