East Penn Press

Thursday, January 18, 2018

LOWER MACUNGIE TOWNSHIP BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 by SHARON SCHRANTZ Special to The Press in Local News

Announcement made regarding merger of fire companies

Lower Macungie Fire Department Fire Chief Dave Nosal made a special announcement at the Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners meeting Dec. 21. The Lower Macungie Fire Department and the Alburtis Fire Department have decided to merge. Nosal said this merger will benefit the borough and Lower Macungie Township by providing better services.

It was reported both fire departments have similar mind sets and will help fire companies cover the western portion of the township. The merger also helps to decrease “burn-out.” The merger is expected to be completed by 2019.

There will be restructuring of personnel to accommodate the transfer. The station houses will have new numbers and there will be new dispatch tones. There will be a common training night which means the fire departments will train jointly.

The benefits of the merger include better staffing, widespread rescue units for all areas, cost savings and equipment and apparatus availability. Existing bylaws need to be revamped and staffing will transition over time. With all this in mind, the new fire department will have increased capabilities. Commissioner Doug Brown said he has often said Lower Macungie Township has the best fire department around.

With the merger, comes new equipment. Rosenbauer was awarded the bid for the tanker which has been planned for several years. The new truck will be a little longer than others. It will hold 2,500 gallons of water and will also hold foam to assist fire fighting.

In other business, the 2017 budget was passed. There is no tax increase.

The 2018 Homestead Exemption Tax will exempt someone who has a house valued at $100,000. This property will not be taxed. If someone owns a home valued at $300,000, they will only pay tax on $180,000 of the amount.

The fee schedule for 2018 was also approved with minor increases.

The next board of commissioners meeting is Jan. 2, 2018. At this meeting, the changing of commissioners and other township officials will take place. Commissioner Brian Higgins thanked Commissioner Doug Brown for his duties as president of the board.