East Penn Press

Monday, August 26, 2019


Wednesday, February 6, 2019 by loretta fenstermacher Special to The Press in Local News

Council tables decision on police consortium

Alburtis Borough Council met Jan. 30 with all members present and Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong and Emmaus Main Street Partners Manager Ashley Lorah visiting.

Lorah said she wants to have better communication about the borough’s businesses, events and happenings. She met with Borough Manager Sharon Trexler and they will be communicating with each other about events.

Restaurant week is March 3-9 in Emmaus.

Council asked Armstrong if there were any plans for the buildings to be repaired at Lock Ridge Park. He said he did not know but would check into it.

Police Chief Robert Palmer advised council his computer is not working and needs to be replaced. Council passed a motion allowing him $600 to purchase a new computer.

Chief Palmer also said since a new law was passed allowing trucks on four-digit SR Routes, police officers are unable to cite them unless they enter the borough from Spring Creek Road. There are signs that state no trucks.

Addressing the issue of parked cars blocking sidewalks, Chief Palmer is creating a flyer to be distributed to the residents of that development warning them sidewalks must not be blocked.

The police consortium was discussed at length. Solicitor David Knerr recommended the borough wait to join since they currently have an active list of applicants. The costs and changes to the civil service rules were also discussed. Councilperson Steve Hill said he believes if this is something the chief feels strongly about, the borough should join.

Council decided to table this and form a committee consisting of Sherryann Oels, Kathleen Raines and Steve Hill to meet with Knerr and Chief Palmer to discuss the matter.

Alburtis Fire Department and Lower Macungie Fire Department Fire Chief Dave Nosal was present to talk about the merger with Lower Macungie Fire Department.

Firefighter Ryan Trexler reported Alburtis responded to 295 calls in 2018, almost double the 154 calls in 2014. Their average response time for calls is 6.74 minutes and they average seven people per call. Nosal, reporting on all of the stations, said they responded to 605 calls. Of those calls 501 were in the township, 104 were not in the township and 206 of the calls were false alarms and they averaged seven people per station per call. The 2019 pumper tanker is in production. Firefighters Gabe McNabb and Ryan Trexler flew to South Dakota to see how its construction is progressing and a final trip will be made when the apparatus is ready. This tanker will be housed at the Alburtis station. They have a seven to 10-year timeline to replace the Alburtis station and Plan A is for it to be in the borough.

Stephen Roth, of 562 Thomas St. who attended the Jan. 9 meeting about his water meter registering 153,000 gallons of water, which is excessively high, contacted the borough again. Roth had said he did have a faulty toilet he did not fix. He agreed to have his water meter replaced temporarily to be tested. Trexler advised council he now wants to split the costs with the borough. Council decided they will not split the cost and instructed Trexler to let him know that he will only have so much time to contact the office and have his meter replaced so it can be tested.

Kathleen Raines, chairperson of parks and recreation, reported she was looking for an ADA style teeter totter and asked council to let her know if they see one. It was suggested she contact the school district. The committee said they would like a trail system put in the bird sanctuary with benches and identification tags for the trees. Council told her to tell the committee they were not doing anything at the bird sanctuary.

Council passed a motion approving Trexler’s attendance at The Pennsylvania Association of Boroughs Conference June 9-12 in Hershey.

The borough’s electronic recycling event will be held Nov. 19 at Macungie Park. Council asked Trexler to look into a paper shredding event and Armstrong suggested she check with the borough’s local representative.

Interviews were held for a maintenance position and three candidates will be back for a second interview next week.

Council passed a motion approving the Jan. 9 meeting minutes, the bills as of Jan. 31 and the report from Chris A. DeFrain, fiscal consultant.

The Macungie Ambulance Corps, Inc. reported they responded to 315 calls for service in December of 2018 and 11 of the calls were in Alburtis borough.

On Jan. 11, Bernard D. Servagno, DMD, submitted his resignation from the planning and zoning commission as he is returning to school to further his education.