The August 14 Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors meeting opened with a half-hour executive session. After the supervisors returned, sans Darryl Snover, who was absent, they passed a motion to extend a line of interest-free credit to the Lehigh Township Volunteer Fire Company for $75,000. The supervisors could not comment on what the credit is for because of pending litigation according to Board Vice Chairperson Cindy Miller.
During the meeting a major point of contention was the proposed plan for a new maintenance building for the township’s municipal and road crews. As outlined at the July 10 meeting the proposed new building will cost between 3.5 and 3.95 million dollars, not including site costs and other expenses like permits, insurance and foundation design. Miller related that township residents and people who own businesses in the township have come to her with concerns over the costs and the features building will have. “Residents are not in tune with this building,” Miller said. “I have to look at the whole of the community.” A property tax increase of .50 to .75 mills would be necessary to fund the project as it is.
The plans for the municipal building include features like heated floors, which Miller said is a luxury that just adds to the cost. At the last board meeting Chip Hazard, chairman of the building committee, gave a detailed presentation (available at www.lehightownship.com) about everything included at the proposed cost which has things like a bump-out area for administrative offices, a locker room with showers and a ventilation system for the main building. Miller described the building as a “dream” that fulfills a want rather than a need. Supervisor Keith Hantz disagreed saying that it is, in fact, a need and that he is planning on making a motion to move forward at the next meeting. “When you make the motion you should include where the money is coming from,” Miller said.
In other township business, the board released some security to Wagner Estates, LTD. to continue construction in the Grace Estates development. Some issues with a neighboring resident regarding a water runoff basin in the development were addressed during the meeting.
Township engineer Phil Malitsch reported on the water runoff issues on Butternut Drive. He went out with some residents after a rain event and observed a stone footbridge that obstructed the natural flow of water and diverted it onto the road. Malitsch said that the footbridge is impermeable and an obstruction that needs to be removed. The board agreed and are going to notify neighbors.
The board voted 3 – 1, with Supervisor Phil Gogel being the lone no, to put weight restrictions on some township roads. A 12-ton limit is in effect for Cherryville Road, a 15-ton limit for Indian Trail Road and a 12-ton limit on Timberline Road between Mountain View and Lehigh Drive.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be on August 28 at 7 p.m. at the municipal building.