Upper Milford supervisors at their Jan. 17 meeting set in motion plans to update the township's emergency response plans.
After lengthy power outages the past two years in the aftermath of unusual storms, supervisors and residents have urged the township to come up with more specific plans to deal with such emergencies.
Township Manager Daniel DeLong said this is "something that has to be done," and suggested working with the fire chiefs.
During a brief reorganization meeting last week, Daniel Mohr was re-elected chairman of the Upper Milford Township board of supervisors. George DeVault, the newest member of the board, was elected vice chairman.
All other current representatives and consultants were reappointed, including Marc Fisher as township solicitor and Benchmark Civil Engineering as township engineer.
After the extended power outage in the wake of the freak October 2011 snowstorm, Upper Milford Township residents Andy Young and David Lindstrom came to a supervisors meeting and asked if they could help coordinate responses to such emergencies to help their neighbors find shelter and other assistance.
Young and Lindstrom were back Dec. 6, in the wake of the lengthy power outage caused by Hurricane Sandy, asking whether there is a plan and how they could help.
"I'm concerned about what we can do," Young said.
A rock dropped on a sewer line while the contractor was backfilling during installation of the line was the probable cause of a leak discovered Nov. 25, according to Upper Milford Township Manager Daniel DeLong.
The leak occurred in a lateral which connected a home on East Main Street to the new Vera Cruz sewer project. It was reported to township Public Works Coordinator Steve Ackerman late Sunday afternoon and he immediately contacted the Lehigh County Authority, which sent a crew out to stop the leak, then repaired it Nov. 27.
Cleanup of Buckeye Road in the wake of the Nov. 11 fatal accident is going to take some time, Upper Milford Township Manager Daniel DeLong told supervisors at their Nov. 15 meeting.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has jurisdiction over the cleanup and is removing all the soil from around the road to test for contamination by diesel fuel.
"The DEP has basically told PennDOT they don't care if the road is closed for two years," DeLong said.
Upper Milford Township supervisors Nov. 15 approved a $2.2 million budget for 2013, with no tax increase.
There was little discussion on the budget by either supervisors or the audience. The budget will be available for review by the public until the end of the year. The board scheduled a year-end meeting for Dec. 27, at which time a final budget will be approved.
The preliminary 2013 budget proposed by Upper Milford supervisors has no tax increase, but achieves that goal in part by eliminating donations to organizations such as the Upper Milford Youth Association, the senior citizens groups in Vera Cruz and Old Zionsville, and a number of Allentown or Lehigh County organizations.
Township manager Daniel DeLong said in a telephone interview last week the supervisors recommended taking away all of what he called "cultural donations."
"This is the best I've seen yet," Upper Milford Township supervisor George DeVault said Nov. 1 of the township's response to Hurricane Sandy.
DeVault, who is also a member of the Vera Cruz Fire Department, said a pre-storm meeting of emergency personnel was very helpful.
Most of the brief Nov. 1 supervisors' meeting was taken up by discussion of the storm and its aftermath.
The preliminary 2013 budget presented to Upper Milford Township supervisors Oct. 18 shows projected expenses about $60,000 less than the projected revenue of $1.76 million.
However, Township Manager Daniel DeLong told supervisors, there are a number of issues which must be addressed before the budget is final, from what to do about replacing Yeakel's Mill Road bridge to repairing a section of the township building roof which appears to be leaking, to whether to buy a new sign in front of the township building and more.
Upper Milford Township supervisors have scheduled a budget workshop meeting for 6 p.m. prior to their next regular meeting Oct. 18, to begin working on the 2013 budget.
Board members got their first look at township Manager Daniel DeLong's proposed budget at their Oct. 4 meeting, but DeLong said the proposal is just a first draft and it is too early to talk about numbers. He said only his proposal is slightly higher than this year's budget.
"It's a starting point," DeLong said.