Northampton Press

Saturday, September 21, 2019

LTAA plans community center at Delps park

Thursday, March 7, 2013 by ELSA KERSCHNER ekerschner@tnonline.com in Local News

Rod Christman, president of the Lehigh Township Athletic Association, asked for support for a community center that has been 13 years in the planning.

Mike Druckenmiller gave a presentation about the engineering involved for a proposed LTAA building at 1200 Delps Road. The reason for the center is "to establish a community center home for young athletes, their families and communities for life lessons and community development," he said.

LTAA helped the township get grants for the Delps Road property, said Supervisor Dell Grove. It has held fundraisers and that money is kept in a separate account earmarked for the center.

The floor plan for the building was developed in 2008. A planning board within LTAA was established, an operating plan was put in place and a $70,000 investment has been made.

In the beginning the building will serve wrestlers, basketball and winter soccer. LTAA is presently paying $1,000 for use of a wrestling site and the amount will go up to $1,500 for the coming season.

Mike Cuchran, who coaches soccer, asked how they could improve the plan. There were no suggestions.

Having a community center will help the growing number of kids in winter sports. It will allow LTAA to bring in other programs such as birthday parties, receptions, showers, dinners, meetings and presentations, Scout events, bingo, aerobics, volleyball and dances, LTAA officials said.

The group needs the lease agreement before it can apply for more grants.

The lease will be drawn up giving the athletic association use of 5 acres. Supervisor Keith Hantz said 5 acres will not get in the way of any other plans for the Delps site.

Previously 3.5 acres had been discussed but the elevation drops off on one side and does not permit room for drainage.

Township Manager Alice Rehrig said the 3.5-acre site also did not allow enough room for parking.

Supervisor Sandy Hopkins said down the road, the building will become a community center but now it is an athletic center.

Hantz said the township's goal is to construct a new maintenance building and police barracks. It will not have funding for the center.

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In other business, the two amendments to the recreation resolution that were not approved at the Feb. 12 meeting were brought up again.

Supervisors said the teams have to work out the light situation because a definite shut-off time of 8:15 p.m. for a first game will not work.

Dennis Hock, chairman of the recreation committee, said years ago there was no residency requirement. A member of the Tri-County League told him as members mature and leave, it is getting harder to meet the 35-percent township residency requirement. He wanted 25 percent.

Supervisor Darryl Snover said rather than dictating when a game must end it might work better to set a time for the last inning to begin. Jeff Erschen said the second game must be over by 11 p.m. because of junior driver licenses.

Erschen wanted to know why there was a 35-percent requirement. Snover said 35 percent is required because it is a township park. Supervisors stayed with the previous decision to not change the 35 percent or to interfere with the game endings for light usage.

Also at the meeting;

· Road foreman Frank Zamadics said he has some ideas for the maintenance building but the first step is to develop specifications. He went to Maxatawny Township and saw a building he liked which would need only minor adjustments to provide what he needs.

Snover said he should check with the township engineer to see if their plans can be shared.

· Leaf collection will be held the first two weeks in April.

· Police Chief Scott Fogel has received a $35,000 police grant from gaming and wants to know if he can start making purchases, said Rehrig. An SUV seems better than a pickup but she explained that the pickup is better for towing and as a DUI command post.

A Northampton County grant will be used to put in a phone system. If voice mail to email are added, she said she believes Fogel and Zamadics will be the only ones to use it.

· Hantz said Blue Mountain is going to go to year-round use and wondered if the township could benefit from the extra traffic that it will entail. It might push PennDOT to improve the intersections at Cherryville and Berlinsville.