East Penn Press

Thursday, February 21, 2019


Thursday, February 22, 2018 by LORETTA FENSTERMACHER Special to The Press in Local News

It’s a no for a dog park in Alburtis

At the Feb. 12 Alburtis Borough Council meeting, it was announced there will be no dog park in Alburtis.

Councilperson Kathleen Raines reported she and Kyle Bower visited the tot lot, but there is no parking on Robert Street or Lockridge Lane. Raines visited the end of the baseball field and was told nobody uses the volleyball court but the area was too small. Raines also checked with Maintenance Supervisor Donnie Derr about the land at the end of Church Street and he said the area floods.

Raines also talked with Zoning Officer David Kutzor saying she could locate nothing in writing in the zoning book about dog parks and he advised her a request must be made to the zoning board under special circumstances to get approval for a dog park or have an ordinance made.

To have a dog park, about an acre of land is needed, as well as a dispenser for waste bags, trash cans for disposal of the waste bags and a completely fenced in space with two gates.

When asked about liability, Solicitor David Knerr said it depends on what happened, if there’s something about the design of the park or something else.

Three citizens in attendance at the meeting, Howard and Lacie Savacool and Nan Perna, objected to having a dog park at the tot lot. Howard Savacool said he objected because that’s where children play. Perna said the lot is under water most of the time. Savacool also said the borough should have put a swale there, but the borough would not do it. Perna also had parking concerns.

“I do not think there is any area in the borough big enough for a dog park as about an acre would be needed,” Councilperson Steve Hill said.

“That would be ruff,” Ron DeIaco, council president, quipped. DeIaco also noted there is no zoning for this, there is not enough parking and the area is not large enough.

“At this time, it is best to look elsewhere,” Councilperson Hector Vazquez said.

DeIaco thanked everyone and said there would be no dog park at the tot lot.

Raines reported she spoke with Derr about redoing the basketball court and he said blacktop is best and estimated it would cost about $3,000 plus $800 to $1,200 for paint. Raines recommended it be painted by a professional and asked council for $4,200 to get the job done.

Councilperson Sherryann Oels suggested the lines be painted by a Scout needing an Eagle project. Mayor Kathleen Palmer said she would talk to the basketball coach to see if two of the players would paint the lines. Raines objected as she thinks they should be painted professionally. Vazquez agreed to be in charge of painting the lines.

Council approved releasing $3,000 for the blacktop with Hill opposing the motion because he wants to make sure there is enough money for the larger projects. Hill wants the Walnut Street curb and sidewalk project done in the spring first and the basketball court second, but Derr will have to decide on the timeline.

A snowblower request by the maintenance department was put on hold.

Council reviewed the bridge inspection report from Michael Baker International and everything looked good except for a couple of holes and Borough Manager Sharon Trexler will check with Derr about fixing them.

DeIaco attended the firefighters’ banquet recently and found the videos of what they do to be amazing. The firefighters answered 205 calls in 2017.

Alburtis Mayor Kathleen Palmer reported she attended the Eagle Scout ceremony for William Pappas.

Palmer also advised council she told Alburtis Police Chief Robert Palmer to make sure to notify residents about the grandparents scam. Grandparents are phoned and told their grandchild or other relative has been in an accident or in jail and needs money. The grandparents are asked for their credit card information to FedEx a gift card to help their relative. Some people have been taken for thousands of dollars

The public is reminded no government agency accepts gift cards.

In other meeting business, council approved the construction of two “Exchange Zone” signs at a cost of $140 to be posted outside Alburtis Borough Hall for convenience when making sales exchanges and custody exchanges.

Council adopted Resolution 2018-9 authorizing Sharon Trexler, borough manager, to execute all documents and agreements between the borough and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania financing authority to facilitate and assist in obtaining the requested Pennsylvania small water and sewer grant.

Trexler reported the borough received a contribution of $2,500 from the William B. Butz Memorial Fund in memory of William B. Butz, to be used for the Lockridge Historical Church. A check for $17,084.06 was received from Service Electric Cable TV, Inc., in payment of their 2017 franchise fee and a check for $18,778.79 was received from RCN Telecom Services of Lehigh Valley, LLC in payment of their 2017 franchise fee.

Derr reported the maintenance department is working on filling pot holes throughout the borough, repairing the small dump truck plow and other repairs and working on the sign replacement program. New water meters are being installed throughout the borough. A quote for a new electric panel needed at well #3 is expected.

Lehigh County Authority has finished sending a camera through the water/sewer lines to check them for breaks or leaks and flushing the new development at The Hills at Lockridge. At the end of March they plan to install the last two storm drain boxes on the lower end of Walnut Street.