East Penn Press

Friday, May 25, 2018

ALBURTIS BOROUGH COUNCIL

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 by LORETTA FENSTERMACHER Special to The Press in Local News

Council accepts truck bid

At the Alburtis Borough Council meeting May 9, Solicitor David Knerr opened and read 11 bids received to purchase the borough’s 2004 truck.

The three lowest bids were for $1,040, $2,790 and $3,253. Three additional bids were in the $4,000 range and three were in the $5,000 range. One bid was in the $8,000 range and the winning bid was $10,200. Borough council members passed a motion awarding the winning bid of $10,200 to Daniel Hendricks.

Ordinance No. 532 regarding regulating and maintaining mailboxes was reviewed and discussed by council members. The diameter, height and mounting of a container as well as the size and structure of material used for installation were discussed at length.

Due to the absence of Councilperson Steve Hill, Councilperson Kathleen Raines suggested the need to have all council members present to make a decision. A decision on Ordinance No. 532 was tabled until a full council is present.

Alburtis Council President Ron DeIaco reported the May Day Festival was held May 6 at Alburtis Area Community Center. The festival was held at the community center because Lehigh County condemned the buildings at Lock Ridge Park as dangerous and falling apart, according to Councilperson Sherryann Oels.

Oels said several years ago the county spent a lot of money fixing the buildings but has failed to maintain them. Citizens are urged to call Robert Stiffler, director of parks, at Lehigh County Bureau of Parks and Recreation Office in Allentown at 610-871-0281 and ask to have Lock Ridge Park kept in repair as it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Alburtis Mayor Kathleen Palmer reported she attended the two most recent Lower Macungie Township Planning Commission meetings, making a total of three meetings she attended to try to stop the building of a warehouse at Shoeneck and Alburtis roads. A hearing will be held 6:30 p.m. May 21 and a vote is expected at the commission’s next meeting.

Palmer also explained the Alburtis Police Department cannot voluntarily respond to the Pennsylvania State Police calls unless asked to assist.

Mayor Palmer also stated stop signs in the borough mean stop and drivers should not roll through intersections by slowing down.

Christopher Greb, operations manager of Macungie Ambulance Corps, reviewed the 2017 annual report and explained the Macungie Ambulance Corps responded to 3,645 calls for assistance in 2017 and 117 of the calls were in Alburtis. Greb also reported the color of the corps uniform changed and is now blue. Further, Greb stated the Macungie Ambulance Corps operated five ambulances and three other vehicles in 2017, driving over 63,000 miles at a cost of almost $70,000.

The Macungie Ambulance Corps is not funded by taxes; however, the corps receives three percent of its budget from municipalities the corps serves. The Macungie Ambulance Corps is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and the corps provides 911 emergency service to more than 40,000 residents in Lower Macungie, Upper Milford and Lower Milford townships and Macungie and Alburtis boroughs. Greb spoke of how the corps has expanded, plans for the future and the special operations division.

According to a memo from Michael Donchez of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, gates will be installed in the summer of 2021 at the West Penn Avenue railroad crossing. There will be an upgrade to railroad safety equipment and outdated equipment will be replaced.

In other meeting news, council members reviewed an update received from borough engineer Ott Consulting, Inc. about several locations throughout the borough.

Council members also discussed a letter from State Sen. Pat Browne, R-16th, about a grant program.

A letter from Frank D. Kane, director of the Lehigh County Office of Community and Economic Development, regarding an urban grant program funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development was reviewed.

Borough Manager Sharon Trexler said the letter comes every few years and the borough applies through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development so no motion is needed to apply for the grant.

Maintenance Supervisor Donnie Derr reported storm piping will be installed at the lower end of Walnut Street. Approximately 20 curb boxes need repair. Also, maintenance wants to install a basket at the sewer station. Maintenance crews are repainting the dugouts at the ball field. New crew members are being trained.

Action taken by Alburtis Borough Council included approval of the meeting minutes of April 25; council approval of bills for payment and accepting the Fiscal Consultant Chris A. DeFrain’s April report.