Northampton Press

Friday, February 28, 2020

Lehigh supervisors discuss zoning officer replacement

Thursday, August 25, 2016 by Elsa Kerschner ekerschner@tnonline.com in Local News

The July 26 meeting of the Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors began with an executive session for personnel reasons.

A contractor is being considered to replace the zoning officer and code enforcement officer, a job held by Laura Harrier. It was noted at the reorganization meeting in January she was only reappointed for six months.

Supervisor Darryl Snover said if the change does not work out, the position of zoning officer could be re-created.

Solicitor David Backenstoe said he and township Manager Alice Rehrig should prepare bids for a replacement. He said the change will not be noticeable as far as service is concerned.

A resident complained that someone who lives in the township is better than an outside contractor and that big things are coming up, such as the seminary and Walmart.

Snover said supervisors believe the change will be better for the township.

Phil Malitsch will be interim zoning officer and codes enforcement officer.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation wants the Cherryville intersection realigned when the legs are widened. Potentially cars may drift out into the approaching lane. Snover asked rhetorically why the decision couldn’t be made a year ago. It will kick the project down the road and the township will need more land for its leg, he said.

Malitsch said a highway occupancy permit is needed before proceeding, but Backenstoe said they could move ahead with improvements.

Jeff Siegfried, a resident of Perry Court West, asked if a solution could be found to a drainage problem on his property. There is a 70-foot cul-de-sac with a 20-foot-by-6-inch swale. The drainage does not reach the swale. It is flat land, so pipes would have to go deep. Pipes that took the drainage to the swale were removed. The plan dates to 1975 and would not be allowed today. He just wants a way to get the water over to the swale instead of sitting in his driveway, he said.

The Almond Road inlet is outside the road right of way. It is 30 to 40 years old. The inlet was designed to take water from Almond and run it into a culvert and under the road. The inlet is on the property of St. Paul’s Church. The township has an inlet and may give it to the church to replace the one that is there.

Snover said there is some evidence that the township might have been involved in the first place. Malitsch said the culvert has been placed by the township.

Resident Leo Livengood said he talked to the people at the church and gave them a price. He said the church is willing to take care of it.

Rehrig and Backenstoe will prepare an earth disturbance ordinance.

Police Chief Scott Fogel said an arrest was made for someone who produced false ID. A grant has been applied for to replace technology in each of the police cars. Fogel said the equipment is no longer worth fixing.

He has applied for a gaming grant to buy a speed trailer sign board, which would also be useful for the road crew.

He received 12 applications for the position of police officer, with six remaining after the written test and three after the oral test. A background check is next.

The Lehigh Township Fire Department wants to replace a pickup this year, which will push the replacement of a rescue truck out further. Fire police equipment is also needed.

The Park Lane house has been cleaned up by the road crew. There is a mountain of metal hidden in the weeds. A lien will be taken out to ensure the township gets paid for the cleanup.

A deed of dedication for the roads was accepted for the 334 Ash Road minor subdivision.

Larry Kemmerer requested inspection for Cottonwood Crest phase IV and release from the maintenance period and escrow account.

Supervisor Cindy Miller said the planning commission is discussing the comprehensive plan, and it would be a good time for citizens to get involved.