Northampton Press

Friday, August 23, 2019

Allen chooses trash hauler, opts for manual option

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Allen Township opened bids for a three-year trash hauling contract at its meeting Jan. 22.

The township asked haulers to bid on a fully automated system and a manual system. The automated system allows the hauler to minimize its work force, which should result in lower costs.

There are a couple of downsides to the automated system. One is that all the garbage bins need to be the same size. The additional cost is $200,000, although grants are available to cover that. The other problem is that containers need to be placed at the end of the driveway.

“We have people with long driveways, and dragging the garbage to the curb is an inconvenience,” Supervisor Dale Hassler said.

The board agreed to look only at manual options.

Based on the bids received, the township awarded the contract to Advanced Disposal with a bid of $1.1 million over three years. The difference between the lowest automated bid and the lowest manual bid was less than 5 percent.

The rate billed to the residential users will remain the same.

Although the agreement with Jaindl for the warehouse development along Seemsville Road is being updated based on comments at the planning commission meeting, the supervisors did comment on a proposed southbound turning lane.

The Kopper Penny intersection as it is presently configured meets Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s approval to handle the anticipated traffic load. The traffic load was determined by traffic studies and computer modeling by AnnMarie Vigilante, of Langan Engineering. Based on similar studies, her actual results have been close to actual measurements.

Jaindl proposed turning lanes at the intersection to improve the level of service. One of the lanes is a right-turn lane for traffic going west off Howertown Road. The need for this improvement was a result of simulations done by Eugene Clater. In his analysis, Clater found conditions that could cause traffic to stack potentially 50 cars deep.

Jaindl and his team agreed to build the lane, but they said they cannot get the owner of the gas station on the corner to give up land. The township is not interested in using its eminent domain powers to acquire the land.

“This is a state road, and the state should acquire the land if needed,” Hassler said.

The planning commission recommended the project be deferred. Supervisors agreed with the deferment, intending to review traffic once the traffic from the warehouses reaches its peak.

There is a question on how long Jaindl will keep open the option to build the turning lane. Solicitor Lincoln Treadwell will work on the language for the agreement.

Township resident Sue Lindenmoyer expressed her concerns that the improvements made will not be able to handle the traffic load.

“When FedEx was proposed, roads were widened to four lanes all the way down to Route 22,” she said. “We’re going to have twice as many trucks, and the traffic congestion gets solved by controlling the traffic lights.”

Her point is that traffic congestion in Northampton and Cementon boroughs was not included in the traffic study. At this point, the project will move forward as designed and traffic problems will be addressed as they happen.

Supervisors will review the proposed plan at their meeting Feb. 12. The meeting will be held at the Allen Township Fire Company, 3530 Howertown Road. Jaindl’s team will present a history of the project and the latest updates.