East Penn Press

Saturday, June 23, 2018

MACUNGIE BOROUGH COUNCIL

Thursday, October 5, 2017 by KEVIN JONES Special to The Press in Local News

Council appoints arbitrator in police negotiations

The Oct. 2 meeting of Macungie Borough Council involved the discussion of an arbitrator for police association negotiations and the borough streetscape project.

Council received a list of issues and disputes from the police union. It was explained the police did not want to negotiate with council and the borough has to get an arbitrator. Council argued a negotiation is a give and take and the police association was coming in demanding everything they wanted.

Council was in favor of a meeting with the police, but the police have refused to meet. Police met with council earlier in the year, but walked out. At the end of the meeting, council went into an executive session to decide on a borough arbitrator, Attorney Jeff Stewart.

Borough business owner Tim Romig had concerns about the turning radius of tractor trailers with 53 foot trailers on Race Street. Romig was worried the borough’s streetscape project will make a bad situation worse.

He explained gates from the railroad tracks are already coming down on cars and is worried trucks and other cars will have difficulty turning left on to Race Street. Borough Council President Chris Becker talked about the importance of pedestrian and handicapped access.

Becker explained the biggest mission is to navigate pedestrians and drivers through the borough safely and that pedestrians are a large concern because council wants Macungie to become a walking community.

Romig was upset because on two occasions, Race Street was closed without a detour being set up. This is an issue because it is interfering with the multiple businesses on Race Street.

During the meeting, Council Member David Boyko announced his resignation, saying he will not stay on council until the end of this term. He stated he will stay on until a suitable replacement has been found. Boyko thanked everyone on council for this opportunity.

There was also a presentation regarding the Acela Engineering Co. MS4 pollution reduction project. There needs to be a 10 percent reduction in sediment. Two plans discussed were streambank reconstruction and rain gardens. Acela said there are a lot of exposed roots along the banks of the Swabia Creek.

Resident Dorothy Kociuba had concerns about box alarms. She felt it was important the borough gets the box numbers right because only departments on the box alarms can respond to the fire.

The solicitor had a report about parking in front of cluster mailboxes on Village Walk Drive. There was a decision made to have the parking restrictions be 18 to 22 feet long in front of the cluster mailboxes.

This is needed so there is enough room for the mail truck to move in and out. The mailboxes in question are labeled by the post office alphabetically. The boxes are on Brookfield Drive and Village Walk Drive.

Borough Manager Chris Boehm wants to advertise for the Macungie Institute building coordinator position. Karen Holt, who currently holds the position, is retiring and her last day will be Dec. 15.

Beam wants to advertise now so there will be plenty of time for the new employee to be trained, but Becker wants the Macungie Institute’s budget to be decided before the position is advertised.

It was decided there will be a meeting 7 p.m. Oct. 9 in Macungie Borough Hall to discuss the Macungie Institute budget.

The Macungie Borough Council will hold its next meeting 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 in Macungie Borough Council. Meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of the month.