Northwestern Press

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Hughes explains board’s actions

Thursday, January 11, 2018 by WENDY WRIGHT Special to The Press in Local News

During the Lowhill Township supervisors’ Dec. 7 meeting, Chairman Richard Hughes cleared up some information from the November 2017, meeting.

Hughes explained that halfway through a paving project on Horseshoe Road the closest and second closest asphalt plants closed.

This made it necessary for the township road crew to drive to the third closest asphalt plant in Leesport, Berks County.

The township needed additional trucks to haul the product.

The township made phone calls to find available trucks but was unsuccessful.

Buddy Wessner had available trucks and provided them at less than market rate because of the circumstances.

The Pennsylvania Procurement Code provides an emergency exception from competitive bidding to satisfy an urgent need beyond the township’s control.

On this basis, $1,716 was approved to be paid to Wessner’s Stone Haven.

Wessner returned the money to the township after consideration, so that there would be no appearance of conflict.

Hughes mentioned that new hires do not need to be advertised.

He announced Tim Wessner was a new hire and all proper procedures were followed in his hire and he started working for the township on Oct. 23, 2017.

Administrator Brian Carl reported the first of the meetings for the multimunicipal plan will be set up for a time in January.

Lowhill Township is still waiting to hear from Washington Township.

The four townships surrounding Lowhill and the Borough of Slatington are on board with meeting for the plan.

Lehigh Valley Planning Commission wants North Whitehall and Walnutport to be approached about joining the plan.

The township will reach out to them.

Roadmaster Joe Kalusky reported crews finished filling in the shoulders on Horseshoe Road.

Lines were painted on Horsehoe, Ruheton Hill, North Lane, Township Line and Post roads.

Maintenance repairs were done on the yellow Mack, the white Mack and the GMC.

Carl reported the township will not be following Act 172.

Instead, they will be implementing a volunteer firefighter recruitment program.

Weisenberg, Lynn, and Heidelberg townships are setting aside money in their budgets for this program.

Budgeting for next year is based on calls from this past year.

Each firefighter would receive $5 per call. Firefighters with a Fire 1 or above certification would receive $7.50. Fire officers would receive $10 per call.

Hughes said that would not be a lot of money for Lowhill and he supports the program.

Hughes presented the budget and it was approved.

Details are as follows: Lowhill Township has cash, bank accounts, money market, etc. totaling $2,049,614.

Taxes are $625,000; licenses are $380; fines and forfeitures are $3,000; interests, grants, and royalties are $70,515; intergovernmental revenue is $36,077; charges for services is $58,300 and state liquid fuels $183,512.

Total revenue is $976,784 for a total available for appropriation of $3,026,397.

Expenditures are as follows: general government is $158,146; public safety is $74,959; health and welfare is $500; highway, roads, and streets is $426,100; recreation is $1,500; employee benefits is $189,400; building fund is $50,000; equipment fund is $65,000.

Total expenditures $965,605 for a total budget of $2,060,792.

The millage rate will stay the same at 0.66425.