The October 23 Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors meeting opened with a short discussion of the Cherryville intersection in the township. Solicitor David Backenstoe said that he spoke to representatives from Turkey Hill along with their attorney. According to Backenstoe, Turkey Hill is going to resubmit a plan for the intersection to the township, get it cleared with zoning and purchase the property adjacent to their existing store and gas station. He said they are willing to install curbing and a sidewalk but are removing the car wash from the plans for their expansion because of logistics issues.
The ongoing and sometimes contentious maintenance building was the topic of discussion, once again, for a good portion of the meeting. The project, coming in at an approximate price tag of 4.5 million, is a new building for the borough road crew and office staff. It will allow them to store equipment indoors and give the workers an area to service their vehicles. Supervisor Keith Hantz, a member of the building committee and an advocate for the plans the committee developed, made a motion to move forward with the design Watkins Architect, Ltd., a firm based in Fleetwood, came up with for the building committee. The board responded with a slew of questions about the design and the building itself. Chairman Daryl Snover was curious if the architect’s fee of 7 percent, which seemed high to him for a simple block building, could be negotiated down. Hantz didn’t think it was feasible to try to get a lower fee. “He [the architect] should come in and explain 7 percent on a rectangle,” Snover said referring to the shape of the proposed building. Snover also expressed reservations about raising taxes because of the need to pay for other expenses like the MS4 unfunded state environmental mandate that was handed to municipalities this year. “It’s not ‘how are we going to pay for the building,’ but ‘how are we going to pay for the MS4’,” he said. “I guess I was the only one who knew we were going to have to raise taxes,” Hantz replied.
Supervisor Cindy Miller wasn’t comfortable without more answers and details from the building committee. “We asked the committee 20 questions and were told that they didn’t know the answers,” she said. “I’m concerned about the lackadaisical attitude this board has towards raising taxes. It is our responsibility to be fiscally responsible for this community,” Miller continued.
Hantz’s motion to move forward with the design died because of the lack of someone seconding it. However, a motion made by Supervisor Mike Jones to research securing funding for the building at a locked-in rate was seconded and passed.
The next Lehigh Township Supervisors meeting will be on November 13 at 7 p.m. in the municipal building.