Northampton Press

Saturday, June 23, 2018
This former state mental health building is to be demolished with grant funds, a decision made at the May 9 East Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting.PRESS PHOTOS BY PAUL CMIL This former state mental health building is to be demolished with grant funds, a decision made at the May 9 East Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting.PRESS PHOTOS BY PAUL CMIL
This stone administration building is to be demolished. This stone administration building is to be demolished.

Fire department seeks funding for maintenance

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

At the East Allen Township Board of Supervisors May 9 meeting, volunteer fire department personnel made an appeal to the supervisors for assistance. The need for funding centers around maintenance for the fire house, which was built in the mid-1970s and added on since.

The roof leaks, and the floor was not designed to store the heavy trucks firefighters use today, according to the firefighters who attended the meeting. The parking lot surrounding the building is rapidly deteriorating. The lot was never completely finished because of financial constraints, and the base coat in place will be rendered unusable if not repaired.

The fire department is well supported by the community and has benefited from local fundraising efforts. A loan would fix most issues, but the fire department has no collateral because it does not own the fire building; the township does.

Chairman Roger Unangst replied that the board will look into the situation. He appointed a committee to review finances and needs. His quick response reiterated the township’s support for the volunteers in the fire department and the need to keep firefighters properly equipped.

In other news, township Manager Brent Green reported the township hired Jessica Khouri to fill a vacant administrative position. Khouri was selected based on her prior experience with municipal administration.

Green is looking at cost estimates for the parks and recreation department’s open space plan. The goal is to improve existing parks.

The township has grant money to remove dilapidated buildings on Weaversville Road and Colony Drive.

“The property is now owned by the township, and we want to get the area cleared. This portion of Colony Drive is the back entrance to Bicentennial Park,” he said.

Although the buildings are stone structures, rehabilitation experts determined there is no intrinsic value in the properties.

At a recent supervisors meeting, Attorney Julie Wagner Burkardt asked the board for a hearing on a plan for her client, PDW Properties, and Woodmont Properties to make a better use of the parcel that now serves Lucky Strokes Mini-Golf Course. Burkhardt and Attorney Stephen Santola presented a preliminary look at the plan at the last meeting. As presented, the office building would be similar in use to small business buildings across Airport Road. To make the change, the township would need to rezone the parcel from its present classification of PC-2 to industrial. The back portion of the parcel is zoned agricultural.

The board did allow a warehouse just up the street on the corner of Airport Road and Route 329. The board tried to restrict the height of the building but was denied in court.

The use proposed by Woodmont is in keeping with the goals outlined in the comprehensive plan. Supervisor Mark Schwartz announced that the board would not hear a request for a zoning change because the zoning assignments were recently reviewed in the comprehensive plan and there was a requirement to have sufficient allocation of classification PC-2. The board unanimously approved the motion to deny the hearing.