The Bethlehem Township Board of Commissioners authorized design work on trail improvements for the Housenick Park to proceed during Monday night's meeting.

Evan Stone, a landscape architect with Pennoni Associates, the firm handling the Housenick Park plan, said the design process for the Phase One improvements could be completed by year's end at the latest. That design would include trail and parking improvements, among others, he noted.

"The goal is to bring the park up to good standards," Stone told the board in a brief presentation.

While the project is seeking state grants to fund the design process, Stone assured the members of the board that if the grants that were being sought fell short in being approved, that the Housenick trustees would reimburse the township for the shortfall.

Commissioner Thomas Nolan wanted to make sure there was no ambiguity with this point, questioning Stone repeatedly to make sure that if no grants were from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources were secured the township wouldn't be left holding the proverbial bag.

Stone referenced a letter from the trustees indicating their commitment to providing the money, adding that the group "clearly committed the funds." With that,  commissioners backed the township's Parks and Recreation Board's recommendation and approved the measure.

In other business the board adopted a resolution granting conditional approval to expansion plans at the Flexicon facility, located in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VI.  The 75,200 square foot addition is in a Light Industrial zone of which is permitted by right, according to township Manager Howard Kutzler. The township's Planning Commission recommended the expansion plans at their September 23rd meeting.

And township Solicitor James Broughal informed commissioners that finally after nearly one in delays, that he expects the body to hear preliminary/final plans for the Freemansburg Square Land Development at the next commissioners' meeting, which is scheduled for October 21st. The project involves constructing an office and retail park on just under nine acres of land at Freemansburg Avenue, by Route 33. The project is the brainchild of Dr. Atul Amin.

The project, the brainchild of Dr. Atul Amin, would develop a commercial park highlighted by a 10-story hotel on Freemansburg Avenue at Emrick Boulevard, nearby to Route 33. Should the project garner approval, Amin’s attention would to securing a hotel franchise agreement for the structure that will be the project’s anchor that includes a 10-story parking garage, three six-story retail buildings, two five-story office buildings and a three-story bank and office building on just under nine acres of land.