The Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors met on Tuesday, May 23 at 7 p.m.
Daniel Taroli, legal representative for the Turkey Hill relocation project in Cherryville, was present to give the board updates. Taroli provided the board with a letter requesting an extension on the time for plan recording, explaining that PennDOT is causing the delay. The current round of submissions from Turkey Hill will hopefully be the final one, but they are seeking an extension for plan recording to ensure there is enough time to completely finish them. Turkey Hill will be ceding some land to PennDOT to allow them to widen the road. Board vice-chairman Cynthia Miller pointed out that this project has been in the works for seven years, and urged Turkey Hill to push back a little harder to make PennDOT stop stalling. Miller has spoken with Senator Nick Miller, who is going to look into the situation. Taroli thanked her for doing that and promised to relay her words to his client, whom he stated is very excited and wants the project to move forward. The board agreed to the extension request, which will change the deadline from June 30 to November 30.
Next the board heard from David Lear of Lehigh Engineering, who was representing the Timothy L. Pitts projects. Pitts owns land on Mountain View Drive and was previously approved for a mobile/manufactured home park on his property. Lear explained that a habitat study has been completed on the property, and a turtle habitat was found, so adjustments to the plans for the minor subdivision must be made to protect the animals. Meanwhile, for the land development plan, they are waiting for approval from various outside groups such as the Army Corps of Engineers. For both projects, Lear requested extensions of time for plan approval as both plans were set to expire on June 11. The board agreed to extend the minor subdivision’s deadline for plan approval until August 31 and the land development deadline until October 31.
The Cherryville intersection project is complete, except for a few minor details which need to be corrected in regards to payroll. Bids have been received for the maintenance building project, which will be overseen by W2A Architects, and architect Christine DeOliveira Carl was on hand to answer questions for the board. The bids were approved to total $4,310,952 for the project. It was proposed that a groundbreaking ceremony be held once the project has begun, to allow the community to celebrate.
At the previous meeting, a discussion was tabled regarding hiring a consultant to assist the ad hoc and zoning committees in their ongoing efforts to revise zoning and SALDO ordinances. It was agreed that an effort will begin to find such a professional, with a hope of obtaining at least three bids for the task. Township Solicitor David Backenstoe explained the consultant will meet with the committees to learn their concerns and figure out how to begin, then find what changes need to be made and prepare a packet of information for the board to review.
The board has met with Neil Ettinger, the solicitor who works with the zoning board, as discussed at prior meetings. It was agreed that he will be paid for the informational packets he provides to the zoning representatives, and will continue to supply them with this information; however, moving forward, he will no longer provide post-hearing notices, which will reduce his costs.
Miller and Township Manager Alice Rehrig attended a convention for PSATS (Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors) and, as promised at a previous meeting, Miller prepared an overview for the other board members. Of particular note, she said that attendees were reminded that signage and flags for elections, political viewpoints, and religion are, when placed on private property, strictly protected by the First Amendment and the township has no authority to remove or censor them.
A letter of resignation was received from Officer Jessica Edwards effective June 1 and was unanimously accepted.
The resident of 4358 Maple Dr. has requested the installation of a “Children At Play” sign on the street. This is a state road and PennDOT’s permission is required, so a formal letter of request will be submitted.
A letter has been received from the accounting firm handling the audit of the 2022 budget; they have encountered some issues which will require an additional fee in order to complete the audit. The discussion was deferred to the executive session, but it was agreed to pay the fee. Board members also approved Rehrig applying for the second phase of the security upgrade grant. They reviewed the two options presented for the new signs at Danielsville and Delps parks and agreed to the one recommended by the recreation committee.
During public comment, it was mentioned the roads at Indian Trail Park, which were paved last summer, are being damaged by garbage trucks. The matter will be referred to Frank Zamadics of the public works department.
The board then adjourned for an executive session to discuss personnel matters.
The next meeting of the board of supervisors is scheduled for Tuesday, June 13 at 7 p.m. in the municipal building, located at 1069 Municipal Rd., Walnutport.