Northwestern Press

Monday, December 10, 2018

Lowhill deals with several issues

Thursday, November 16, 2017 by WENDY WRIGHT Special to The Press in Local News

Engineer Chris Noll reported during the Lowhill supervisors Nov. 2 meeting “no news is good news” regarding the MS4 stormwater plan.

“If we don’t hear anything, then the plan is moving forward as desired,” Noll said.

Administrator Brian Carl reported there was not much of an update on the multimunicipal plan.

He received a general quote for the plan, which he mentioned seemed a little high for the entire plan, but Lowhill Township has the smallest chunk of it. The estimate for Lowhill is about $4,300.

Carl said that amount is approximately $2 per resident based on the 2010 census.

He also reported there was a nontraffic citation issued for the concrete driveway along Windy Road.

Roadmaster Joe Kalusky said markers will be placed at the driveway so damage will not occur to trucks maintaining that portion of the road.

Carl reported the Federal Emergency Management Agency gave the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission money to update the Lehigh Valley Hazard Renovation Plan.

If a municipality does not participate, it should not expect to get financial assistance from FEMA, he explained.

Carl said the township needs a representative to attend the monthly meetings, collect information and do the required paperwork.

Chairman Richard Hughes made a motion and the board approved payment to Emergency Management Coordinator Frank Bartholomew of $7.50 per hour. Weisenberg Township will pay the other half.

Carl reported on requests sent by residents.

Joe Black asked the township to consider an ordinance for when trees fall on someone else’s property.

Residents living in the Manor development requested the township consider an ordinance requiring fences around swimming pools regardless of when the pool was installed.

A new resident to the development has a pool that was installed before adoption of the uniform construction code which requires fencing.

Kalusky reported road work for October.

Low spots on Horseshoe road were paved and the entire road was leveled and paved with the help of Weisenberg and Lynn townships.

The road crew will finish filling shoulders on Horseshoe Road and start prepping equipment for winter.

Carl stated Act 172 is being scrapped.

Each firefighter’s tax break is currently based on the individual’s income and what his or her property is worth.

Carl reported the four fire chiefs and a representative from each township — Lowhill, Heidelberg, Lynn and Weisenberg — met to discuss an alternate plan.

Carl said the current plan is to take the same dollar figure the municipalities would formerly have lost as tax revenue by giving it back to members.

The intention of the new plan is to give the money back as an additional donation to the fire companies to be used as a recruitment and retention program.

Carl said the idea is firefighters would get a check at the end of the year based on the number of calls they responded to and that the amount received per call would partially be based on the firefighter’s level of national certification.

Hughes made motions to hire a full-time employee, Tim Wessner, at $21 per hour and a part-time employee, Mike Huntz, at $18 an hour.

Both were approved by the board.

Township Secretary Jill Seymour told the board the Sanctuary at Haafsville wants to renew its contract for picking up stray cats and dogs for the year.

The current fee is $50 for cats and $110 for dogs, with a cap of $550.

Hughes made a motion to renew the contract and the board approved it.

During public comment, resident Jim Kuhns voiced his concern over bills being paid.

His concern was the board had both the authority to incur the bills and to pay them.

Kuhns said he understood things a little better after he was made aware of the checks and balances performed by auditors.

To further clarify, Hughes stated Lowhill’s status as a second class township does not require them to have a separate treasurer.

Seymour said township treasurer Rob Werley is bonded.

And, Werley assured Kuhns he had limited authority with the township’s bank accounts.