Northampton Press

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Dollar General plan withdrawn in Lehigh

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 by Elsa Kerschner in Local News

At the Feb. 13 meeting of the Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors, an announcement was made that the plan for a Dollar General store, in association with the Turkey Hill at the Cherryville intersection, has been withdrawn.

Solicitor David Backenstoe said any money in the escrow account will be returned to the developer.

Chip Hazard, of the township building committee, reported on the status of the maintenance building.

He said the largest obstacle was getting professional advice about the building. The committee had heard from J.G. Petrucci and Watkins Architects. Although they have different things to offer, Watkins was more cost effective and had a more clearly defined offer.

Supervisor Darryl Snover asked if there is a professional fee if the maintenance building is not built. There will be a fee.

Supervisor Cindy Miller asked what specifications Watkins will be given to quote. Hazard described the size and type of building, and Watkins will work with the township to be sure they have what is wanted.

Miller asked if the township can afford the cost. Snover said the township cannot plan how to pay for it until it has a clearer picture of costs.

“We need to sit down with the committee,” Miller said.

“We thought you were giving us a go-ahead,” Hazard replied.

Supervisor Keith Hantz said the meeting with the committee should be public at an upcoming supervisors meeting.

Hazard said Watkins will come with sketches to check if that is what is wanted and so the township can have input.

Watkins designed the Maxatawny building. Hazard said he checked Watkins’ references, and all were positive.

Backenstoe said Hazard has done a nice job and that Watkins comes highly recommended.

Engineer Jim Milot said he anticipates the township will get the highway occupancy permits when the three driveway applications are sent to PennDOT for the Cherryville Partners project.

PennDOT will not allow left turns onto Route 248. It will have to be right turn in, right turn out. The developer is not receptive to a meeting but wants to meet when decisions are made on the new plan.

Bids for moving dirt at the Hills of Greenock have been tabled. The fill can be put in retention basins and not have to be hauled away. There is $325,000 remaining in the escrow account, and the township is legally bound to do the roads and basins.

The cost for the fire company’s rescue truck is not to exceed $796,141. Rick Hildebrand, fire chief, spent a year designing the new truck and added 2 or 3 percent for possible change orders.

The matter of the assistant public works director is still being discussed. Miller said she believes Frank Zamadics, director, is overworked and thinks there should be a method of easing his burden, which is now 365 days a year, 24/7.

Miller said it would cost $90,000 to provide an assistant with wages and benefits. He said senior workers usually move up, but no one is fully trained to take over for Zamadics.

Snover said they need someone with experience who is able to work in and out of the office.

Hantz said, “Frank does not want more money but more free time.”

An executive session should be held with Zamadics.

Speed limits have been set for Cherryville, Dogwood and North Cottonwood roads. There is work being done to set weight limits. When the traffic light was put in at Pennsville, it created a worsening of the problem. Snover said supervisors asked the state not to do that.

Scott Fogel, police chief, said car cameras are installed, and officers are getting formal training. They are much clearer and are better able to provide evidence.

He said the local processing center has provided many benefits.