East Penn Press

Thursday, December 13, 2018

LOWER MACUNGIE TOWNSHIP BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

Thursday, June 14, 2018 by SHARON SCHRANTZ Special to The Press in Local News

Sewer lining project includes multiple communities

An agreement was approved for the multi municipal main line cured in place pipe lining sanitary sewer line rehabilitation project at the June 7 Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners meeting.

This project includes Upper Macungie, Salisbury, Coplay, Whitehall and Lower Macungie Township and makes the costs of this project much more reasonable than doing it by each municipality. There were six bids received with Insituform being the lowest. The total amount for all municipalities is $898,557 with Lower Macungie Township’s portion $363,216.

Commissioners discussed this project and the prospect of completing the project as suggested. It is a cost-cutting method by getting a bid for multiple municipalities. The concern is whether the lining of these pipes will fix the problem. The area being targeted is the oldest area where clay pipes were used. These pipes are 5 feet long with many joints.

Commissioner Ron R. Beitler suggested meters be used. Township Manager Bruce Fosselman said this would be an expensive way to make a determination and not necessarily the answer. Fosselman suggested this action is the best at this time due to the cost-saving method of working with the other municipalities.

The commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of this bid. Future repairs and maintenance will be considered with possible different methods.

Residents from Mill Race Road complimented the road crew that oiled and chipped their road. The workers did not cause any inconvenience and were prompt and courteous.

A resident had a complaint about the tax collection agency, Berkheimer. There was a collection problem and some difficulty in getting it resolved. Berkheimer is a county-wide agency and has a county-wide contract which makes it difficult to get another company. This particular situation was resolved.

A resident from Hills of Lockridge expressed a desire for more sidewalks in the development. This will be further investigated.

A Meals on Wheels representative sent a note thanking the township for its donation to their agency.

It was announced Lower Macungie Township is disappointed in Emmaus not signing the Southwest Comprehensive Plan. Lower Macungie Township is reviewing their decision. Depending on that outcome, Lower Macungie Township may join with the remaining municipalities.

The Mill Race Road Bridge superstructure replacement project is ready for action. This led to a discussion about the frequent repairs on township bridges. What may be considered safe by the township, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation may have a different view. This will be investigated.

The Heritage Park on the corner of Hamilton Boulevard and Brookside Road is almost completed.

The Adams Outdoor Advertising billboard on Hamilton Boulevard has not been resolved. The company has filled a suit against the township alleging breach of contract.

Questions have arisen over the land across from Lower Macungie Middle School as soil sampling has been observed. There was a preliminary plan for 71 houses initially established 13 years ago. Extensions have been granted at various times. Questions have been raised regarding these plans as changes such as stormwater management have been introduced.

There is a possibility of the township purchasing the property at 1935 Willow Lane which is also known as the Willows Restaurant. The restaurant is deteriorating. Before anything can happen, the township is asking for an appraisal of the property. The property includes a house and barn. The area could be used for open space in conjunction with the nearby Kratzer Farm with the barn used for storage.

The walking trails at Hamilton Crossings now continues to East Texas Park.

There is the possibility of increasing parking on Orchard Road which would change the flood plain area. This is being reviewed.

The commissioners have requested the use of an outside agency in the search for a township manager to replace Fosselman who announced his retirement May 17 after 10 years of service. He will retire in September.

The township is experimenting with smaller light poles with cell antennas behind Dunkin’ Donuts on Hamilton Boulevard. The additional benefit is that the sycamore trees almost camouflage the poles.

In traffic news, the Church Lane humps are being replaced with gentler humps. The traffic light at Willow Lane and Sauerkraut Lane may be flashing soon and the traffic calming project on Mill Creek Road is progressing with September being the possible completion.

The township has reached an agreement with the East Penn School District for use of school buildings during an emergency.