Over the past several years, the Bethlehem Historic District Association (BHDA) has provided financial grants for members to trim and plant trees, repair sidewalks, and improve exterior lighting. In 2017, the BHDA approved 11 grants totaling over $17,500.
Our goal in 2018 and 2019 is to expand the grant program with a particular focus on improving the condition of our sidewalks. Well-maintained sidewalks contribute to the safety and beauty of our historic neighborhood as well as improve the overall walkability of our city. Beginning in 2018, we are offering members a special grant incentive to accelerate sidewalk repairs. In this incentive, the BHDA will pay for the first $1,000 of sidewalk repairs and will continue to provide grants for 50% of the remaining cost up to $5,000. For example, a $2,000 sidewalk repair would result in a $1,500 grant reimbursement from the BHDA. Other grants (trees, lighting) will remain in effect. The grant application and terms can be found at http://bhda.org/restore/grant-applications/.
We have been working with the city of Bethlehem administration to let them know about our neighborhood-wide effort and to better understand the city’s permitting and oversight process. We have met with the Department of Engineering and the City’s Forester and both are very supportive of the initiative.
We have also met with contractors. While we will not promote any contractors, we can provide a list of past tree and concrete contractors, and would support testimonials and recommendations from neighbors on the BHDA website.
The BHDA is creating a “sidewalk repair resources” section on the BHDA website where we will provide links to city resources, permits, and neighborhood information. In the meantime, if you have questions about this effort you can contact Tim Shannon (firstname.lastname@example.org).
BHDA Board of Directors