East Penn Press

Sunday, July 5, 2020

MACUNGIE BOROUGH COUNCIL

Thursday, April 9, 2020 by SHARON SCHRANTZ Special to The Press in Local News

Streetscape funding discussed

Editor’s Note: Updates have been made to the April 8 print edition.

The Macungie Borough Council meeting was held via teleconferencing April 6 with council members, various staff members, Macungie officials and some residents attending.

Although not on the agenda, a discussion was held about funding of the streetscape improvement project. Council President John Yerman created a chart showing where money originated. Council members said this was a good picture of what was spent.

Mayor Ron Conrad complimented Yerman for this project, saying it presents a clearer picture on how this project has been funded. Borough Manager Robert Glisson said a lot of taxpayers’ money was used.

The chart was broken down into categories such as engineering, inspections and legal costs and detailed the origin of the money used such as grants, loans or taxes.

There are concerns about how the money was distributed and how the work was done. There are also ongoing concerns about the quality of work completed.

Noting repairs for bump outs, some sidewalk repairs and other concerns, it was decided to delay for two weeks before approving a reduced bill. It was suggested this action should hold the contractors accountable for work. At the next meeting, a decision will be made as to whether to hold payment until the repairs are completed.

The growth of the street trees was discussed so there is no further sidewalk damage. It was said the roots of the trees grow down, the trees themselves grow very slowly and grates are in place which helps control possible damage to sidewalks.

A Cotton Street Rain Garden bid was received and will likely be approved. There is concern for the use of subcontractors due to the experiences with the streetscape improvement project. Stonewood Landshaping, of Zionsville, provided the bid.

The Macungie Farmers Market made a request for a waiver on a permit fee. It was denied.

The Macungie Police Department said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a decrease in calls. Traffic calls have decreased although there has been an increase in theft and home violence.

A Macungie police officer displayed signs of illness. In exercising an abundance of caution, the officer sought a medical evaluation it was determined the officer did not meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing. He was cleared to return to work with no threat to other employees or the public.

The mayor, police department and the fire chief continue to hold discussions about COVID-19.

In other business, cars parked at Allen Organ are for workers. Allen Organ is presently shut down but a portion of the company is constructing circuit boards for breathing equipment.

There was a discussion over the process on how to replace Rosemarie Nonnemacher. Her position as borough clerk/assistant treasurer needs to be filled as she is retiring.

Future meetings will continue through electronic methods until the health crisis has ended. The next meeting will likely use the Zoom app.