Council member Bryan Callahan, who chairs its community development committee, announced to his colleagues that an effort is underway to hold an Italian festival on Main Street in Bethlehem.

He said the festival may be scheduled during the third week in June.

"We're trying to get more foot traffic into the Main Street area throughout the summer months to help out these business owners so they can get through this year," said Callahan. "It would be a great thing for the city.

"With the harsh winter we had, a number of businesses on Main Street really struggled. Some made zero."

Callahan later said some Main Street shop owners are afraid they'll no longer be there at the end of 2014 unless business picks up. If we have a lot of rain in the coming months, it could sink them."

Callahan said several "big corporate sponsors" already are very interested in participating in the festival, as well as a number of potential volunteers.

He expects this year's first Italian festival probably will be bigger than initially imagined.

Library board changes

Because Lower Saucon Township cut ties with the Bethlehem Area Public Library last year, on Tuesday City Council voted to reduce the size of the library's board from 13 to 11 members.

And only seven board members will be city residents rather than eight.

Lower Saucon had appointed one member to the library board. When its seat on the board was eliminated, one city board position also was eliminated, explained Spirk.

Council president J. William Reynolds asked David Brong, Bethlehem's business administrator, about the financial impact of Lower Saucon's withdrawal.

"Lower Saucon's exit was anticipated and the effect was budgeted," said Brong. "Fortunately, the library has done an excellent job reducing its own costs. This year the city is not seeing any additional contribution [to the library] because of that."

Brong later said the library was getting about $180,000 a year from Lower Saucon. "The library reduced its spending by about that much."

He estimated its total budget is around $2 million.

Reynolds said City Council traditionally had one seat on the library board, but that seat has been lost by the change in the number of board members.

In response to a question from Evans, former library board member Reynolds stressed he can't speak for them, but said Bethlehem Township, Northampton County's Hanover Township, Fountain Hill and Freemansburg all have indicated they want to remain part of the Bethlehem area library.

He added many Hanover and Bethlehem township residents already believe they live in Bethlehem - probably because they have Bethlehem mailing addresses.