East Penn Press

Monday, June 1, 2020


Wednesday, August 20, 2014 by PETER MCCONNELL Special to The Press in Local News

Parking ordinance on West End Trail on hold

Macungie Borough Council is not making any further moves at this point regarding the parking ordinance on West End Trail.

Council Member Debra Cope proposed two options for the street's parking situation, which is currently a safety issue due to parked commercial vehicles obstructing sight lines at the intersection of Village Walk Drive.

The first option proposes shortening the permissible parking area by about 40 feet, allowing parking for passenger cars only and moving the available parking spaces further away from the entrances to the shopping strip and the post office. This would allow five or six spaces for passenger cars, estimated Cope.

The second option proposes the same but amends the no-parking ordinance on Brookfield Drive to allow for commercial vehicles of a certain size to park, to accommodate the two commercial vehicles regularly parked on West End.

Previously council made a motion to have no parking permitted on West End Trail. Becker wanted to rescind the motion because of the need for parking in the area, but based on discussion felt it was sufficient to table the subject until a future meeting.

The borough received a quote from Barry Isett & Associates for bid preparation for construction work on the roofs of borough hall and the Macungie Institute which were damaged during the winter.

Barry Isett quoted $10,000 for bid preparation, an amount Becker felt to be too high.

Borough Manager Chris Boehm argued a bid prepared by professionals is necessary in order to ensure all necessary demands of the project are met. She said the bid should not be prepared in-house because neither she nor the public works team are experts in roof construction.

Becker was also concerned a complex bid request would attract expensive contractors.

The roof of the Macungie Institute is going to cost about $62,000 to replace. The borough's insurance company has already granted $32,000 and informed the borough it would cover the rest of the amount as well.

The roof for borough hall will cost $42,000 and money has already been obtained from the insurance company.

But Becker is still uncomfortable spending $10,000 of borough money on the bid preparation. Council Member John Yerman suggested trying to trim down the quote to $5,000 and Becker agreed to meet with the engineers to discuss this.

Boehm proposed to council to consider outsourcing the borough's local services tax and per capita tax collection to Berkheimer. She noted council has the ability to raise the LST rate to $52 per year collected from employees who work in the borough, but do not live there.

Currently the budget allows about $12,000 for LST revenue– $10 collected annually. The revenue for this item is used toward public services fire and police. Raising it would yield up to $49,000, which would cover the cost of Berkheimer's fee for collecting both taxes and yield additional revenue.

In order to go into effect next year this change would have to be advertised three times and be filed by Dec. 1. Council is not taking action on this item at this time.

The borough will sign an agreement with the Lehigh County Conservation District to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding for Erosion and Sedimentation and National Polllutant Discharge Elimination System Review and post-construction stormwater management.

Kevin Frederick from Lehigh County Conservation District explained the agreement has come as a result of a spring audit performed by the Environmental Protection Agency on the Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer Systems (MS4) Program. The document has been sent out to all 25 municipalities in Lehigh County. EPA wants municipalities to have an agreement with a commonwealth agency stating who is being used to do compliance work. LCCD fills that requirement.

As Council Member John Yerman pointed out, it is not that the borough was not compliant with EPA requirements, but written documentation was not in place. LCCD reviews sediment and erosion control plans, issues permits, performs inspections and conducts enforcements. Municipalities use LCCD for compliance control rather than hiring staff to do it because of cost.

The agreement notes LCCD will continue these services as well as helping the borough meet additional compliance measures in the future.

Council adopted by motion to have a new Park Rule ordinance implemented declaring the borough is compliant with state gun ordinances. This will amend the current ordinance prohibiting carrying guns in borough parks.

Council also approved the appointment of Sharon Young to the position of zoning/code enforcement officer. Young will replace Brian Nixon and her employment is effective Aug. 25 at the rate of $25 per hour with compensation for in-borough traveling.

Council will accept Nixon's resignation effective Aug. 29.

Young has been involved with planning and zoning administration in several municipalities, including locally Upper Saucon and Bethlehem.