Lehigh County is in the process of writing a new county livable landscapes plan.
According to Lehigh Valley Planning Commission Executive Director Becky Bradley, 18 individuals were present at the Feb. 7 meeting in which the planning commission was provided feedback on issues, while discussing the county’s future vision.
Bradley said one of the primary, universal concerns was not enough people in and around the county know about the wide variety of parks, recreational facilities and open spaces available.
The Lehigh County Board of Commissioners appointed and reappointed five individuals to serve on boards and authorities at the Jan. 25 meeting.
Lynne Hanna was appointed to aging and adult services and Dilia Coppedge was appointed to serve on the county children and youth advisory board.
Additionally, Dean Browning and John Hayes were reappointed to serve on the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority and Sally Schoffstall received a reappointment to the aging and adult services board.
The Lehigh County Board of Commissioners held its first formal meeting of the new year Jan. 11, under the helm of newly appointed chairman Marty Nothstein.
During the meeting, the board unanimously voted to approve a subrecipient grant in the amount of $500,000 to Treatment Trends, Inc., Allentown. The funding specifically comes from the state office of mental health and substance abuse services.
Commissioner Geoff Brace, sponsor of the bill, explained the purpose of the grant.
According to Brace, the grant is part of Gov. Tom Wolf’s Centers of Excellence initiative.
The Lehigh County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the appointments of Michelle Julian as director and Justin Cumello as assistant director of nursing, respectively, for Cedarbrook Nursing Home at its Nov. 22 meeting.
Both Julian and Cumello addressed the board.
“It is really a privilege for me to serve in this capacity,” Julian said to the board. “I thank you for the opportunity, and I am really grateful.”
The Lehigh County Board of Commissioners approved the 2017 budget amounting to $402.8 million at its Oct. 26 meeting.
The budget, which includes 16 amendments, was approved by a vote of 5-3 with Commissioners Geoff Brace, David Jones Sr. and Dan Hartzell voting in opposition.
Noteworthy amendments include a $1.1 million tax cut and a one-time $400,000 rebate.
The budget includes a no tax increase, with a millage rate of 3.64 mills. The budget results in residents saving $10.50 on a home assessed at $200,000.
County approves first reading of bond issue bill
Lehigh County Board of Commissioners Sept. 14 approved a first reading of a bill by a vote of 8-0 to allow the issuance of general obligation bonds totaling roughly $20 million.
According to Michael Setley of Concord Public Finance, the bonds will be used to fund $19 million in county capital projects. The county will ultimately have to borrow $20 million, he said.
The funding will be used to fund Leigh County courthouse renovations, county software and repairs to Coca-Cola Park.
Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller laid out his 2017 proposed budget amounting to $399 million, which does not include a tax increase for county homeowners, Aug. 31 at Limeport Stadium, Limeport.
“Proposing a budget with no tax increase has been made possible by the efforts of our employees every day to serve our citizens effectively and efficiently,” Muller said.
The millage rate will remain at 3.68 mills with the average homeowner paying $668 in taxes in 2017.
County commissioners presented with LCA five-year capital plan
The Lehigh County Board of Commissioners were presented with the Lehigh County Authority’s five year capital plan at the board’s Aug. 24 meeting.
Liesel Gross, chief executive officer of LCA, said the plan is merely an overview.
“We felt a five-year plan was more manageable,” Gross said. “A capital plan is the most conceptual. It’s a five-year look out.”
Lehigh County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the allocation of gambling funds from the Lehigh County Gambling Grant Program amounting to $307,638 to Salisbury and Upper Saucon townships and Fountain Hill and Coopersburg boroughs at the board’s Aug. 10 meeting.
The monies will be used for the township and borough police and fire departments.
Lehigh County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to adopt and approve the $67.5 million 2017-21 capital plan at the July 27 meeting.
Over the next five years the plan will provide funding for renovations to the Lehigh County Courthouse, software for county operations, repairs to Coca-Cola Park, maintenance and improvements for county parks and agricultural conservation easements and farmland preservation.