At their February 8 meeting, the Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors discussed police fleet management. The fleet currently has five vehicles, down from eight this past year. Of those vehicles, two are sedans, one is an SUV, one is a pickup truck for special details, and the other is a K9 Unit vehicle. Two separate police car incidents, one last September and one this past January, crippled the force’s fleet. Police Chief Scott Fogel presented information, seeking the immediate purchase of a new Ford SUV police vehicle for the cost of $43,880 from Whitmoyer Auto Group in Mount Joy. In addition to this purchase, a request for trying to obtain one of two additional vehicles via a bidding system was addressed. A motion was passed to authorize the purchase of the Ford as well as bid on a used police vehicle SUV up to $15,000. The second vehicle in question, a non-up fitted sedan, will be discussed at the next meeting as to the maximum bid for purchase based on the success of bidding on the first vehicle.
The Lehigh Township Police Department is seeking accreditation from The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. On February 1 and 2, the police force did an accreditation assessment. This included review of the force’s policies, equipment, vehicles and the overall station. The accreditation will be decided in mid-March. Chief Fogel stated they are “doing things the best way possible.”
“It is something the township should be proud of as well as the department,” said Chief Fogel. Twelve percent of police agencies are accredited in the United States.
With that accreditation came policy recommendations and Resolution 2022-7 came into motion. It addressed changes in the police manual’s summary arrest powers to be made under certain circumstances. Under this new resolution, police have the right to make arrests without warrant in summary violations, such as disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and disturbing the peace.
There is a 100% fundraiser for Cash, the 5-year-old Belgian Malinois of the Lehigh Township K-9 Unit at www.emmalovesk9s.com. On the website you can purchase a plush stuffed Cash for $25. Cash is funded solely by fundraisers and donations.
In planning, extensions of time were granted to seven companies. All of their plans were set to expire at the end of the month. Those companies include: J&T Enterprises Land Development, Northwoods Land Development, Obenski Land Development, Tim Pitts Subdivision, Donald and Judy Latshaw Minor Subdivision, Hafner Revocable Living Trust and Top of the Mountain Estates Major Subdivision. Extensions were all approved, and go as far out as June of this year.
Other news covered during the meeting was the addressing of truck traffic on Walnut Drive. Law enforcement is giving the area more attention, and also monitoring truck inspections. The 2022 Fire Officers were called out and recognized for their great service to the community. The township is applying for grants to help fix/replace the maintenance building. In zoning, the month showed slow on permits and complaints and high on zoning appeals.
Finally, the office of public works is focusing on its annual hiring for this coming summer season. The township will hire multiple individuals primarily to cut grass and help with landscaping. The position will be from April 15 through October 15. The pay starts at $11/hour for new hires. Additional pay will be given to those seeking a return to this position from previous seasons. A motion was granted to start the advertising for this employment.
The next scheduled township meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 22 at 7 p.m.