LOWER MACUNGIE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS No new property tax in 2013 budget
Commissioners said the 2013 budget presented at the Dec. 6 meeting reflects a good working, stable budget that maintains the high quality of services for the residents.
There will be no new property tax, no increase in refuse bills and a 10 percent increase in sewer bills which will be about a $20 to $25 increase in annual cost to residents.
Various workshops with department directors and local organizations were held to create the budget. Various capital projects are noted in the budget including a newly renovated restroom by the end of March, 2013 for Camp Olympic. Continuing improvements include repairs to two large pavilions, the snack bar and the stone barn. Road resurfacing, traffic light improvement and replacement of some township equipment are also included in the budget.
Facility improvements include replacing the roof on the township building, upgrading the Board of Commissioners meeting room, two generators for Public Works and the construction of a new pole barn for the Public Works.
After lengthy planning, the Remington Properties along Route 100 near Allen Organ will be advertised. This development will bring multi-family dwellings into a commercial district. It will also allow for fuel dispensing stations, restaurants and other retail establishments and feature walkability and public transportation to the area.
The residential area will allow for eight and a half dwelling units per acre.
Members of Troop 71 Webelos attended the meeting to learn about local government and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Residents submitted statements of interest for various township openings including Jeffrey Davis and George Doughty for the planning commission; Larry Schneider for the zoning hearing board; Craig Bartholomew for the historical commission; Samir Desai for the environmental advisory council and Commissioner James Lanscek for the planning commission.
Lanscek said he feels his years of experience as the zoning officer would be beneficial to the township. Commissioners Doug Brown and Ryan Conrad expressed concern and Solicitor Richard Somach said this action is legal. Commissioner Roger Reis said Lanscek deserves consideration.
Andrew Desiderio said he will not seek another term on the public safety commission; Kenneth Turner and Brian Kahler do not want to be reappointed to the audit advisory committee and Julie McDonell will not seek reappointment to the library board.
Kevin Drake, a long time member of Lower Macungie Township's planning commission and parks and recreation, is resigning from these duties, saying he will be spending more time with his family. He has been an active member in Lower Macungie Township for over 20 years. The commissioners thanked him for his service. William Erdman, township engineer, was named Engineer of the Year by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Joe Cusick wrote a letter about his concern for the ongoing problems at Schoeneck Road and Route 100 with trucks making a right turn onto Schoeneck from Route 100. This matter will be further investigated.
Kim Keller wrote to the township concerning speeding on Riverbend Road. This matter will be forwarded to Ben Galiardo and Public Works.
Lower Macungie Township employee, Gretchen Pearl, was acknowledged for her professionalism during the period of time when telephone calls were received over the water shut-off notices. Water shut-off notices were posted on 200 properties. With payments and payment plan arrangements, the number dropped to 68 then to 38. Of the 38, LCA had already shut-off water for 20. Eighteen properties had their water shut-off Nov. 28; six had made their payments, 12 still remained turned off and four are vacant properties.
The Spring Creek Road bridge, which was expected to be completed by the end of December, may not be completed until mid-January, 2013. There have been a few setbacks, one of which was digging 40 to 70 feet deep until they reached bedrock.
Toll Brothers, developer of Lehigh Crossings, has experienced some difficulties with renewing their NPDES permit regarding the installation of a rain garden on the property. This was designated to be dedicated to the township for future maintenance. The engineer will review the estimates to determine the amount to be paid to the township.