The Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors met on Tuesday, August 8.
An extension of time for approval was granted to the Timothy Pitts Minor Subdivision project. A representative for the project explained that some environmental permits and other paperwork are being wrapped up, but that more time will be needed to finish preparing their submission.
Sandra Hopkins of the recreation board talked about the refreshment stand which operated at the double header game on July 8. There were not as many customers as anticipated, so the leftover food has been frozen and will be used for the tree lighting in December. A bench is being purchased in memory of a resident and will be placed at Bryfogle Park. Hopkins is looking into more grant opportunities for the township’s recreation facilities, and will also be meeting with the Lions Club to discuss a building they wish to erect at Bryfogle Park, as she thinks it would be better to place it at Delps instead.
Frank Zamadics of the Public Works Department said that he is collecting information about improving the surfaces of the tennis courts at Danielsville Park. Residents are asking for a pickleball court, which he believes will not be difficult to add. Board President Michael Jones said that some young residents were inquiring about whether the township could add lights to the Danielsville volleyball court. It was explained that this might be too difficult, as the volleyball court is somewhat removed from the other sporting areas and it may not be possible to get electricity to that part of the park. Sandra Hopkins also suggested that the tennis courts there be examined for water damage, which is causing the ongoing cracking issues. Board Vice-President Cynthia Miller said perhaps they should look into moving the tennis courts to a different part of the park.
Elizabeth Amato of the Zoning Board reported that 37 permit applications were received in July, 26 of which were issued. There were 15 new complaints and one application to the board for special exception. She reminded everyone that the special meeting about the medical marijuana facility will be held on August 24 at 6 p.m. at the fire company.
Police Chief Scott Fogel is working on a grant for license plate readers and is researching which kind would be best for the township. The new sign has been installed at the station. The National Night Out event on August 1 had more than 1,300 people in attendance; as a point of trivia, he noted that it was the first time Indian Trail Park has had a carousel on the grounds since it ceased to be an amusement park in 1984. He expressed appreciation for everyone who helped arrange the event and is pleased at how it keeps growing every year. Eight people have applied for the vacancies in the police department, one of whom still remains to be interviewed; Fogel intends to edit and resubmit the advertisement, as in addition to the existing vacancies, two officers are set to retire next year and one may be moving out of town. He proposed that the edited advertisement will include sending candidates to the police academy; most of the cost of doing so would be reimbursed to the township by the state, and making this offer will widen the applicant pool. The board agreed to the suggestion. Miller asked if the township could look into getting more of the radar monitoring signs, as she has noticed they encourage motorists to slow down and would ease some of the burden on the officers. Fogel will get her the numbers for consideration.
Township Engineer Michael Muffley stated that the Northwoods project has run into a minor issue regarding a lot consolidation which was supposed to have taken place, due to the mortgage issue on one of the properties in question. The plan will need to be slightly modified as a result. He and Township Solicitor David Backenstoe will conduct an administrative review of the plan and make alterations as needed before recording it. Apart from this, the project is progressing and they are about to start paving roads. The maintenance building construction is also moving along and the foundation will be laid soon.
Four ordinances are being sent to the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission for review and will then be advertised for adoption. No discussion was needed regarding the ordinances about wireless facilities, medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. Concerning the principal solar energy ordinance, solar farmer Dan Ziegenfuss had some concerns about the nature of the ordinance and whether it would cause him to need extensions for his plans. He was assured that if he applies for and receives his conditional use permit before the ordinance is adopted, his plans will be grandfathered and extensions will not be needed.
Township Manager Alice Rehrig received a grant for the recycling center. The board authorized her to sign it so as to expedite the process. Two bids were received concerning the purchase of a new police cruiser, but the lower of the two bids came from a seller who is unable to meet the criteria the board stipulated and cannot even guarantee that the vehicle sale will not be canceled. The board therefore decided to go with the higher bid, for a vehicle which is available and can arrive before the end of August, at the cost of $44,395. A grant from the county will help cover the cost. Rehrig expects to have the capital improvements plan report by the next meeting and the first draft of the budget by the end of August.
The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors is scheduled for Tuesday, August 22 at 7 p.m. in the municipal building, at 1069 Municipal Rd., Walnutport.