The Lehigh Township Supervisors meeting on March 27 briefly covered a variety of topics like grant approvals and a feral cat problem. The first order of business was approving the application for a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) grant for $80,000. The grant would be matched by a $50,000 grant from Northampton county and the funds would be used to help fix and improve the stream walls by Indian Trail Park off of Route 248 in the township. The walls, which run along Indian Creek in the park and near the building that houses the Lehigh Township Historical Society will have some concrete removed and regrading work done. Closer to the Historical Society the badly worn and eroded concrete will be repaired. Once the grants are approved, the project should only cost $1,400 from the township’s general fund.
Vice Chairman Cynthia Miller asked a few questions about future maintenance for the creek bed after Supervisor Keith Hantz made a motion to sign the grant application and Supervisor Michael Jones seconded it. “It’s just going to be trimming and maintaining the vegetation,” Manager Alice Rehrig assured her. “Pretty much what the township is responsible for with any lots we own,” Chairman Daryl Snover clarified.
The creek bed project is likely in compliance with the pollution reduction plan that the township is being mandated by the state to implement. A copy of the pollution reduction plan is available at the municipal building for review currently and is on Lehigh Township’s website. “Now is the time for public comment,” Solicitor David Backenstoe said. He also noted that he was met with a “lukewarm” response from other local solicitors when inquiring about joining Lehigh Township in suing over the unfunded mandate.
During public comment Miller raised the issue of feral cats being a problem in the township. She said she was contacted by a resident who had a rapidly increasing number of cats on his or her property and that this is the third area in the township they know of that has a cat problem. Miller said she did some research and found that some other local municipalities use an organization from Allentown called No Nonsense Neutering. The municipalities allocate some funds to subsidize neutering and the residents can bring cats in and have them sterilized for a small fee. “People feed [the cats] because they feel bad for them. If people would just stop feeding them we wouldn’t have these problems,” Supervisor Phil Gogel said. Snover was also skeptical of the plan. “I wonder how many people will actually ante up $20 for something that isn’t their problem,” he said. Ultimately, the feral cat issue was tabled for later discussion.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be April 10. It is starting at 6 p.m. rather than 7 p.m. because they are addressing the transfer of an alcohol permit to Friendly Food Mart on Mountain View Drive in the township.