In a comparatively brief meeting July 7, Macungie Borough Council passed approval on several business items but held off on some further action and discussions due to some council members being absent, including the council president.
The borough received a letter from the Lehigh County Authority advising council of options for distribution of signatory refunds. These latter were made available by the recent settlement between LCA and the City of Allentown.
The East Penn Board of School Directors approved the budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year with a 3.34 percent increase June 23, and said farewell at last to two of its own.
Superintendent Dr. Thomas Seidenberger and Board Secretary Cecilia Birdsell appeared for their last meeting of the school board; they are both retiring effective the end of June. Birdsell has served the district for 40 years, 38 of them as board secretary.
Macungie Borough Council is moving forward with more grant applications to help secure the Main Street Street-scape Plan and transform the borough's busy thoroughfare into a downtown community.
"If you don't take Main Street back now you're not going to get it," Council President Chris Becker said, stating council's commitment to the project. He cited the already problematic truck traffic on Route 100 as a sure thing to increase in the near future. Becker believes the Streetscape Plan will be a deterrent to high speed traffic in the town.
A unanimous vote has changed the controversial elementary school schedule into one of five consistent full days, thanks to the work of Assistant Superintendent Kristen Campbell.
Parents who attended the June 9 school board meeting thanked and encouraged the board for its consideration of Campbell's proposal which will extend instructional time for students without impinging on teacher prep time as a whole.
In Macungie, capital projects for streets are still under discussion. A workshop prior to the regular meeting May 19 featured a presentation by borough engineers Barry Isett & Associates. Cotton Street is among the worst in the borough and its continued deterioration and inefficient accommodation for traffic flow has caused it to be mentioned in several council meetings.
The East Penn School Board approved the proposed final budget for the new school year May 12, including a 3.86 percent tax increase Superintendent Dr. Thomas Seidenberger says he will fight to bring lower.
The total budget is $136,867,713 with the millage at 16.7479. It is the first tax increase in two years and the highest in six years. The current state index for a tax increase is 2.1 percent.
Macungie Borough Council voted yes to approve application to a grant to fund the Main Street Streetscape Plan, a traffic-calming and beautification project which will transform the look and feel of Main Street, Macungie.
The grant, known as a Multimodal Transportation Fund, comes through the Commonwealth Financing Authority, and is available for projects costing over $100,000. The grant is not to exceed $3 million. According to a presentation Monday night from Brian Smith, representing borough engineers Barry Isett & Associates, the project in total will cost $3.2 million.
EAST PENN SCHOOL DISTRICT District does not rescind decision to participate in Tax Increment Financing for Hamilton Crossings
East Penn School District's Board of Directors did not vote to rescind their decision of last May to participate in a Tax Increment Financing for Hamilton Crossings. After much commentary from both the public and the board, the motion failed to pass.
Since last May, and due to Lehigh County's decision not to participate in the Hamilton Crossings TIF, some changes have come about to benefit the school district, according to Scott Shearer, managing director of Public Financial Management.
Macungie Borough Council will hold a special meeting April 28 to discuss choosing the borough's insurance, a matter that could not be settled in the regular meeting April 21.
Council received four quotes on its general liability insurance, auto, property, umbrella, workers compensation and employee theft. Two quotes came from the borough's current agent through Selective and Municipal Risk Management Trust, respectively. And two quotes came from an outside agent, Bailey Associates of Macungie.
Macungie Borough Council bore the brunt of criticism at the regular meeting April 7, from residents of the borough who expressed concerns over the volunteer fire department and the state of streets after winter.
The fire department has been the subject of scrutiny for some time; residents are asking council to investigate the department's financial activity. Business owner Tim Romig requested council ask the department for all financial records, something he believes they should be able and willing to provide.