Northampton Press

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Surplus allocations made in Lehigh Twp.

Thursday, March 5, 2015 by ELSA KERSCHNER in Local News

Lehigh Township supervisors discussed how a $162,000 surplus from the 2014 budget should be allocated.

At the Feb. 24 meeting all supervisors agreed that $100,000 should go into the building fund.

It was generally thought the remainder should go into a contingency fund, but Supervisor Keith Hantz wanted to see some of it go into a police salary fund. One officer is out and it is unknown if he will be able to return to duty. The situation may require a new hire.

Supervisor Sandy Hopkins still wants to see the police on eight-hour shifts. She did agree that if the money is needed for an officer it can be taken from a contingency fund.

She said the winter conditions at the public works building are deplorable and the maintenance building should be a priority.

Supervisor Darryl Snover said he wants a real discussion about part-time police officers and eight-hour shifts. That serious discussion will take place at the next meeting. In the meantime the remaining $62,000 of unallocated funds will remain that way.

PennDOT has been adding or replacing signs in a six-county area. The ones at Cherry Road and Route 248 are among them. Its reason is that there is a potential for vegetation damaging the sight distance. Police and fire company officials agree there is no problem. The signs will be declined since the township would be responsible for maintenance.

A 2015 Ford 350 truck will be purchased at a cost of $38,486. It will cost $350 to have the township lettering added.

Resident Tom Szoke said drainage from Grace Estates creates a problem on his property. A 24-inch pipe under the road empties on it. Presently it is a minor problem but there are eight to 10 homes that must be developed in the Estates.

Spotts, Stevens and McCoy, the engineering firm retained when the plan was approved, was to have checked drainage but it never happened. Hanover, the present engineer, will check it.

Szoke also asked if the township had property where a veterans memorial could be placed. He cited the one in Palmerton's park and said a 150 by 150-foot piece of property in a public place would be ideal. A friend from the American Legion offered to help.

"Is there space where the Bryfogel Memorial is?" Szoke asked.

Hantz said there is lots of room at Delps Park. It was decided the Pennsville and Berlinsville areas are best suited because of their public locations.

Hopkins said her husband would help with a memorial.

Szoke said he does not know what size would be needed because there is no plan. He just wanted to stimulate talk in the township. All supervisors agreed it is a good idea.

Among the fees added to a fee-increasing resolution for the police is a $100 fee for a gun-range inspection.

The planning commission has decided that definitions of land development and a site plan are not clear. Hantz said the township should have a paper with necessary items listed for each type of development.

Solicitor David Backenstoe read the Municipal Planning Code and its definitions. He said the township definition should be at least as stringent as the MPC.

Snover said supervisors do not want to make it costly for renovation of old properties.

The planning commission will be asked to establish criteria.

The hazardous waste collection on May 30 will take items not previously listed. The list of acceptable items is on the web.

Township manager Alice Rehrig said a person applied for the opening on the planning commission. The applicant will be asked to attend the next meeting.