East Penn Press

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

ALBURTIS BOROUGH COUNCIL

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 by LORETTA FENSTERMACHER Special to The Press in Local News

To plant trees or not plant trees in the Hills at Lockridge – council will decide

Ted Miller, a resident of Racite Road in the Hills at Lockridge, spoke with Alburtis Borough Council members at the March 28 meeting concerning the trees to be planted on his street and in his yard. He claimed red oak and white oak, ash and linden trees are favorites of the Spotted Lantern Fly which will destroy the trees. He suggested planting ornamental dwarf trees which only grow about 20 feet or so instead and did not want a tree planted in his yard.

Solicitor David Knerr described the plans to plant trees and advised Miller everyone in the neighborhood has a right to have the trees planted at their homes and he would have to get everyone on his street to agree there would be no trees planted on their street. Council President Ron DeIaco advised they will take another look at the plan, request the trees not be planted until they meet and have the engineer come and discuss this at the next meeting.

Collin Cuffy, a resident of Woodside Road in the Hills at Lockridge, said the borough takes good care of the trees. The borough sprays and trims the trees and Cuffy said he wants trees planted at his residence. He also asked when the street lights will be put up and was told it should be soon. He liked the speed bump to slow traffic down and said there are two “Children at Play” signs up and asked if another sign could be put up when you enter his street. Council passed a motion to put up another “Children at Play” sign as Cuffy requested.

Rayne Reitnauer, owner of Cold Nose Lodge on Penn Avenue, showed council the many pages of signatures she had on a petition to close the railroad crossing at the end of Penn Avenue where her business is located. Reitnauer advised council Norfolk Southern Railway is increasing train speeds to 60 mph. There are no crossing bars at the railroad crossing and Reitnauer said she has witnessed accidents and near accidents. She claimed there have been “too many accidents” there. Reitnauer suggested breaker bars or a permanent bar emergency vehicles could open if they needed to use the crossing. DeIaco told her they would look into the logistics of what they can do. Reitnauer gave council literature she had gathered to help them. DeIaco thanked her for bringing this to council’s attention.

Council members reviewed, discussed and postponed adopting Ordinance 545 as the solicitor has to make one correction. This ordinance amends other ordinances regarding smoking on borough owned or leased property, prohibiting parking and more on grass or lawns except under certain conditions and additional requirements to get a peddling license and increasing the fee for a license.

Council reviewed a letter from Kohl Bros., Inc., of Myerstown, recommending pumps, controls and accessories to replace the existing equipment at Well No. 3, not to exceed $48,125. This will now go out to bid.

The small water and sewer grant preliminary schedule was reviewed by council.

There was a brief discussion of what to do about the unsightly mailboxes in the borough. Knerr will let council know where they left off the last time this problem was discussed.

Borough Manager Sharon Trexler sent the quitclaim deeds to Ingrid Morning, who had the property, to be executed and notarized between William B. Butz Memorial Fund, Inc. and the borough, for ownership of the bird sanctuary property. DeIaco thanked Trexler and Dave Stoneback for all the work they did during this process.

Someone is still flushing mop heads reported Trexler and the sinkhole on West Second Street will be fixed next week.

Council passed a motion to allow piggy-backing with other municipalities when making purchases, to save money.

A motion was passed permitting Trexler, who volunteered, to attend the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs conference and exhibition in Hershey.

Maintenance Supervisor Donnie Derr reported the department has begun cleaning the storm drains and are cleaning up some heavy areas along the roads. Maintenance staff will be installing the next storm drain box on Walnut Street. Lehigh County Authority will begin examining and flushing some areas throughout town.

The police cars have had their yearly inspection.

Mayor Kathleen Palmer commended the maintenance department and police department for the good job they did in town during the last snow storm.

Mayor Palmer requested Main Street to Chestnut Street be closed and barricaded the morning and afternoon of May 21 as motorcycles will be riding through town protesting opioids. A motion was passed granting her request.

Barry Byler, manager of the Alburtis Area Community Center, attended the meeting to let council know volunteers are needed at the center.

Borough engineers Ott Consulting, Inc. recommended a contract with Zigora Concrete Services, Inc., in Emmaus, be awarded and executed for the Walnut Street multi-modal grant. A motion was passed permitting Trexler to execute the contract. Zigora will be working in the borough on curbs and sidewalks and hopes to begin in May, from Walnut Street down to Front Street.

Council passed a motion authorizing Trexler to hire two people, needed for grass cutting in the borough, at $10 per hour. Council members are hoping college students or retired people will apply.