Following an executive session, the Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors began their meeting on Tuesday, February 27 by interviewing two applicants for a vacancy on the planning commission. After hearing the introductions of Timothee Bartlett and Charles Perich, the board decided to appoint Bartlett to the vacant seat, with the term concluding at the end of 2026. 

During the approval of bills, the board fielded an inquiry as to why there is a line item on the expenditures for an exterminator. It was explained that this was a necessary expense for the police department, due to a recurring insect issue.

Ryan Brannon, an attorney representing the Turkey Hill project on Route 248, approached the board with a request for an extension of time for plan recording. He explained that Turkey Hill is still waiting for PennDOT to respond to their latest submission, and that although they have been pursuing the issue on a daily basis, there has yet been no approval from PennDOT. All other work has been completed for the project. Board member Cynthia Miller noted that the situation has grown frustrating due to how many years it has been ongoing. The board agreed to grant a three-month extension for plan recording, changing the deadline to May 31. 

Public Works Director Frank Zamadics brought some vehicle-related issues before the board. One of the township’s salt trucks broke down in January and is in need of a new transmission; although he was able to get one quote, he has struggled to get two more, explaining that he has called various places and no one will get back to him. The lone quote he has received came from a mechanic who comes very highly recommended by other local municipalities, and the board agreed to grant the repair contract to this mechanic for no more than $8,500.

Another township truck has been “limping” for some time now and its transmission died during the most recent snowstorm. Due to the vehicle’s overall condition, Zamadics recommended not putting any money into repairing it. Upper Macungie Township will be selling two of their trucks during the coming months, either of which would suit Lehigh Township’s needs. Zamadics said has also gone to some car lots for numbers, and a comparable vehicle is going to cost between $60,000 and $90,000 regardless of the model. The board agreed to have him compile the data and bring it to their next meeting.

As a final note, last year’s summer helpers have contacted Zamadics and expressed an interest in returning for the 2024 season. He was extremely impressed with both of the men and would be glad to have them work with him again. The board consented to have them both start on April 15.

The fire company resubmitted their list of planned activities, with adjustments made as requested by the board. A discussion was held regarding the language in one line, as it was still more ambiguous than the board was comfortable approving. After some deliberation, board member Janet Sheats proposed removing the line in question and replacing it with a line stating that any last-minute changes, such as those caused by weather, should be emailed to the board members and Township Manager Alice Rehrig in order to create a paper trail for workman’s compensation. The board agreed, and approved the list of activities with this adjustment.

Rehrig reported that the maintenance building is still on track for completion in mid-April. Board member David Hess noted that he visited the site a few weeks earlier and was told that they had fallen slightly behind schedule due to the recent snowfalls, but they expected to be able to catch up without much difficulty. The township has applied for grants to install monitors in the meeting room. The previously approved heating and air conditioning work was set to begin in the municipal building on Monday, March 4 and should be completed within a few days.

A lengthy discussion was held in regards to the fire tax, its advertisement and the way it is being discussed on the internet. Miller observed that not a single person has called her to complain about the matter, and negativity surrounding the fire tax has come from so-called “keyboard warriors.” It was noted, however, that apart from the addition of the fire tax, the township’s taxes have not been raised in the past nine years.

The next Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. in the municipal building, located at 1069 Municipal Rd., Walnutport. 


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