East Penn Press

Sunday, June 16, 2019


Wednesday, April 18, 2018 by LORETTA FENSTERMACHER Special to The Press in Local News

Tree planting plans revamped

Approximately 17 residents of Racine Road in the Hills at Lockridge subdivision attended the Alburtis Borough Council meeting April 11 to discuss their concerns about the trees planted or to be planted in the right-of-way or easement. Also attending was Howard Kutzler, land development manager and Tom Zimmerman, both from Jaindl Land Co. in Orefield and Reynold Petri, executive vice president of Ott Consulting, the Alburtis borough engineer.

Kutzler was aware the builder had already planted trees; however, to fulfill the ordinance, they had purchased honeysuckle, linden, red oak and white oak trees – 94 altogether, to be planted within 11 feet of the face of the sidewalk, or 10 feet toward the home and they want to plant them soon. Petri had the approved plans available for viewing.

The problem most people complained about was lot sizes. Some of the lots were 20 feet-by-20 feet or 30 feet-by-30 feet and a tree planted in their yard, which was required by the plan, would be, or is already, planted at or very close to their front porch.

Homeowners with larger lots liked the trees because there was room for them. Residents said trees planted between the curb and sidewalk in front of the homes will grow very big and in 10 or so more years, the roots will be lifting the sidewalk and the homeowners will have to pay for the cost of repair. Some of the homeowners said they would rather have small decorative trees, if they have to have them. A petition with 30 names on it was presented to council.

Following approximately 45 minutes of discussion, council passed a motion to make a minor change to the plan. According to the revision, trees would be planted between the curb and the sidewalk and not in yards.

Collin Cuffy, of Hills at Lockridge, thanked council for installing the “Children at Play” sign at the bottom of Racite Road as he requested.

Firefighter Ryan Trexler, second assistant chief, reported 80 calls through March 31. There were 176 calls between Lower Macungie and Alburtis fire stations. Items needed for the trucks were purchased with the fire tax funds received. Trexler mentioned the back parking lot at the fire station is crumbling and the fire department is looking at different options for repair as the new apparatus is very heavy. Trexler asked if the area at the parking lot could be paved by the borough when Walnut Street is done. Council passed a motion to allow borough maintenance crews to help pave the area at the fire department.

Mayor Kathleen Palmer reported she attended the Lower Macungie Township Planning and Zoning Committee meeting regarding a new 180,000 square foot building proposed for a property at Shoeneck Road and Alburtis Road. Truck traffic could increase by 116 trucks per day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There would be a truck transfer station where hundreds of trucks would be parked.

In other meeting news, the minutes of the March 28 meeting were approved with one correction from Mayor Palmer. The date of closing South Main Street from School Street to Second Street for a motorcycle run is April 21, not Oct. 2.

Maintenance Supervisor Donnie Derr reported potholes are being filled and repairs are being made to yards damaged by snow- plows. The nets at the batting cage and volleyball court have been installed. Water at the pool has been turned on and crews will clean up there.

Council passed a motion adopting Resolution No. 2018-10 to approve selling the borough’s 2004 Ford F-250 pickup truck with snowplow by public sale by bid. Requests for bids will be advertised.

Alburtis Police Chief Robert J. Palmer II advised council the date for oral interviews for the open police positions was rescheduled to April 23.

Council reviewed Ordinance 545 with David Knerr, borough solicitor and briefly discussed changes to be made including smoking on borough property, parking vehicles on the grass and peddling licenses and fees. The ordinance will be advertised and is expected to be adopted at the next council meeting.