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Posted on: May 28, 2020

State of the Town - Pandemic Edition address available

Bethlehem Town Supervisor David VanLuven delivered a live video-streamed State of the Town-Pandemic Edition address May 21. The complete transcript with photos is attached.

The archived webcast is linked here:

Key messages included:

State of COVID-19 in Bethlehem

  • Reported positive COVID-19 cases peaked in Bethlehem in April
  • Reported positive cases have declined through May, with 13 residents in mandatory quarantine on May 21, 2 of whom are hospitalized
  • Wearing masks and good social distancing have been keys to this decline in reported infections

 Implications for Town Parks

  • Elm Ave Park pool complex closed indefinitely due to safety concerns
  • No Town-run full-day summer camps due to safety concerns
  • Parks remain open, including tennis courts

 Implications for Town Budget

  • Sales tax revenues were strong in January and February, but down about $150K in March
  • If trend continues, could see revenue declines 2-3 times worse than those during the Great Recession of 2009
  • Bethlehem in better financial position than many municipalities because (a) budgeted conservatively for 2020 and (b) built reserves through smart, progressive budget decisions over the last decade
  • Strategically cutting spending
  • No Town staff layoffs or furloughs expected

 Bethlehem is Strong

  • Community has come together well to support each other and local businesses
  • Town government has been working steadily through the pandemic to deliver important services

Transcript with photos
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