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EASTON A Community Profile

By Jennifer Khawam Editorial & Marketing Associate

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n 2008 the financial crisis hit Wall Street, the United States and, by extension, the rest of the world. Easton, Pennsylvania, like other cities in the country, was not immune to the losses that the financial crisis instigated. “In 2008 we came in office right at the biggest recession since the Great Depression and we were on the verge of Act 47, which is basically financial insolvency,” said Easton Mayor Salvatore J. Panto, Jr. “We were millions of dollars in debt and taxes were going up every year.” Over a decade later, Easton has come out the other side and is now thriving. Residential opportunities, development, improvement of the city’s West Ward, and the ever bustling downtown have led the city to an A+ rating and high potential for even more growth in the future. “We’ve increased our credit rating and we’ve stabilized our finances,” said City Administrator Luis Campos. “Now we’re in a position, as development occurs here in the city and as money comes in through fees, where we can use that money aggressively in open space [opportunities].”

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According to Campos, there is now money that can be used for open space projects, for pedestrian-friendly projects, for improved walkways, for more bicycle paths, and for improvement of street signs that help identify Easton’s neighborhoods as unique places to visit. The city and its economy are already thriving with life. The Governor Wolf Building, the Pomeroy Building and the Silk Mill hold immense residential potential for the city. Parks and recreational activities that include the Karl Stirner Arts Trail and Hugh Moore Park allow a break from the city, and downtown Easton is booming on the weekends with its many small businesses, restaurants and nightlife spots. Employment opportunities are also increasing as organizations such as Hearst Magazines and Access Networks are becoming fixtures in the city. Even with all that Easton has to offer, the city continues to stride towards bigger and better things for their residents and visitors. “In five years, I see us as a vibrant downtown with more daytime economy,” Panto said. “Right now, we

have a great nighttime economy, but with the addition of places like Hearst, Access Networks and Lafayette College coming downtown – right there’s about 275 to 300 employees. We need more employees downtown working during the day and I would like to see that in five years. I would also like to see Easton have an affordable housing component so that we don’t gentrify the city.”

No doubt Easton pride is at an all-time high socially, economically and residentially. The city not only plays an important role in the lives of its residents and visitors, but in the existence of the Greater Lehigh Valley itself. Growing population and residency in the city has also come to the forefront of Easton’s growth. “We’ve invested heavily in our police department, in our fire department, in our codes department – all three of those are important factors that

Profile for GLVR Marketing

GLVR eMagazine Summer 2019  

GLVR eMagazine Summer 2019