One of the things I have talked about over and over again, including in my recent Morning Call op-ed, is that increased regionalization efforts are critical towards helping to enhance urban areas and keeping all local governments afloat from a financial perspective. One of the state leaders in that effort has been Lehigh County. Here are just some of their recent initatives to promote urban revitalization and regionalization efforts:
* Safe Streets Inititiative: Lehigh County County provide $1 million in matching grant money for community police officers in downtowns and boroughs
*$3 million in county funding to link the back office data centers of the all 17 Lehigh County police departments to enable creation of a regional Crime Data Center
* Main Street improvements & planning: More than $100,000 in county grant money for Main Street improvements and to fund any cross municipal planning
* Commitment of two county positions to work with cities and borough and township leaders on downtown improvements and regional efforts
* The creation of the Congress of Governments, which is thriving and getting full participation from all 25 local governments
* Record investment during the last 3 years in farmland preservation, making Lehigh County the third ranking county in preserved farms.