Friday, October 2, 2009

Daily Briefing, 10/2/2009

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In Bethlehem, the city is set to begin construction on a $1 million skate park.  The park will be located across the street from the Bethlehem Sands and will be about 40,000 square feet.  In Northampton County, County Executive John Stoffa has proposed a tax increase of 9.3% for next year's budget - the issue might have come up at yesterday's Council meeting, but the meeting had to be canceled due to a lack of quorum.  In Easton, Mayor Panto has proposed a $27.6 million budget that holds the line on taxes, spending and other fees.  In Lehigh County, County Executive Don Cunningham distributed county money to pay for new community police officers in Allentown, Bethlehem, Catasauqua, Fountain Hill and Salisbury Township.  Half of the salaries for nine officers will be covered.

In state-wide news, the broad agreement regarding the Pennsylvania budget seemed to be falling apart yesterday, with various House Democrats opposing a variety of different provisions about the deal, including taxes on small games of chance.  Instead, the Democrats have proposed taxing the extraction of natural gas and increasing the tax on table games and one-time fees for casino licenses. 

In national news, auto sales dropped dramatically in September after the expiration of the "cash for clunkers" program, dropping a dramatic 41%.  Meanwhile, we can also expect to find out September's unemployment numbers later today.  And, with its fiscal year closing, the Small Business Administration announced that it gave out 25,000 less loans this year than last - a drop of 36%.

In Chamber news, our annual "Mayor of the Year" dinner was held yesterday.  The winner was Mayor Walter Niedermeyer of Slatington - congrats, Mayor Niedermeyer!  And, make sure you get to Bethlehem this weekend for its annual Harvest Festival.

And that's it!  Have a great weekend and we will see you later.

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