Lehigh Valley

Lehigh County commissioners look to increase fund for homeless veterans

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Lehigh County Commissioners moved toward accepting what they call a challenge at their Wednesday night meeting. The legislative body advanced an agreement that will, among other measures, transfer $30,000 from the county's Economic/Community Development Fund to a newly created line item for the Lehigh Valley Homeless Veterans Fund.

"(It's) not too much of a stretch to say it's like economic development," Commissioner Dan Hartzell said about "solving the problem of homelessness."

Commissioner Marc Grammes sponsored the bill. He said the board is sincere in its efforts to address the issue of veteran homelessness. He said the county is "looking to find a way to get donations to address the problem."

"We believe this is a much better model to reach out to the county at-large (to acquire money)," Grammes said.

Also included in the legislation is the formation of a new committee - established by the Lehigh County Department of Administration. The committee will consist of five individuals with experience in veterans' services, housing programs, finance and administration. There is no set date in the legislation as to when they would meet other than "as necessary."

The committee will include the director of the county's Office of Veterans' Affairs, who will serve as the chair. This individual will be joined by a representative from the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation. The three remaining members will be nominated by the county executive. Those selections must garner LVCF approval and then confirmed by commissioners.

In other business, commissioners approved a lease agreement with Davison & McCarthy, P.C. to rent the basement of the Hamilton Financial Center Building at 640 Hamilton St.

In other news, Rick Molchany, the county's director of general services, told commissioners about the passing of United States Air Force Major Nathan Kline. The 95-year-old Allentown resident served more than 40 years in the United States Air Force and was a decorated veteran who flew 65 missions during World War II.

"Lehigh County lost a true patriot," Molchany told commissioners of Kline's passing. His funeral is scheduled for Friday.

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