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Bethlehem Township approves lease for new DUI treatment center

By Stephen Althouse, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 07 2013 09:16:56 PM CST
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

The Bethlehem Township Board of Commissioners recognizes the power of partnerships.

When Northampton County informed Township Manager Howard Kutzler they would no longer be continuing their lease with the City of Bethlehem to house their DUI processing center there, they inquired about the availability of the Coolidge Building.

And during Monday night's meeting, commissioners voted 5-0 to approve a resolution approving a five-year lease agreement with an option for an additional five years with the county to house the DUI center in the older side of the structure.

The agreement stipulates the township would serve as the landlord on the facility, garnering $1,000 the first year in monthly rent, with increases of $50 annually per month thereafter. Should the deal extend the entire 10-years, the township would be collecting $1,450 per month in the final year of the pact.

The deal is contingent upon the township doing some modest updates. This includes a new security system, privacy wall, restroom facilities, a private entrance, wall anchoring for handcuffs, cable, phone and internet service, along with designated parking for employees.

Those improvements would be done by township staff with good provided by township subcontractors. Whenever the updates are satisfactory completed to the county's liking is when the lease would commence.

"The rent will cover the costs," Kutzler said, adding that currently the township is not acquiring any revenue from the facility, adding that it's a good deal for all parties involved and fosters goodwill with Northampton County in the process.

In other business, as is typical with the first board meeting of municipalities during the calendar year, the township renewed or appointed several individuals to various commissions and boards. While the function is important and the boards shape the fabric of township business, the appointments are often protocol more than anything. In one such instance Monday night, Commissioner Thomas Nolan was reappointed to his position on the Bethlehem Area Public Library Advisory Board.

Only one resolution, that appointing a member to the township's recreation commission, was tabled at the motion of Nolan.