Northampton Press

Monday, October 22, 2018

Lehigh Township board discusses payment for tax bill prep

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 by Elsa Kerschner ekerschner@tnonline.com in Local News

At the Jan. 9 meeting of Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors, members continued a discussion on compensation for stuffing and mailing tax bills.

Secretary Alice Rehrig said the tax bills had to have been mailed by Feb. 1. Tax Collector Mary Louise Trexler has requested $1 per bill for stuffing the per capita tax bill. Berkheimer prints the bills, the tax collector stuffs the envelopes and the mailing is on school district equipment. In 1999, a resolution was passed that it is the tax collector’s job to collect the per capita and occupational taxes.

Mailing could be done more cheaply if the township staff did the mailing, but Supervisor Darryl Snover said he felt the staff had enough to do. He would like to see a comparison of costs by different methods. It was tabled at the reorganization meeting. Rehrig will work on a comparison.

Trexler said it was not that she did not want to do the per capita but was just asking for the $1.

“I will mail the bills like I always did,” she said.

Historically, the tax collector always did it. The board has to set compensation before the primary election in May.

The cost of stuffing is cheaper by $138 than if Berkheimer does it, but Berkheimer gets a lower postage rate.

Snover asked Solicitor David Backenstoe if they could legally change the compensation because it was set for the year. It costs Trexler $3,718 to stuff them manually and take them to the school for mailing. They are prefolded when they come from the printer.

Supervisor Cindy Miller thanked the road crew for its efforts during the bad weather. She said sometimes it even takes them away from their families.

Supervisor Keith Hantz reminded Rehrig to put the previously discussed assistant public works director on the agenda.

It was the first regular meeting for new Supervisors Phil Gogel and Mike Jones.

Engineer Phil Malitsch said he met with Chip Hazard, a member of the building committee, to discuss plans for the maintenance shed. Backenstoe said the committee has been doing a nice job, and they have gotten a lot of information but want to be sure they are comparing apples to apples. A full report will be given shortly.

Malitsch said he has the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) comments for the highway occupancy permits for all points at the Cherryville intersection. One driveway will need permitting.

Malitsch said most of the problems existing today are from the original Turkey Hill, which is owned by Kroger. Backenstoe suggested reaching out to Kroger.

Malitsch said he should work with the Stormwater Management Authority on the MS4 updating. He wants the solicitor to make a list of options. A second question on the MS4 requirement is the implementation.

The planning commission proposed a zoning ordinance that would permit one driveway per lot. Snover said it may concern farms with many driveways, but a variance can be requested.

Rehrig said Police Chief Scott Fogel requested an executive session for candidates because some of the applicants for the position of officer are high on other municipalities’ lists.

The comprehensive plan has to be updated.

A complaint was received about water not flowing properly through a pipe under a driveway. It is not the township’s responsibility but the homeowner’s responsibility.

Backenstoe will talk with the zoning hearing board to explain the board’s responsibilities. It would answer such questions on whether it has to accept recommendations from the planning commission.

Police logged 10,232 miles and responded to 732 calls. Thirty-eight reportable and nonreportable calls were investigated. Four stops for suspected driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances resulted in arrests. Seventy-nine summary traffic violations were issued.