Alan Jennings and CACLV are Fired Up for 2012 and So Am I

Read Alan’s latest post on the CACLV blog here.

 

I’m proud that First Presbyterian Church is a major partner in the effort to expand capacity at the Sixth Street Shelter by 25%.  In my vocation as Director of Mission at First Pres, I can see the enthusiasm for this project bubbling over for the volunteers and staff who are about to unleash our part of the overall campaign with incredible passion, dedication, and faith.

 

I’m also sensing a great para-movement about to emerge this year for the regional homeless population that will bless the great work being done by CACLV, the Conference of Churches, St. Paul’s Lutheran and others.  Make no mistake: traditional sources of funding for much-needed programs are more hard-pressed now than ever (evidenced by this NYT piece from last week focusing on how federal cuts to Community Development Block Grants are hurting Allentown), but our non-government institutions have a bigger role to play in the New Generative Economy than we’ve often been led to believe.  Faith communities are such institutions, and people of faith will be called on to extend the re-prioritization demanded by Christmas into the new year and beyond.

Stay tuned, friends.

 

 

New Sinkhole the Latest Plea from Allentown’s Degraded Infrastructure

Read the story here.

Some important highlights as they relate to the health of our community. Emphases added:

The 6-inch cast-iron water main is 107 years old, said Rick Dougherty, the city’s chief supervisor of water distribution.

“We’ve replaced a lot of the mains in the area over the years,” Dougherty said.

Allentown is fighting aging infrastructure throughout the city, as cast-iron pipelines and water mains from the turn of the century begin to degrade. A 12-inch cast-iron gas distribution line dating to 1928 is the prime suspect in the Feb. 9 explosion that killed five people and leveled half a city block in Allentown.

And although some gas and water pipes are replaced every year, it’s a daunting and costly task — with one gas pipeline safety group estimating the expense at $1 million for each mile.

 

I think most city residents rightly suspect that the gas and water lines beneath us need to be replaced. $1 million a mile? Fine. The new arena, which I support with a few reservations, will cost $159 million. UGI has something like 79 miles of gas line under the city, the degradation of which was a known issue 20 years ago. Yes, the cost of upgrades will be passed on to consumers without some kind of other chunk of money (ours anyway) earmarked to offset it.  How many miles of water piping need to be replaced?  Whatever it is, let’s do it.

It’s a good thing we’re in line for a hefty Community Development Block Grant.  Ooops.

In the meantime, the new sinkhole, which formed over the last 36 hours or so, is becoming national news: