The Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors met on Tuesday, February 14 at 7 p.m. 

A representative of Sedler Design & Redevelopment, LLC was on hand to discuss the details of his company’s request for plan approval. There are a few remaining items to be completed, and they will be working directly with engineer Muffley and Township Solicitor David Backenstoe. PennDOT has already made some recommendations for the plan. The board unanimously granted the waivers in the request as well as the requested deferral, pending receipt of all third-party permits, and the representative signed a document containing their conditions for final approval.

Sandra Hopkins of the recreation board reported they are examining each of the township’s parks to see what improvements or additions are needed. They are also discussing some ideas for additional community events, inspired by the success of last year’s Christmas tree lighting.

Frank Zamadics of the public works department said his crew is taking advantage of the good weather. They have conditioned the fields at the Danielsville and Bryfogle parks, and would like to do drainage work on Cottonwood Road; he is looking at pipes for this purpose. Because people have been inquiring, he added that the Christmas tree is still up because of all the mud, as the machinery needed to remove it would get stuck. The tree will be removed once they are able to do so safely.

Elizabeth Amato of the zoning board noted that 26 permit applications were received in January. Some additional terms have been confirmed for inclusion in the landscaping ordinance, and the completed ordinance will hopefully be ready for the supervisors’ review by the next meeting. She reminded the board that the conditional use meeting concerning the proposed solar farm was set for Wednesday, February 15 at 6 p.m. In response to an audience question, it was clarified that the solar farm is being considered for placement on 8.7 acres of farmland which is currently for sale along Route 946.

Police Chief Scott Fogel said the good weather means there have been few accidents. The department’s 2013 Charger is ready to be auctioned. The chief then introduced Bill Michaels of DataWorks Plus, the company that will be installing the department’s new computer system. Michaels explained the magnitude of the grant that will be covering this upgrade, which came from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency; receiving this grant took a lot of time and effort and he commended Chief Fogel for his diligence in applying for it. The old system will become unusable by the end of the year. The department is receiving the full $378,000 grant they requested, and this will cover the initial cost of the new system and maintenance for the next five years. The new system will keep records and data for all police activity and will enable sharing of information with other agencies, which will save time and resources and improve public safety. The board unanimously agreed with Michaels and thanked Chief Fogel for his work to get the grant. 

Board member Philip Gogel spoke with Carl Sharpe, the municipal authority chairman, about having a monthly report presented at the supervisors’ meeting. Sharpe would like a formal letter sent with this request, which board manager Rehrig will provide. It was noted that the township’s sewer site is in the black and generating revenue.

The Cherryville intersection is finished, but must have its ADA ramp corrected per PennDOT’s directives, which should be complete by the next board meeting. Lehigh Engineering notified the board that conditional approval has been received for a new traffic signal; this was the major holdup for the new Turkey Hill, so that project is beginning to move forward. The architect on the maintenance building project will be invited to the next board meeting to explain details and answer questions about what will need to be done before the project is sent out for bids.

Philip Gogel recused himself for the next portion of the meeting, as he was acting as a private citizen. He requested that his property on Mountain View Drive be included in the neighborhood commercial zone, which currently ends two doors away. He explained that he eventually wants to use the property for country lodging, and the planning committee recommended bringing his request to the board for the final decision. After a very lengthy discussion, the other board members voted 2-2, and the motion thus did not pass. Gogel resumed his seat on the board. A motion to send the comprehensive plan for approval was approved with Gogel abstaining from the vote.

A request for the property at 1043 Quince Rd. to receive a well/septic isolation distance waiver was approved, pursuant to the property owner entering an indemnification agreement to hold the township harmless. A township resident has volunteered to serve as an additional alternate on the zoning board, free of charge, and this was accepted. A request was received from the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission to use the township’s meeting room on March 9 to discuss the transportation needs of the area.

On a final note, one resident suggested a reflector or some other indicator be placed at the entrance to the township building’s parking lot. She noted every time she attends a meeting, she nearly turns into the driveway of the private property next door. The board concluded the meeting by adjourning for an executive session.

The next Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. in the municipal building at 1069 Municipal Rd., Walnutport.


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