After the meeting, Tannenbaum said Sen. Browne told her he cannot force the city to fix the problem, but can help it come up with funding. She was disappointed that the city did not commit to any timetable during the meeting.
On Sept. 12, many top city officials first met with about 40 angry West End residents in City Hall to discuss the flooding issue.
Tannenbaum has told council more than 500 homes and other buildings in the West End are impacted by repeated flooding.
Also during Wednesday night’s meeting, city resident Ken Heffentrager asked council to find out the number of blighted properties in Allentown. He contended Mayor Ed Pawlowski gives a different answer every time he is asked that question, with his answers ranging from 175 to 400.
Guridy promised the city will get Heffentrager that number.
With winter coming on, when Allentown has more house fires, the city is seriously lacking shelters, warned Heffentrager, who is vice president of the Tenant Association of Allentown.
He said the city needs to develop emergency shelters, where people temporarily can live for several weeks if their homes are destroyed by fires. He said Philadelphia and even Detroit have buildings specifically designated to serve as emergency shelters.
He said the Red Cross will put people up in hotels for three days but then they are out on the street, even if they have children. He said there’s nothing anyone else can do, because no funds are available anywhere. “Every single organization is out of money; we’ve investigated all of them. There is no where for these people to go.”
He added: “A lot of these people work. They’ve got jobs. They’re not deadbeats.”
Guridy said the city is working on a funding source with another organization to help address that issue.
Council met in Mountainville Memorial Association in South Allentown Wednesday because its chambers in City Hall are being renovated.
Its next meeting will be Oct. 16 at the West End Youth Center, 848 N. 20th St.
Council hopes to be back in City Hall by November.