Mayor Ed Pawlowski delivered the 2014 State of the City address at the end of January, where 135 members and guests of the Allentown Rotary Club gathered at the Holiday Inn at 9th and Hamilton in downtown Allentown.
“The state of our city is one of resurgence,” said the Mayor, opening his 28 minute speech. Pawlowski’s hard work over the last eight years has resulted in positive changes throughout the city. “Resurgence is defined as bringing something again into activity and prominence, and that’s what is occurring in Allentown,” said Pawlowski. “We’ve rebuilt our finances by turning a multi-million dollar deficit into a multi-million dollar surplus; used an innovative approach to fully fund our pensions’ seen six straight years of crime decreases and over a billion dollars in new investment and development; and in 2014 the citizens of Allentown will be seeing their ninth straight year of no property tax increase.”
The police department kicked off the New Year under the leadership of new Chief Joel Fitzgerald, who established the “Keystone Plan for a Safer Allentown.” This multi-year Strategic Plan will include four main points: Proactive and Preventive Policing Initiatives, Intelligence Led Policing (ILP), Community Partnerships, and Redistribution of Internal Resources.
Pawlowski ended the address by proposing a number of new creations for Allentown’s public spaces, including a skate park and a dog park, which would be the city’s first, and a public ice-skating rink in the Arts Walk. The Mayor has plans to partner with the Rodale Institute, known for their expertise in organic farming, to re- purpose vacant lots and unused open spaces throughout the city into a network of urban organic farms, in order to make a “greener” Allentown. “This partnership will combine Rodale’s’ experience and know-how in organic farming with the City of Allentown’s land resources transforming our vacant lots into viable, healthy solutions, providing fresh organic produce to families throughout the city at Head Starts, hospitals and schools.”
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller, and YMCA-YWCA Chief Executive Officer Jim Finchum announced that the Allentown YMCA-YWCA will be opening its doors as a shelter during Code Blue nights. The Lehigh County Emergency Management considers a night “Code Blue” when temperatures drop below 32 degrees.
Anyone who requires shelter is welcome to stay in the small gym at the “Y” Monday through Thursday evenings from 10:30pm to 5:00am. Ample floor space will be available in addition to access to the bleachers.
“The city has been having private conversations with potential temporary providers over the past several weeks. I want to thank Jim Finchum and the board of directors for making the “Y” available,” said Mayor Pawlowski. “I have been deeply involved in homelessness issues since my days in college, which is why I formed the Commission to End Chronic Homelessness. I would much rather see homeless citizens get into a structured environment that is offered by a number of providers in the city with open beds, but this generous gesture by the “Y” offers another opportunity so everyone can get inside on very cold nights.”
According to Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller, the county Office of Emergency Management is seeking further ways to be able to provide assistance to the “Y” and other temporary shelters during this cold winter. The Allentown YMCA-YWCA is located at 425 S. 15th Street.
The Saints will be marching in when a bit of New Orleans comes to Allentown at the end of the month when Mayor Ed Pawlowski hosts his annual Mardi Gras Party, to be held this year on Friday, February 28th, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Cosmopolitan, located at 22 N. 6th Street.
Grab your masks and beads and join the fun with entertainment by the fabulous James Supra Band, who will be joined by local blues legend Sarah Ayers as well as Andy Killcoyne.
Tickets are $50 dollars and will be available at the door. You can RSVP to Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can pre –pay for your tickets by sending a check to : “Friends of Ed Pawlowski,” P.O. Box 9366. Allentown, PA. 18105.
The City of Allentown recently completed $15,000 in renovations and enhancements to the Operations Center located in the Streets Department office at 1825 Grammes Road.
“It became apparent during Super Storm Sandy and in its aftermath that we could make improvements that would really make a difference in our operations,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski. “Primarily, we wanted to improve our communications capabilities and create an area where we could effectively centralize command of all of our operations.”
The building is the former home of the dispatch center for snow removal equipment. It has been expanded to include six new computer stations including wireless laptops equipped with radio transmitters. Personnel can track the location of city vehicles and completed work utilizing GIS and Zonar technology, and a dedicated phone line links directly to the Communications Center in order to dispatch Police, Fire, and Paramedics when needed. If electric power is lost, the center has a back up natural gas-powered generator, capable of keeping the center operational 24/7.
“Super Storm Sandy proved to officials across this region that a major storm with serious short term consequences can happen here. We need to have the resources to be able to handle it in the best way possible. Our new EOC greatly enhances our capabilities,” concluded Pawlowski.
The City of Allentown has been working hard to remove the snow from the streets. With the amount of snow that we’ve had during this brutal winter, and the constant plowing and snow removal, the wear and tear on our streets has been especially harsh. Unfortunately, that means potholes are appearing throughout the City.
A quick phone call from a motorist who spots a pothole can help speed the repair processes. “At least one crew is assigned to pothole repairs every day. Through mid-2013 the city had filled nearly 4,000 potholes,” said Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski. Residents are urged to contact the city’s Pothole Hotline at 610-437-8775.
“The Streets Department recording asks callers to give the exact location of the pothole along with their name and telephone number in case the city needs to reach them to ascertain a more precise location,” said Pawlowski.
Potholes occur from the freeze-thaw cycle. Water drips between cracks in the pavement from heavy vehicle travel, and as temperatures fall below freezing, the water turns to ice and expands the pavement from below. This raised pavement continues to feel pressure from the weight of cars and as the temperatures freeze again, a divot appears underneath the raised pavement, thus creating a pothole.
Potholes are filled using a PB Patcher unit attached to a dump truck that can contain hot mix material that is useable all day. The city’s goal in responding to these hotline phone calls is 24 hours for high traffic volume roads, and 24-48 hours for low volume.
Residents can reach the Pothole Hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please don’t hesitate to call. Fixing potholes now will save you from making costly repairs to your vehicle later.
Philadelphia Phantoms officials have announced that world-renowned management company Global Spectrum, who manages the homes of the Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia Phillies, will run the day-to-day operations of PPL Arena in downtown Allentown.
Global Spectrum, which manages more than 120 arenas and facilities worldwide, will handle the scheduling, booking, staffing, marketing and maintenance of the soon-to-be-completed 10,000 seat venue. The company is subsidiary of Comcast-Spectacor, which manages the Wells Fargo Center and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
The arena, expected to be completed by the end of the summer, will be home to the Flyer’s top minor league affiliate, the Phantoms. It will also host concerts, circuses, family shows, figure skating events, Disney on Ice, youth sports, high school and college events, conferences, trade shows, and graduations.
Former Dieruff Huskie, Kutztown University, and NFL great Andre Reed was finally elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Reed, a seven-time Pro Bowler, gains entrance to Canton, Ohio after eight years of eligibility.
Reed played 16 years in the NFL, all but one with the Buffalo Bills. Although he never won a Super Bowl, Reed ranks tenth in NFL history in career receptions with 951, and is among the top 15 for receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
Reed graduated from Dieruff in 1982, and quickly gained national attention at Kutztown. He was drafted by the Bills in 1985, and retired after the 2000 season, which he spent with the Washington Redskins. In 2009, he was selected for the Buffalo Bill’s 50th Season All-Time Team.
Congratulations to Andre and the entire Reed Family!