LOWER MACUNGIE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS Budget approved with slight increase in fees
The 2013 budget was approved at the Dec. 20, 2012 Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners meeting.
The budget includes capital improvements with no tax increase and no use of the fund balance.
There will be slight increases in services including a $25 increase in the summer playground program and a $10 increase in the pool pass due to the new slide. There will also be an increase for non-resident fees.
Township Engineer William Erdman discussed the Toll Brothers development, Lehigh Crossings. The decision was reached to reduce the maintenance fee to $35,000.
Several residents expressed their concerns over the walking issue at Willow Lane Elementary School. They want to be kept informed of the issues including traffic and weather and the use of signage. Township Manager Bruce Fosselman said the budget is allowing for signals and signage. Prior to the construction of the school, there was no talk of students walking to school.
The Remington Properties and the Hamilton Crossings are moving along. They will be presented on the agenda together due to their similarities. Planning Director Sara Pandl said both projects include better vehicular and pedestrian circulation. Presently they are working with LANTA over the public transportation issue.
Solicitor Richard Somach talked about the Commonwealth's decision on the Jaindl and Spring Creek Properties. It was a 3-0 decision in favor of the township and Jaindl. Somach said "trial courts are more semantic. What was presented in 100 pages could have been presented in one."
Somach said the ruling determined the township followed procedures by listing the zoning change and posting it satisfactorily. The township acted "transparent and efficient."
"A small group of people appealed this decision and it cost the township $100,000 for legal proceedings," Somach said.
President Ron Eichenberg said "the hope is we can now move forward and hope for healing."
"There were a lot of accusations of being sneaky and dishonest," Commissioner Roger Reis said. "It's fine to disagree but do it on an honest level."
Commissioner Ryan Conrad said the residents "failed to prove their appeal. There were no back door deals, secret negotiations or spot zoning."
A Quick Claim Deed will be used to transfer .269 acres to Robert and Jean Becker's relative as they vacate the property along a small portion of Cedarbrook Road.
Donald Lipson's 40 years of service as a municipal attorney were recognized at the meeting. Somach said Lipson's service has been a valuable asset to the township. Township officials took a tour of the Day-Timer facility in East Texas. The facility is to be vacated in June. The area may need to be rezoned to accommodate any changes to the facility.
Tom Doyle, from the Alburtis Rod and Gun Club, responded to a letter from a neighboring resident. The complaint expressed concern for an expanded pistol range. Doyle assured the township no expansion has been done, only general maintenance. He also said his facility always keeps neighbors in mind and makes improvements when necessary.
Panera Bread is seeking to add a drive-through. These plans have been reviewed and are moving forward.