BETHLEHEM - Bethlehem has grown from a bedroom, senior citizen-type community into a thriving village home to families and the younger set, said longtime resident Don Junkins.
Junkins, village recorder, said when he moved to Bethlehem with his parents in 1958, the community was mostly undeveloped.
Today, it has a shopping plaza and other amenities he believes continue to attract new families.
Village Recorder Don Junkins says Bethlehem’s Community Park is a “best kept secret.”
Photo by Shelley Hanson
It also is home to Bethlehem Elementary School.
"I like the residents. There are good residents. ... Ninety-five percent of the people keep their property nice. It's a nice, residential community - it's kind of like country living," Junkins said, adding the village also offers convenient access to Interstate 470. "We have police coverage 24/7, and our volunteer fire department is one of the most active in Ohio County."
Junkins said the village's "best-kept secret" is its Community Park, which boasts a large picnic shelter often rented for events; a smaller shelter; a large ballfield; paved walking trail; playground equipment; and volleyball court. The park also is home to the village municipal building, built just a few years ago.
"We pride ourselves on keeping it in good shape," Junkins said.
The council members and Mayor Garrett "Rhett" Daniel, along with the village's accountant, attorney and engineer, all work to keep Bethlehem's finances in line, Junkins said.
"There are a lot amenities up here, and I think we're No. 1 in snow removal," he said. "To some extent, people are spoiled because they expect things here."