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Lehigh Valley Municipal Spotlight: Hellertown Borough

By Andrew Kleiner on November 14, 2019

Andrew Kleiner, LVEDC Director of Community Outreach and Redevelopment (left) and Hellertown borough manager Cathy Hartranft (middle).

This article originally appeared in the November 14, 2019 issue of “LV Connections,” a quarterly newsletter LVEDC distributes to municipal officials in the Lehigh Valley.

In each issue of “LV Connections,” we feature a Municipal Spotlight column spotlighting local municipalities and entities from across the Lehigh Valley. This quarter, LVEDC is proud to feature an interview with our regional partner, Hellertown Borough. The answers below have been provided by Borough Manager Cathy Hartranft.

  • What is the number one economic development priority in Hellertown?

When planning for economic development, the goal is to create and maintain a strong, vibrant local economy.  Hellertown’s focus is to facilitate the development of the former Champion site and surrounding underutilized properties. The borough has created a Flexible Redevelopment Overlay to permit and encourage flexibility and reinvestment in development. On a small level, Hellertown is practicing “smart growth economic development” which refers to a strategy that builds upon existing assets, takes incremental actions to strengthen communities, and builds long-term value to attract a range of investments.

  • How has Hellertown changed as a Borough over the last ten years?

Foremost is the significant recognition of our existing assets. Investments have been made in our park and recreation system and our infrastructure system. Dimmick Park, built as a WPA project in the 1930’s has experienced substantial improvements including the rehabilitation of the historic grandstand, construction of a state of the art band shell for performances, and rehabilitation of the pavilion. Recent grant funding has allowed the borough to install new playground equipment. Considerable improvement were also made to Water Street Park. All locally-owned bridges have been rehabilitated. Our street improvement plan is up to date. The most significant improvement coming in 2020 is the Main Street (SR 412) Safety Initiative – this initiative will provide for enhancements to all signalized and un-signalized intersections along the Main Street corridor. Our Main Street is now bustling with shops and restaurants, improved building facades and streetscapes. The Saucon Rail Trail, which runs parallel to Main Street has proven to be an asset that has driven both economic development and helped spur investment in surrounding properties.

  • How do you feel the Lehigh Valley has changed in the last five years and how do you see Hellertown Borough in the larger context of our changing region?

As with the Lehigh Valley, Hellertown will continue to re-invent itself by emphasizing our heritage, culture, and resilience while continuing that small town America character.  Hellertown genuinely has become the community where you can live, work, and play.

Don’t miss the last two Quarterly Connections Spotlight Features:

Don Cunningham: Remember Savings Accounts? Times Have Changed

This column, written by LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham, originally appeared in The Morning Call and on the newspaper's website on Nov. 13, 2019. (Click here to read [...]

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