Community Benefit District organizers were hoping that the Bethlehem City Council would vote on a plan put forth that would see enhancements made to a certain section in the area; Bethlehem's South Side initiative.
The improvements would include reviving the landscape environment -- with flowers, benches, and new storefronts; a marketing effort tailored for the area; and neighborhood ambassadors. Also the city council would be expected to complete a PA City Revitalization and Improvement Zone application by 2014 year end.
The plan would be financed by assessing an additional $6.8 million of taxes per year on commercial property and apartment builder owners. Single family homeowners and businesses in the Four Blocks International area where excluded due to their strong opposition to the initiative.
Surprisingly.many many business owners along Third and Fourth Streets support the idea, although the median owner would pay and additional $336 per year and some larger properties might see tax bills increased by $10,000 for the year.
However Bethlehem City Council members felt as though there was not nearly enough time to consider the initiative before the year ends and the item has been tabled for next year.