At the end of its workshop meeting Oct. 9, the East Allen Township Board of Supervisors conducted an in-depth review of its 2020 budget. The budget will be posted once it is approved.
The board did discuss increasing the services of the zoning officer. Presently, the officer is in the office for three days and is not able to keep up with the demand. There is an option to hire an additional zoning officer, but the cost for another permanent employee is questionable.
Supervisor Mark Schwartz suggested increasing the zoning officer’s time in the township office to four days.
East Allen Township Fire Chief Barry Frantz opened the East Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting Aug. 14 with a briefing on the status of the township’s volunteer fire department.
The bottom line is the fire department is competent and efficient and looks for continued support from the community.
The challenge for the department is the size of the volunteer firefighter force.
“In 1970, there were 300,000 volunteer firefighters in the state. We are down to 38,000 now,” Frantz said.
Allen Township’s latest upgrades to its dog park on Savage Road are bringing a lot of praise from local dog owners.
Before the improvements, the local park was a grassy lot with a fence. The improvements are attracting dog owners from all around the Lehigh Valley.
“In an urban area, there isn’t a place to let your dog exercise and run with other dogs, so we really rely on these parks,” Melissa DeJesus said.
Hanover Group Builders sent their engineer, Derrick Herman, to the Allen Township Planning Commission meeting Sept. 16. The developer proposed a four-unit townhouse complex along Atlas Road near its intersection with Savage Road.
The vacant parcel is zoned for high-density residential applications but does present problems.
As township Manager Ilene Eckhart pointed out, there is a mass of uniquely divided parcels on the proposed site, some of which have no designated owners. An existing alleyway is one of the parcels without ownership credentials.
At the Allen Township Board of Supervisors’ regular meeting Sept. 24, supervisors approved moving forward with plans to upgrade Bethlehem Water Authority lines to improve water pressure for residents at the top of the hill on Oak Lane and residences in Drexel Heights.
According to Dale Hassler, township supervisor and fire chief, water pressure at the top of Oak Lane is lower than he would like.
“It is not a major problem for homeowners because they don’t have high pressure requirements, but it does affect the firefighting apparatus,” he said.
At the East Allen Township Board of Supervisors’ regular meeting Sept. 26, resident Tom Miller updated the board on his discussion with Keystone Cement and its permit application.
Keystone has a permit application to increase the size of its mining operation, which will impact residents in the area. Miller has a private water system serving a manufactured home community, prompting his concerns about potential disruptions in the aquifer that serves the township.
A four-car pileup occurred approximately 11 a.m. Sept. 21 near the entrance to the Airport Center strip mall on Airport Road, Hanover Township, Lehigh County.
One driver and three passengers, two of whom are juveniles, were reported to have injuries and were transported to local hospitals by Northampton Regional EMS and Cetronia Ambulance Corps.
Pennsylvania State Police Troop M, Bethlehem, and Han-Le-Co Volunteer Fire Department were quickly on the scene.
The investigation is continuing.
At the East Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting Sept. 12, a local resident brought up concerns about a permit request by Keystone Cement from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Keystone is requesting it be allowed to expand and to dig deeper into its quarry. Expanding the quarry is going to take additional water. According to the permit, Keystone withdraws 7 million gallons a day (MGD) for its operations. The existing permit allows the company to withdraw up to 12 MGD. The new permit would increase the withdrawal to 16.5 MGD.
At the Allen Township Board of Supervisors regular meeting Aug. 27, Supervisor Dale Hassler introduced a concern from First Regional Compost Authority that contractors doing yard cleanup in the township are dumping their waste at the township facility rather than taking it to the central processing center on Weaversville Road.
“It sounds like a bigger problem than it is,” Hassler claimed. “These are not landscaping contractors that are dumping yard waste at our facility.”
East Allen Township Board of Supervisors took a risk at its meeting Aug. 22 and backed joining a proposed regional comprehensive planning group that includes Hanover Township (Lehigh County) and North Catasauqua and Catasauqua boroughs. The River Central Comprehensive Plan would combine the municipalities and allow them to work together for future planning.
Most municipalities must follow the Municipal Planning Code set by the state. Under the MPC provisions, every conceivable business must have a defined location in a municipality.