The Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors met on Tuesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. As the meeting opened, it was announced that the recent inclement weather delayed the final corrections to the Cherryville intersection, as mentioned at the previous meeting. It is expected that the corrections will be made and the paperwork submitted by the time of the next board meeting.
David Drake was invited to attend the meeting to update the board on the maintenance building project and explain the anticipated costs. Drake stated the International Building Code of Pennsylvania is updated every three years and is always three years behind, so the project is now being held to the 2018 code. Because the maintenance building’s plans predate this, they must be reviewed to make sure they still meet the requirements, especially with regard to structural and mechanical engineering and energy efficiency. The projected cost of $12,000 will be for three separate firms to do this, and also to see if any other changes need to be made. Adam Raker, who is closely involved with the project, pointed out that this is much more cost effective than submitting the plan as it presently exists and then making changes afterward. He warned the board that they can expect the cost of materials for the project to be significantly higher than they were when the plans were originally drafted, due to the recent inflation. The board agreed to approve updating the plan at a cost of no greater than $12,000, per the terms of the letter from Drake’s firm.
A letter of resignation from Chrissy Czonstka, a member of the municipal building’s office staff, was received and accepted by the board. The township will advertise for someone to fill the position.
The township has received a grant from the Grow NorCo program, which will be applied toward upgrading the cameras and other technology at municipal facilities, including electronic access. This grant will be combined with the township’s remaining Covid-19 funding, and after a brief discussion the board agreed to cap the costs at $50,000.
Board members Cynthia Miller and David Hess created a resolution in order to form guidelines for people seeking appointments to township positions, such as the recreation board, to clarify points which had previously been unwritten. Township Solicitor David Backenstoe reviewed the resolution and asked Miller and Hess to clarify a few points. The board discussed the matter, and Backenstoe will make the approved edits and provide a final draft for the board to review before the next meeting.
Township Manager Alice Rehrig sought the board’s approval to advertise for summer help, which was granted. She reported that the First Regional Compost Authority will be launching an event called Mulch Madness, in which a $10 fee will allow entrance to come and take as much mulch as residents wish, due to there being a surplus. This event will take place on Friday, March 24 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, March 25 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 6701 Weaversville Rd., Northampton. Anyone with questions in regards to Mulch Madness can call 610-262-1000. Rehrig also advised the board that in May or June, construction will begin on the small bridge on Indian Trail Road near Kohls Road in Allen Township, and will take about a year. Because the planned detour will be Walnut Drive, residents will need to be aware of the circumstances. Rehrig is trying to work with PennDOT regarding the damaged signal pole on Route 248, and hopes to have an update on that soon.
Solicitor Backenstoe is working with the attorney overseeing the Turkey Hill project, and reported that things are finally starting to move forward.
Patrick VanderPloeg of the recreation board brought forward a township resident question. The resident has solar panels on his house, and had to pay a variance because of this, and was curious as to how the township uses the variance money.
Backenstoe explained that this money does not go to the township, which does not make any overhead from the variance; the money is used to cover administrative costs incurred by the township relevant to the solar panels. The board then adjourned for an executive session.
The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors is scheduled for Tuesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. in the municipal building at 1069 Municipal Rd., Walnutport.