He noted the street will be closed when the work is done and even the creek will have to be rerouted.
Because the grants won’t be approved until later this year, Pepe said the work can’t be done until spring 2015.
No tax break for yogurt shop
A motion to waive the borough’s business privilege tax for Mixies Frozen Yogurt Café died for the lack of a second.
The unidentified owners of the café, which is on the Triangle near Town Hall, do not want to pay the annual $150 business privilege tax because they say it is only going to be a seasonal business in the future.
But the failure of the motion means they have to continue paying it.
The yogurt shop plans to close Nov. 1 and remain closed through March 2015.
Holtzhafer said the relevant borough ordinance does not include a definition of “seasonal.”
He chairs council’s budget & finance committee, which recommended that council waive the yogurt shop’s business tax for 2014 and develop a definition for seasonal.
“Seasonal to me means Memorial Day to Labor Day,” said Holtzhafer.
The unsuccessful motion to waive the tax was made by Shubzda, who is on Holtzhafer’s committee.
Several council members noted the shop was open all of last winter and that they went there for yogurt during winter months.
Welcome to Emmaus
Council discussed the idea of erecting LED “welcome to Emmaus” signs along at least one of the three main roads leading into the borough.
Brown, who chairs the community relations committee, estimated one sign would cost $50,000, but council member Wesley Barrett thought that estimate sounded high.
Brown preferred the “hometown feel” of erecting “Welcome to Emmaus” banners rather than electronic signs, which would have changing messages.
“I understand the hometown feel,” said Barrett, “but hometowns have to change with technology over time too. LED signs are really where things are going.”
Holtzhafer noted electronic signs raise zoning issues, including the size and brightness of the signs, as well as how often the messages would change.
Brown said there is no money to purchase LED signs.
“Debating a sign we don’t have the money for is not worthy of our time,” said Holtzhafer.
Pepe said grant money is available for such sign projects.
Taking care of business
Council members also debated the value of having a town hall meeting between themselves and Emmaus businesses.
Brown said it would not be a gripe session, but council president Lee Ann Gilbert said: “That’s what it will turn out to be. Are you sure that’s the road we want to go down? We’re trying to develop a partnership with the Main Street Partners.”
Gilbert said she strongly disagrees with the idea, which came from Brown’s community relations committee.