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Northampton County News

State aid deadline approaches for Hellertown Area Library while Lower Saucon offer looms

Hellertown Area Library
Lower Saucon Township
The Hellertown Area Library, located at 409 Constitution Ave. in Hellertown.

  • Hellertown Area Library officials said Thursday that they have no official statement on the recent offer from Lower Saucon
  • The board president said he just got word of the offer this week
  • The library has a deadline of Oct. 1 to apply for state aid regarding service area

HELLERTOWN, Pa. — Officials with the Hellertown Area Library Board of Directors said Thursday that the recent proposal over library funding and more from Lower Saucon just came to their attention in the past couple of days.

While the proposal has a deadline of Oct. 12, the library has an annual state aid application surrounding the service area due in just a few days.

Neighboring Lower Saucon Township has no official deal with HAL for full "hometown" library access for its residents.

Library administration said Friday that township residents are welcome to check out anything from the library collection — including books, CDs, music, video games, magazines, newspapers and puzzles — can use the computers on site and can even take advantage of the children's programming. However, they can't access interlibrary loans or use the Cloud Library.

In regards to Lower Saucon’s proposal of HAL getting Access PA cards for its residents, HAL Board of Directors President Ken Solt said the library has an annual state aid application due Oct. 1 that details who the library specifically serves. And with Lower Saucon’s proposal expiring in two weeks, he said it’s leaving library staff with not a lot of time to make a sound decision.

“As far as I'm concerned, they have not made an independent offer to the library."
Ken Solt, Hellertown Area Library Board of Directors president

Library officials said this timeline poses an issue in that if Lower Saucon wasn’t included on that application, there would be no way for Lower Saucon residents to get the cards as part of a potential deal between municipalities.

Solt said that the library’s attorneys received the proposal sometime this week, and it wasn’t formally addressed to HAL.

“As far as I'm concerned, they have not made an independent offer to the library,” Solt said.

HAL is its own independent entity aside from Hellertown Borough, which was also CC’d on the proposal, he added.

Solt said he’ll be consulting with the library’s legal representation for an official public statement to be released soon.

Hellertown Borough Council lists “Discussion and Possible Action on Legal Matters” on the agenda for its meeting scheduled for next Monday.